Today ends one heck of a year. I started out feeling low in January. It was a familiar, but unwelcome feeling. As with many of you, the days felt long, but the weeks and months were short. Before I knew it I was leaving a job that no longer fulfilled me, I moved in with Kevin, and was completing an online class I had started in May.
The second half of the year and especially the last two months have been filled with anticipation and excitement. Kevin asked me to marry him on October 11, 2021 and we wed on December 17, 2021. Navigating work and wedding planning did have its up and downs, but we wouldn't have had it any other way. Early on in our relationship I told him I didn't want an engagement ring and he obliged. We wanted a small wedding of just family and a few friends (luckily we could make this happen - even with COVID restrictions). It was small and intimate and perfect.
We had selected a few passages to be read and reflected on during the ceremony and to be honest I had forgotten what they were until Chet, our pastor, read them aloud.
"I have found the one whom my soul loves." Song of Solomon 3:4 (unsure which version) and
"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love." Ephesians 4:2 (NIV)
There was an audible agreement among our family and friends as Chet read these and meditated on what they meant for our lives. To me this affirmed the love they see between us and it was a symbol of their blessing as our relationship deepens.
These passages make perfect sense when I think about my past. If you have followed my journey at any point, you will know I had given up on love a long time ago. I did not feel worthy and when I sought it, it was not there for me. I had to start believing I was worthy and he had to take a risk for the chance of finding something so special as our love. Our souls were waiting for each other.
We were fortunate to have my nephew, Liam, read for us as well. Although this passage is often used at weddings and can feel inauthentic at times, it really fits who we are as a couple.
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. 6 It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 8 Love will last forever... 13 There are three things that will endure‑‑faith, hope, and love‑‑and the greatest of these is love. 1 Cor. 13:4-8, 13 (NLT).
Two weeks into our marriage we have a lot to be thankful for and so much to look forward to. We close out 2021 full of love after spending time with family and friends. And although I cherish these memories dearly, I remember a time when the Christmas season was hard to bear.
It may be hard for you to bear right now.
I hold you in my heart, you who may be struggling to find joy in the little things, you who is full of despair as I often was, you who lost a loved one this year. I hold you in my heart.
I am a daughter, sister, auntie, wife and friend.