Fours years ago, at about this time, I was in hair and make-up. I was surrounded by my sisters, some of my wonderful friends, my mother; and I was trying to keep calm. In five hours I was getting married. Guests had arrived from all over the country, the rain was going to hold out, my heart was the fullest it had ever been. All of a sudden the months of preparation seemed to float away. The details didn’t seem to matter. I was going to marry the love of my life. The memories haven’t faded away. I was advised to take a breath and enjoy every second of the day. And I did. And it was wonderful. And I was happy. So happy. Til death do us part…well, that didn’t exactly go as planned.
So, what do you do on this day? This day that has become your non-anniversary. I’m past the point of crying or trying to sleep or drink the day away (thank you, Jesus). But it’s still a memorable day for me. I can look at the clock and tell you what I was doing at each moment throughout this day four years ago. I can tell you how this date has affected me every year since. My memory is awesome and I’m great with dates. It’s a blessing and a curse. What rocks about my life, is that I have these beautiful friends who understand me and know me inside and out. They tend to know what I need before I know myself. I’ve already gotten loving and encouraging texts from friends who had an inkling today would be slightly difficult for me. Plus, my friend Lindsay has already planned my evening, so I won’t sit around eating pizza and watching reruns of “Murder She Wrote” (don’t knock it, I love Angela Lansbury).
The bigger questions, that I avoid thinking about at all costs, tumble around inside my brain…What should I do with the wedding pictures? Is it appropriate to wear my wedding jewelry again? Or the big one, do I need to apologize to all my guests? The people who stood for us, prayed for us, traveled for us. How do I possibly convey my gratitude for their love and shame for my failure? As far as I know, Emily Post hasn’t fully covered the appropriate guidelines for this subject matter. It’s not like there is a greeting card out there that says, “I failed at marriage. I’m sorry you invested in us.”
As I was fielding these thoughts this morning, I started looking at my wedding pictures. I can’t tell you the last time I looked at them. Generally, it’s not a good idea and doesn’t produce positive emotions. The first thought that ran through my head was, “I will never be that thin ever again in my entire life.” But the second emotion that overwhelmed my soul was the joy in the faces of the people. I scrolled through the pictures of my loved ones and realized that these humans who supported me then, support me now. They lived through my happiest day, my saddest day, and the day I decided to take my broken pieces and try to mold them into something I could be proud of.
Even though it didn’t work out, I don’t think I’m supposed to forget this day. Why would I want to lose the memory of my mother helping me into my wedding dress or dancing with my father? The speech my sister gave. Galloway interviewing guests for my wedding video. Listening to Tiffany read a poem during our ceremony. The look Zach gave me as he passed me the wedding ring to give to my husband. The overwhelming feeling of the Holy Spirit as the notes of “How Great Thou Art” wafted from the strings. The tears that filled my eyes as I turned and watched my guests stand and make a commitment to pray for our marriage.
My marriage was and is a part of me. To deny that would be to deny a piece of myself. Yes, my wedding day was a super expensive day that didn’t reap the future I had hoped, but it is also a day where a whole lot of people got to together and simply loved me. And I have the pictures to prove it.
Job 17:9 “The righteous keep moving forward, and those with clean hands become stronger and stronger.”