Thursday, January 3, 2013

4 years ago today...

Excitement coursed through my veins as the seemingly 50 pounds of satin slipped over my head. My best friend fastened the dress, and I turned to look in the mirror to see the result. “This is it,” I thought, “This is the day when my dreams come true!” My girlfriends chattered happily around me as they too prepared themselves for the glorious hour ahead.  I listened happily to them, and then turned from the mirror to return to the waiting room. With my hair curled to perfection, a tiara sitting on my head, jewelry to match the beadwork on my dress, and a long, flowing train, I truly felt like a princess—like a bride. My steps felt light as I went to the room.

Minutes ticked past, and everyone around me hurried their preparations. Girls curled their hair, painted their nails, and then slipped into their blue satin gowns. The clock seemed to slow down, and I felt as if I watched the scene from somewhere outside myself as I once again realized that the time had almost arrived to join my life to another. As I watched the scurrying around me, trepidation suddenly overtook my soul.

“How can I do this? I know nothing about being a wife. Can I really be a good wife for him?” I felt so young, so unprepared and lacking knowledge. No, I couldn’t do it. What had possessed me to think that I could!? My hands began shaking uncontrollably. 

My wedding coordinator perceived my nervousness, and shooed everyone out of the room so I could have 5 minutes of quiet to relax. I took several deep breaths. “Father, help me!” I prayed. “I can’t do this on my own. Please grant me strength!” 

My bridesmaids returned and gathered around me in a circle and prayed for me. I began shaking again, and tears began forming in my eyes. I took several more deep breaths and willed the tears to go away. “I can’t ruin my make-up!” Peace finally began settling over my heart as my sisters, friends, and mother prayed for me. I knew then that God was truly with me and in this day. 

My dad came to the door. “It’s time,” he said. One by one, the bridesmaids left the room and walked down the aisle to their places. I took my dad’s arm, and looked up at him. “You’re the most beautiful bride I have ever seen—besides your mother, that is,” he said. I smiled at him, and again suppressed the tears. 

Trumpets began playing. My time had come! Emotions overwhelmed me as I walked down the aisle. As every eye looked at me, I again wondered if I could really do this. But, then, I looked ahead and saw my promised husband, smiling at me, waiting to receive me. Joy overruled all other emotions as I gazed into his loving eyes. I remembered that I had arrived at that moment by God’s appointment, therefore I need fear nothing. Thus, perfect love cast out all fear. 

I reached the end of the aisle, where I took my beloved’s hand for the first time. Oh the thrill of that moment! I squeezed his hand and arm to assure him of my love. We then climbed the steps to stand before my father, and repeat the sacred vows that made us man and wife. A joyful solemnity came over me as I carefully repeated each irrevocable word. I felt the Lord standing next to me, upholding me, and witnessing this sacred and holy act. Again, I knew He had ordained this moment. 

Finally, I heard the words, “I now pronounce you man and wife. Donald, you may kiss your bride.” My heart began beating wildly as my husband (my husband!) pulled me to him. Of that moment, no pen can tell or tongue describe, only know that a first kiss is a most precious and valuable treasure. How glad I am that I saved it for that moment! We then turned to face our friends and guests, and how my heart soared as I heard them clap and cheer as my father introduced, “Mr. and Mrs. Donald Preuninger”! We then floated down the aisle out of the sanctuary, taking our first steps together along the “till death do you part” pathway. 

Exactly four years have passed from that day to this, and today, as I prepare to spend the day with my wonderful husband, I am so glad I did not hearken to the fears resounding in my mind. God has tremendously blessed our marriage and I can still say with confidence that God predestined our union. The last four years almost seem like a whirlwind. We have made new friends, lost dear relatives, made a home together, and, most importantly, God has given us two dear children. God is in it all and we could not have done it without Him. I praise my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ for the wondrous things He has done for us, and thank Him for the incredible man He gave me four years ago today. His ways are indeed perfect, and His gifts are the best. And how blessed is the marriage that He ordains!

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James  1:17).

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