Photo By A Smile Is Forever Photography, Marisa Durrett
This past weekend I had the humbling honor of standing next to my best friend, Shala, as I witnessed her make vows before God, family, and friends, uniting as one with her, “Redneck Romeo”, Ryan. It was a beautiful, Christ centered ceremony. As I stood there watching the Holy Matrimony being created I couldn’t help but be overcome with emotions. As the tears streaked my face I could vividly see me and Cody standing at the altar almost five years ago. I could remember my heart racing with excitement and a little fear of the unknown. I remember thinking—this is it. My life is “complete” now. I have the one that will be by my side until I’m old and grey… Or “Until Death Do Us Part”.
When the Officiating Pastor, Willie Williams, spoke the words “until death do you part” during yesterday’s ceremony, it was an arrow piercing through my heart. My eyes closed as I prayed that this beautiful couple have a lifetime together—I prayed they will indeed get to grow old with one another before that vow is fulfilled.
During the ceremony there were bay windows overlooking beautiful landscape with unique trees. As my ears listened to the words being exchanged, my eyes were being drawn outside. My eyes saw past the trees, pasture land, blue skies, and perfect white clouds. I saw raw beauty. I saw hope. I saw God.
The wind was blowing ever so slightly—I could see a bush standing alone—just swaying back and forth. There was something spiritual about watching this bush dancing in the wind as the beautiful vows were being exchanged. God created that bush. God created the wind. God created this moment. God created all things—something as simple as a dancing bush to something significant as this man and woman pledging their earthly lives together. God created the unity between the wind and the bush and the unity of this man and his bride. God is in everything, He is omniscient—all knowing, all-wise, all-seeing.
My eyes rested back on the couple standing before me and I could literally feel the Love and adoration exuding between them. It was beautiful to be a part of. Again, my heart felt as if it were going to palpate out of my chest. My mind raced with a million thoughts. Why was my marriage cut so short? Why couldn’t my husband be here with me? Why is being in a season of widowhood God’s plan for my life? Why? Those questions may never be answered on this side of glory.
As thoughts of my own wedding ran through my mind—I realized I am a completely different woman than I was when I made my vows to my Cody until “death parted us”. Reflecting on my first year of marriage, I admit I looked to my husband for things only a sincere relationship with our Heavenly Father can give you. Though your spouse is supposed to fill many roles such as being your helpmate, best friend, and lover, only God can fill your heart, mind, and soul to depths that one cannot even put into words. God’s Love feels like glitter running through your veins. As much as I desire for my married status to still be intact, I am so awe-inspired and grateful to walk with God.
His Love has become so much more real and tangible to me in these last 7 months. His Love is so evident all around me, even during intense grieving. I know His Love has always been there, but I am seeing life through new lenses now. It’s beautiful.
I feel like that secluded swaying bush. I am alone, dancing.
Oh, but I am far from alone…
Though I cannot see my Heavenly Daddy—just as the wind cannot be seen—He has me wrapped up in His arms dancing with me ever so sweetly, guiding my feet where they shall go as He leads this dance.
There is no place I would rather be than in His Love. His Love is the only sure thing in this life.
Nothing can separate us from it. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angles nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39.
I may no longer be a man’s bride, but I am the Bride of Christ. And for those of you who are ‘a man’s bride’—Remember you were Christ’s Bride first—and that is an eternal title.
I Trust my God, I Trust my God, I Trust my God.