Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Chapter Thirty-Five: I DO! (Part 1)

When you dream of your wedding day, you envision being woken up softly to a beautiful breakfast in bed with birds chirping and the sun shining as it creeps it’s way into your window.

Not to your Dad flipping on your light and saying, “Whitney! Darin’s been bit by a spider! ON HIS EYE! His whole face is swollen! I’m going down to the pharmacy to get him medicine!”


Yes, that was my reaction.

I ran into my parents’ bedroom and Mom calmly explained that Darin and his groomsman had gone to the lake that morning to JUMP OFF CLIFFS and that Darin got bit on the eye by a spider. Perfect. I’m dreaming of rainbows and daffodils and my soon-to-be husband is jumping off cliffs with a half swollen face? Oh, what a way to wake up.

Mom told me to crawl in her bed and go back to sleep, that all my bridesmaids were down at the Church getting prepped and pampered. She brought me a donut and I choked it down and slipped back into sleepy town. I was exhausted from the rehearsal dinner and catching up with friends into the late hours the night before.

The wedding was at 7pm, so we had the entire day ahead of us. I woke back up around noon and took my time showering and getting down to the Church for last minute details. My girls had been at the Church all morning and by the time I got there they were all decked out in false eyelashes, fantastic makeup and glorious hairdos. They looked amazing!

I got a couple updates on Darin throughout the day and my Dad came to the rescue in getting his eye back to semi-normal. The way everyone was talking, I had him made out to look like the redheaded guy in that 80’s movie The Mask. I was beyond relieved when one of my bridesmaids told me she saw him and he looked normal. Only Darin. This is the same guy who broke his nose a week before prom our senior year. His timing is impeccable.

The day went smoothly and beautifully. That room was filled with so much laughter, makeup, hugs, hairspray, stories, jewels, tears and joy. All of the women that represented me and who I am were all in one room – together, preparing to witness and celebrate with me on the biggest day of my life. I was overcome with emotion seeing all of these strong, unique, wonderful women surround and support me. They made me laugh, they smothered me with love and they covered me in prayer the entire day. I felt beyond blessed to have them – ALL of them – from my bridesmaids to my candle lighters to my guest book attendant and all of my women family members. They were all there. They were all at my side. And they were all such a beautiful representation of sweet, life long friendship.

Most of the preparation that day is a blur, but I do remember the moments.

When it came time to slide into my wedding gown, I finally began to get the butterflies. I had been calm as a cucumber the entire weeks, days and even hours before the ceremony. But as soon as they buttoned the last button, clasped the last jewel and slid on the last slipper, my stomach started to churn. It was time. It was finally time. In just a few minutes I would walk down that aisle and become one with the man of my dreams.

My girls surrounded me in a circle and my Mom led a beautiful prayer. I choked back the tears, and gave everyone hugs as they took their place in the hallway – preparing to go out. My Dad took my arm and told me I looked beautiful and then he tried to fix my hair. I told him to leave it alone, it was fine, but he kept trying to do something to it! We stood in the back, watching my bridesmaids step out one by one, and I just looked at Dad and laughed. We were actually doing this.

After my matron of honor made her descent, I took a deep breath and clasped on to my Dad. The trumpets blared “Crown Him With Many Crowns”, and my Dad and I took our first steps onto our embroidered runner and into the Sanctuary. I could only see my beloved’s body at the end of the aisle, but not his face. The place was filled with flowers and wall to wall with guests – but all I saw was him. As I drew nearer, I saw the tears streaming down his cheeks and then they made their way down mine. All anxiety and nerves fled my body and I was in perfect peace. This man. This man that I have waited for my entire life and prayed for my entire life was here – and he was mine.

My Dad gave me away with a kiss on the cheek and as he passed me on to my beloved, Darin softly squeezed my hand and he whispered softly in my ear as he wiped away his tears….

“Whitney, you look awesome.”

Perfect. The Lord gave me that perfect, silly little gift that I always dreamed of right then and there as we were entering into Covenant together. Wow. I’m pretty sure my jaw dropped.

I squeezed his hand, gave him a smile and started up the steps toward the pastor.

The best was yet to come.