a toast to a friend on her wedding day
This is my prayer for you:
I wish for you a lifetime of sleepovers, him and you, whispering in the dark.
Taking on the world, each of you balancing out the other, a continual shifting from strength to strength.
Keeping the Father at the center of your marriage; both of you fixed more on Christ than on yourselves.
I wish for you laughter. For comfort. For the security of hearing his key in the door and his footsteps coming up to the house.
For quiet Sunday mornings, evening strolls and meals around a full table.
For deep conversations that stretch you and grow you and humble you, completely.
I wish for you a lifetime of gentle embraces and wild, crazy kisses.
I pray for you years of listening and memory-making and looking each other in the eye.
For making time to be together: for dates and bike rides and long, sweaty hikes.
For a love story that’s written intentionally, little by little, every day.
And when things get cold and quiet and terribly still (as at times they will, because life is not a tremendously easy thing when two sinners tether themselves together) I pray that you will both remember the September day when you pledged your lives to one another — you pledged your whole selves, imperfect and flawed and human as they are. And remember that a marriage is not built on just you and him, but on the saving grace of your Creator. And that you need not rely on yourself or try to keep anything — even this — perfect.
It may seem strange to say this (the moments surrounding a wedding are usually strictly focused on happiness and impending joy) but here is another truth about being married: you will suffer occasionally in this marriage — and not simply sitcom-like squabbles, but possibly even dark-night-of-the-soul despair. That doesn’t mean that your marriage is doomed, or that you two are any more sinful than the rest of us. (The truth is, you just can’t be each other’s best friend every single minute forever).
Occasionally feeling like an epic failure is part of being human, and it’s definitely a part of being married. And that’s part of what marriage means, sometimes nearly-hating this other person, but staying together because you promised you would. And then, hours, or days, later waking up and loving him again, loving him still.
There is a whole lot of fumbling around when two people get married. But there is also a remarkable amount of compassion and forgiveness.
So, in light of these truths, I wish you both a few big fights and whole lot of grace. Even more that that, faith and patience to sort things through and the wisdom to draw nearer each other as you draw nearer to your Savior.
But more than anything, I pray that, amidst all that, you remember you are loved. By this incredible, wonderful, quiet man you have chosen. And by your Father in Heaven.
So here is to you, my dear. To you and him. A figurative toast.
May God overwhelm you with his rich blessings as you seek to live your married lives in glory of Him. Here is to everything that is yet to come.