Our wedding day was beautiful. It went off without a hitch (or at least not one that was noticed by our guests). I wish I could say I remember every detail, but what I do recall is wonderful bliss. The days before the wedding are another story. Many, many things went wrong during that time. We had the rehearsal Friday the 27th and took Saturday as a "day off" to deal the with last minute details and visit family. Jake and I were more
It was Saturday evening Jake and I had spent the last 48 hours together. Running around paying some people, buying gift cards for others (buying replacement gift cards for the one that I lost. How do I do things like that?!). We had caught up with out of town family, finalized details, and then finalized them again. The rehearsal was done and we had driven the 30-45 min drive from Mission Valley to Ramona over and over and over. The tuxes were picked up, the schedules were passed out and the decorations were in place.
We climbed into the car to head to Kaleo Church's evening service. We were moving after the wedding so this would be our last service at our home church. What better way to spend the evening before our wedding than with our family and church family? But at this moment I felt so spent and all I could think about was that the night was not over yet. I heaved a sight of exhaustion and as I looked over at Jake, I felt a twinge of guilt. This man had covered that last few days with so much gentleness and grace, and that still hadn't stopped me from
"I'm sorry for how crazy I've been. Thank you for putting up with me."
He squeezed my hand and smiled.
"You still want to go through with this?" I ventured (half-joking), "Now that you know what you're getting into..."
"Nope." He teased.
"No really, You still have time to get out." I was kidding, but was digging for some affirmation that I had not chased him off in the past 2 days. On the outside I smiled but my mind raced with thoughts of rejection and heartbreak wondering if we could really do this FOREVER...
A few moments of tormenting quiet went by before Jake turned to me with words I hope to never forget.
"This is just the dark before the dawn Abigail. There is pain in the night but joy comes in the morning. Think about the joy we will have tomorrow, and it's nothing compared to the joy that waits after this life."
The same tears prick my eyes then that do now. I am so blessed by this man. In that moment I remembered that Jake is not just more than I ever thought I wanted in a man. He is everything the Lord knows I need.
We spent the next few minutes talking excitedly back and forth about our engagement and the wedding that would be tomorrow. And reminding each other of what a beautiful picture we get to be of the gospel. Of the Lord who loves us and binds us to Himself with an eternal covenant. That He will be our God and we will be His people and He will cleanse us from our sin. And our love for one another, my submission, Jake's leadership, and our faithfulness get to be a picture of our Savior and His bride. And in that moment, our betrothal meant more to me than a 8 months to "get through".
I never thought of my life as an engagement picture before that day. I never thought of it like a waiting period. Like a time when I plan and prepare and work towards a wedding feast. But isn't that true for those of us in the church, the bride of Christ waiting to be united with her bridegroom forever? I hope that as I go through my days, the Lord reminds me of this conversation with Jake. There is pain in this life. There are busy days, and fun stuff, and craziness. But joy comes in the morning. And when it is all over, what joy there is to behold! Eternity with my most beloved. My God. FOREVER!
"For His anger is but for a moment and His favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes in the morning."