It was storming outside. The rain was coming down hard, and the thunder and lightning were a blessing from God. The lightning made the church stained glass windows look beautiful, as the scene was set. It was 6:00 and I was about to get married. Everything was perfect, the church was full of friends and family, and I was so excited to marry a man who made me happy.
Rewind exactly 10 months:
I worked as a manager for Bath & Body Works. This particular day I was at the front door greeting people as they came in my store. That is when he walked in. He was with two women! He was very tall, and had a friendly smile. As part of our product demonstration, I was wearing a sticker that said, “Ask me for a free hand massage.” When He asked for the hand massage, I did not think much of it, until I noticed his hands were very dry. To which I said,” We need to get some stronger moisturizer, you have dry hands.” Then small talk proceeded. He left the store with his women (mom and grandma) and that is what I thought was the end of it.
When he left, he turned to his grandmother and said, that girl sure was cute! She said, “Well then quit being a chicken, and go ask her for her number!” He entered the store, and I noticed him immediately. I thought, “What is he doing back in here?” Then I noticed that he has selected one small man product. When I approached him, I said not very nicely,” What are you doing back?” Then I heard honesty like never before, “This is my lame attempt to find out what you are doing later.” Laughter erupted, that was only the beginning of the laughter we would share.
Fast Forward to my wedding day:
It was 6:00 and the ceremony was about to start. I was waiting with my dad in the bride’s room, getting ready to change my name and life forever. My dad and I shared a brief hug and kiss, brief because I was afraid I would start to cry and not be able to pull myself together before the service. The ceremony was perfect. It was traditional, short, and sweet. As people left the church, the wedding party filed back in to take pictures. This is where things got a little wild.
It was approximately 6:45 when I began looking for my new husband. I had completed all the pictures with the bridesmaids. While we were taking pictures, the groom and groomsmen asked if it was alright for them to change. I said sure, no problem, I knew they wanted out of the tuxedo pants and into jeans. At 6:45, I asked where is my husband? It was then that someone told me, he had left the church with the groomsmen. WHAT??????? HE LEFT ME AT THE CHURCH??????
OK, well I would love to tell you that I was nice and lady like at this point, but I wasn’t. I used language no one should ever use. Language that might make a sailor blush! At last, we reunited outside the reception hall. All eye makeup was gone, tears dried and swollen eyed, we walked into the reception together! Frankly, I do not remember much after that. We shook hands with guests, danced, missed the meal, and ate just the bite of cake we gave each other.
When I look back now, 9 years later, I feel so blessed. It occurs to me that the Lord knew what he was doing by giving me, my husband. I actually find the whole story funny and beautiful all at the same time. I know the Pastor that married us thought we would not last. I think the real testimony to our story is that we will and have. In our first day of marriage, we had to learn something that not everyone can learn nor do well. We had to learn to forgive, move on, and laugh at it all. It also showed something more profound than we knew at the time. Marriage is not about the big fancy dress or the party; it is about the love you share. Our love was big enough to handle being left at the church! Every year, we laugh about this, and joke that we celebrate on the 30th instead. The truth is I would not change anything about that day. (Well, I might change the language!) I got exactly what I wanted. I had a beautiful church wedding. I married a man whom I love so dearly, now more than ever, but almost equally important he makes me laugh.
9 years later, I am still happy and we are still laughing. I love you honey!