Lindsey is getting married. And I'm so excited! She came down to spend Halloween with us this year and spent the night. She and I stayed up too late talking, crying, and then getting a little slap happy and giggling too much at nothing before going to bed. It was really fun.
One reason she spent the night was because Peggy, Lindsey, and I went to Bloomster's to pick out the flowers for her bouquet Saturday morning. Again...fun. But it was also a little overwhelming for me. The last time I was in Bloomster's, looking at flowers, I was picking out MY flowers. The guy who helped Lindsey was the same man who helped me. He knows his stuff. He's good. But I'm not someone who planned the details of my wedding when I was young. I was a little clueless and out of my comfort zone. All of a sudden I was engaged and thought, "Let's plan a wedding!" I had NO idea what that meant. And as his fast paced energy swirled around me, I felt so overwhelmed. I didn't like my bouquet. When people told me I need to wear darker lipstick for the pictures, I just did it. Now I look at my pictures, I don't like what I see. I wanted to go simple and inexpensive...I think now I would have totally changed what my bridesmaids wore. If I had to do it all over again, I would have changed kind of a lot.
But, it doesn't matter at all. I never ever think about those things until I help someone else plan a wedding...and that doesn't happen all that often. I don't think about my wedding and reception all that much.
What I do remember are the feelings I had that day. I remember feeling so loved...by Marcus, family, and so many people who were strangers to me but friends with Marcus's family. I felt enveloped with love and acceptance. I hugged so many people before who I had never met! And they felt like family! I had so much fun that day. I loved every moment.
So when I look back and think about my bouquet, my not-me makeup, my shoes (I would have spent money to get some really hot shoes), I doesn't matter to me. Because really, I only kept a few things from that day.
I found this picture last week. Woa! That was so long ago. We look so young and ready to conquer the world. At times, if we had allowed it, the world could have easily conquered us. Though Samantha is among our greatest blessings, her life could have pushed us over the edge. But instead, we grew stronger together. Facing adoption is not an easy task. Not only is it a lot of work to put everything together, but we had three birthmothers choose us and then decide they had other plans. Again, we could have crumbled. Well, we did for a short time. We felt the pain of the experience. But we grew stronger together. And we have Callie and Micah. Through graduate school, moving, unemployment, job changes...we could have thrown the towel in.
But that's not what we decided to do before all this happened. Getting married was a decision to stick it out.
When Marcus proposed to me, he did so because he decided that I was worth being with forever. No matter what came about, I was the one he wanted to do it all with and there would be no giving up when it got hard. I said yes because I felt the same way. Not only do we love each other, but we share a common respect and commitment. But more than that, we put all our faith in God. He is a part of our relationship. And I honestly think if He wasn't our focus, our aim, then there would have been times when our crumbling could not have been repaired. Our pain, sadness, despair...it would have sucked us in causing anger and resentment. Instead, because we both have our focus on more eternal paths, we were able to heal together, knitting our hearts even more so.
I'm not trying to make a commentary on other marriages at all. (I will only say, though, that when someone decides to not play their part anymore, it makes it extremely difficult and can take a lifetime to heal from a pain such as that.) My one and only experience revolves around this one man. Together we do all we can to help each other through life. We still laugh. We comfort one another. We see each other at our worst and, luckily, at our best. He's the partner I chose and the partner I would choose again. I hope the same for my own daughters one day. I hope that my son(s) will work to become a husband and father like their own. Until then, I think Marcus is setting a great example of the type of man that will help lead their own families one day...a man who will humbly walk beside his wife, encourage her, love her, and tenderly guide his family back to God.