Five years ago today I was preparing to marry the love of my life.
There were things to finish. Like the cards that we had on the table. Rehearsing “Thriller” for our bridal party flashdance. Finishing decor touches on the church where we first met.
I tend to be a planner and you can prepare for a wedding day. But you can never prepare fully for some of the tides that may rock a marriage. And maybe I’m of the belief that that’s okay.
Hear me out. Weeks after Brian and I got engaged, I ended up on a tiny sailboat on the Atlantic. My friend Sue was taking lessons and asked if I wanted to come along. I had been on a sailboat a couple times before, but never one this small and never before had I had power over controlling it. Shortly after we embarked into the Atlantic the skies began to darken. The waves rocked our small boat back and forth. Then things turned green (I might have too). I felt as if I had entered a grand and beautiful painting. The waves rose around us and despite my fear, the beauty overwhelmed my nerves.
You could have told me we might experience a storm. What it would be like. And what to do when it comes. But nothing can ever prepare you for when it actually hits.
Brian and I have experienced so much in five years, but the last two months have been some of the hardest. We lost my grandma, which as much as she was ready to go, it still makes me ache. That same day we faced the cancer diagnosis of someone close to us. Someone I couldn’t hold when she called crying to tell the news. And a couple weeks later I found myself at an ER no longer pregnant.
You can never fully prepare for some of the tides that may rock a marriage. But sometimes they are the most beautiful. The most filled with growth. The times you cling closer on that sailboat. A beauty and loss no one could ever fullly prepare you for.
Countless times this song pops up on my Pandora station that echos what a marriage is and sings to us in this valley:
‘Cause we bear the light of the Son of Man
So there’s nothing left to fear
So I’ll walk with you in the shadow lands
‘Til the shadows disappear
And we’re dancing in the minefields.
We’re sailing in the storms and this is harder than we dreamed
But I believe that’s what the promise is for.
When we were making plans to head up north for the funeral, looking at the costs of flights or lengths of drives. I’ll never forget how you grabbed my hand and said I wouldn’t be going alone. Together we’d face the green and scary skies. That is what the promise is for.