I remember this day five years ago. How I woke up excitedly and looked out the window at the beautiful, Florida sunshine. It was perfect. I remember the encouraging smiles from all of my bridesmaids, some of the sweetest girls I have ever known. They all knew how much this day meant to me, because they all knew how long I had prayed for you.
I remember getting ready and everyone around seeming much more nervous than I. From the lady doing my hair, to my little sister - who was the best maid of honor I could ask for - they were all trying to make our wedding day a beautiful one. But I was much more excited about a lifetime of being your wife.
I remember waiting in the back of the church to walk down the isle. My sister, who was always the stronger one emotionally, looked at me and started to cry. It was the first time all day that I felt my own tears begin to run down my cheeks. I dried them up as soon as the doors opened and I saw you waiting at the end of the pews. There you were... the best friend, encourager and love that I could have ever desired. You made my heart skip a beat as I walked toward you. And the room full of friends and family, made the moment even more monumental. Your brother, Jordan, was there sitting in a chair on stage because the cancer in his leg had progressed and it was becoming more painful for him to stand. Having him there was one of the biggest highlights of that day, I know it was for you, but if you didn't already know - it was for me too.
I remember standing together and repeating vows. They weren't the most unique or original words - but the fact that neither of us had ever spoken those words to anyone else, was unique enough for me. And after we lit the unity candle, your dad came and spoke a blessing over us. It was an honor. And even more so, is the fact that he has continued to speak encouragement over our lives for the past five years.
I remember that first kiss as husband and wife. How I laughed inside that you gave me the "church kiss" because you are always mindful of others and not wanting to parade our romance like a dirty novel. I'm glad I'm the only one who knows that side of you. ;)
I remember the reception... well, parts of it. Most of my memories involve cake to the nose, tossing the bouquet so high it hit the ceiling and getting into your car to leave. I'm thankful we didn't spend much money on the whole reception thing.
I remember the drive to the hotel where we would spend our first night together. How I cried on the way, not because I was sad (or freaked out, like you always joke!) but because I was so overwhelmed by the amount of love I was experiencing in that moment. I didn't know my heart could grow that much.
And looking back on these last five years, I am still overwhelmed by our love. How it only deepens every time we forgive, every time we sacrifice and every time we serve. There have been many beautiful moments and many sad ones. We've lost family, but gained a son. And there is nothing I look forward to more than seeing how God continues to use our little family to bring glory to Him!
Happy Five Year Anniversary, my love! I look forward to loving you for a lifetime more.