Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Married...? Can it really be true?

11 days ago, a bride was preparing herself to walk down the aisle to marry the "man of her dreams." Stress, tiredness, trepidation, and nervous excitement caused her hands to shake uncontrollably. Finally, her dear friends all gathered in a circle to pray for her. A calm settled over her, and she was again assured that she was following the Lord's will. As the hour grew closer to that much anticipated moment, she again began shaking with nervous excitement. Would she be a good wife? She felt in many ways so unprepared, so unready for all the responsibilities of marriage. She knew she could never do it on her own. Yet, she also knew that she did not need to do it on her own. A Wonderful Helper stood by yearning to take all her care, and give His strength in the place of her weakness.

Finally, the moment came, and she took her father's arm to walk down the aisle to the sound of trumpets playing "Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise." Friends and family on either side stood as she entered the Sanctuary. She knew they were all smiling at her, but her eyes sought and found one thing: the eyes of her beloved. He smiled with a proud light in his eyes as she walked towards him, and she smiled back with all of her trusting heart in her eyes. This was their day. She had prepared herself for her groom, and she was ready to vow to be his as long as this life shall last.

The ceremony went smoothly (despite a flower girl falling asleep, and a groomsmen nearly passing out), and the couple finally heard the words for which they had been waiting: "I now pronounce you husband and wife. Donald, you may kiss your bride." The groom reached out, gently pulled his wife to him, and kissed her for the first time. As they pulled away, the bride smiled into her husbands eyes, and then was pulled back towards him for a very long, and much longed-for hug--precious, precious moment, which shall never be forgotten. In that moment, all her fears and doubts were quenched. She knew that God had prepared her and her husband for such a time and season, and that they were here by His purpose and for His plan. They now travel the road of life together--together with God.

Well, we have now been married for 11 days. After having waited so long, it almost seems unreal to be saying so. Yet, I look at the ring on my finger and recall my husband's loving touch when leaving for work, and know that it is all true. The road leading to this day and hour was often a difficult one, yet was worth it all. Looking back now, I am so glad that our foresight (and not just our hindsight) was 20/20.

When our courtship began, we purposed to save all physical contact for the marriage altar. Thus, the only time Donald ever touched me, was when he put the engagement ring on my finger. This "Bible's Distance Rule" (as we called it) caused us to exercise more patience, determination, and sheer force of will than we ever dreamed. The longing to touch each other seemed at times almost unbearable. Yet, the Blessed Savior ever stood ready to give the grace and the patience to wait. I now stand at the other side of the marriage altar, and can testify that His strength was made perfect in our weakness, and that His precious name was glorified through our actions.

I shall never forget the gasp of amazement from the audience when my Dad explained during our wedding ceremony that we had never even held hands, but had waited for that time and place to begin. Then, there was the "aww" that rose from several lips when we took hands for the first time, and then the cheer that filled the sanctuary when we kissed for the first time. Afterward, countless people told us what a testimony that was, and how it honored the Lord. "Praise God," we replied, "that's all we wanted."

And truly, I am so grateful that God was glorified through our courtship and marriage. All the struggles of maintaining purity throughout our courtship are made worth it all when I hear that we blessed some one's life or honored the Lord through it. Also, our honeymoon was undoubtedly more blissful than the average because of it being a "week of firsts." We never dreamed that holding hands could be that much fun! :-D

After the wedding, Donald took me to a wonderful hotel in Downtown Fort Worth, and from there, to a fancy restaurant. The whole evening, we just held hands, hugged, and yes, even kissed.... :-) It was such a wonderful evening... Then, the next day, we drove out to East Texas where we stayed in a cabin out in the middle of the piney woods. During the week, we took walks through the woods, drove down many country roads "just for fun," and spent much time just getting some R & R. It was a little taste of heaven to be utterly alone with him, and to also experience all those "firsts." God's ways are so worth it! I thank the Lord for giving me parents who taught me His ways, and who encouraged me in them. Donald and I are both SO glad that we observed the "no touch rule;" for by doing so, our relationship is more precious now, and countless observers have been blessed by our actions. May God's name be praised.

Now, with the wedding and honeymoon week behind us, Donald is back to work, and I am experimenting with being a housewife. Unpacking and cleaning is the game of the week, as well as figuring out how to cook for just two people (which I assure you is a daunting task when you're used to cooking for 10). Thankfully, there is enough involved in those activities that it keeps me from moping too much during Donald's absence...admittedly, though, I cry for a few minutes after Donald leaves for work...but, I quickly snap out of it, as I start planning all the cleaning I want to have done in order to surprise him upon his return.

Yesterday, I went to the grocery store for the first time, and spent $60...and it didn't even seem like I got enough for it to add up to that amount...and I got only the cheapest things... *sigh* I'm going to have to work on my grocery budgeting skills, I'm afraid... :-)

As soon as I get things a little more settled around here, I will post pictures of the wedding, honeymoon, and of our home for all of you to see. For now, however, I'd better leave the computer and go get some cleaning done so that I can surprise my husband with yet another unpacked/cleaned room tonight. :-)

Until the next time, dear friends, may God be with you all!

Melody (formerly Rohlin) Preuninger