***The following is the speech I made to my new husband on October 5th, 2019. The photos were taken by my dear friend and fellow widow Jenn Fortune.
Don, it’s finally here—our wedding day. Can you believe it? We have love—the deep, lasting, committed type, the thing that says, “I choose you, even when everything is challenging.” We have love, the kind that chooses to serve and ask nothing in return.
When I look in your eyes I know that this is the man I want to go to sleep next to every night and wake up with every morning, for the rest of my days. I pray we are given the chance to grow old together. I know you are the one I want to raise this family with. You’re the one I see beside me from here on out, sharing my laughter, my dreams, my heartaches, my fears, and all my adventures. You’re the one I want leading my household in the Lord. You make me feel safe when all is spinning out of control and I know that you would never abandon me.
You came into my life in a very dark time. I had gotten to a place where I believed there was no joy left for me personally. I looked forward to watching my daughters grow up; there was joy in that. I enjoyed my work as a labor nurse and I looked forward to one day serving families as a midwife—there was joy also in that. Yet when I looked forward at my future, it remained bleak as there was a deep loneliness. There was joy in loving and serving others, yes, but I desired something more. I had resolved to live without it because I believed the risk of putting my heart on the line again to be too great. I wanted contentment being single... it always seemed just out of reach. Then you entered my life and you persisted. Against the fearful voice inside me, I let you in.
I was not prepared to fall in love with you. Hard and fast I was swept under the current of your love. I just knew very quickly, that I was safe in this river. I knew that I would not drown. I had to learn to swim again—we had to learn to swim, but we did. Together we figured out what it meant to truly love one another. Two wildly independent and stubborn souls, I imagine it would have been comical to watch us flounder around. But we did it, didn’t we babe? And we’re doing it.
This love is a journey, a constant work in progress… and I’m so thankful I’m doing all of it with you. Today I get to call myself your wife and you my husband… and I cannot think of any titles more beautiful than those.
I love you, my husband.