Today, May 19th, is indeed a monumental, life-changing day for you, and you sure are one beautiful bride. And as the excitement and nerves run through your veins anticipating the lifelong commitment you are about to make, I thought I would put you at ease and let you know that 10 years from now you'll be celebrating this day in New York City with Ryan by your side. You have some wrinkles and some gray hair, but you I swear you look hotter than ever. You also have two beautiful kids (one boy and one girl) and you're living your dreams of styling professionally. Your life looks picture perfect in many ways - a dream life - if you will. It's a life worth celebrating and being thankful for every day. But, I won't fool you that the road to this 10 year anniversary has not been smooth. In fact, it has been very rocky.
You and Ryan are still standing, but there were times when you weren't sure if you were going to make it to "death 'til us part." So, I thought I would share with you some advice in hopes of sparing you pain.
Alex, up until this point, you were unsure if you ever wanted to put on a wedding dress, but when you met Ryan all of that changed. He is a person that believes and you and makes you feel important. He is so kind and patient. He possesses many qualities that you have dreamed of a man having. But you are also looking for someone that will love you unconditionally no matter your flaws, and I have to tell you that isn't the man standing before you. In fact, what you seek no man can fill. It's an unreasonable expectation that will cause you pain. Only God will be able to fill this in you. And instead, you are about to let each other learn and know one another so intimately that when either of you make a mistake it will hurt more than anyone else hurting you. Your marriage is actually the complete opposite of unconditional love. It's set on a series of conditions to make it work (to have, to hold, to honor, to respect, to cherish, to obey, to love, to be truthful, to be faithful). So, my first piece of advice, is to go and heal the pain that you are carrying because much of your expectations and fears are derived from hurt that you never want to repeat. It's better to heal that now than later. Trust me. You need to know you are enough without a list of accolades beside your name, without your parents or anyone else saying you are enough.
My second piece of advice is to learn how to forgive, how to ask for forgiveness, and how to turn away from your old habits when the conditions on which you have founded your marriage are broken. Despite what people may tell you, no amount date nights, endless talks on the couch, sex, quality time, counseling, supporting friends or acts of service can fully mend and support your marriage if you don't know how to handle mistakes. Sure they help and are a part of marriage, but only forgiveness, grace, repentance, trust and love can heal how you hurt one another. And, unfortunately, mistakes are inevitable.
But here's the good news...You both have gone to the end of yourselves to find hope and healing for the mistakes you have made. You both are committed to doing whatever it takes to heal the hurt within yourselves and to forgive one another as God has forgiven you. It is truly a beautiful sight to see. It's what makes your marriage strong and victorious.
Sure, you're a bit bruised, the radiance somewhat lackluster. You have some scars, but you're also BAD ASS. You've stared failure in the face and said, "Not today." You and Ryan are stronger than ever. So, walk down that aisle with confidence and joy (like you will) and celebrate and never stop celebrating.
Oh, and P.S., you're going to regret a lot of the wedding decor choices you have made today because this new app called Pinterest is going to change your life in more ways than one. (wink, wink). So, just have a small wedding and save the rest of your money for those kids you'll be having five years later.
INTERSECT by Alex Evjen
Two finite lines, two directions
Collide at an intersection
Two become one, but stay the same
And head on a crash course of disarray
With no directions or asking
They come to a halt, they breakdown
But turn to each other when life is upside down
And they mend, they meet
Face to face, feet to feet
No longer parallel
They know one another well
Now bold, finite beings
They grow old with meaning
On a course of unknown
Two lines are now one