My wedding album made me cry today.
Rob is speaking this weekend on marriage and needed a wedding photo of us. He retrieved the book from the attic and chose this photograph from our engagement shoot.
Wow, would you just look at those fresh young faces! And Rob’s hair! And my Laura Ashley sweater! (I sure loved that sweater.)
I’m struck by how much older we are, but I’m not pining for that smooth, taut skin like you might expect. Rather, I am thankful for the years that have brought us to where we are now. Thankful for the wisdom we’ve gained. Thankful for Elizabeth and Nick, who made us parents and brought with them lessons that we didn’t know we needed to learn. Thankful for the trials that have strengthened and shaped our bond and for God, who keeps watch over us and helps us keep watch over one another.
Yeah, I cried a little bit while looking through the photos. But not because I’m wishing I could go back. I cried tears of joy at how much more I love Rob Perry today than I did then, even though I wouldn’t have thought it possible. There were also tears of grief, as I counted the people who helped us celebrate that day but are no longer with us. And tears because some of them, who had loved and nurtured and cheered us on, never got to see how much better at loving we’ve become…then a few more tears as I realized they were wise already – they knew how we could turn out and are part of our “cloud of witnesses.” (Hebrews 12)
As I look into the eyes of “young-innocent-bride-me,” I think, “Yeah, Girl, we turned out alright! We are better for all the bumps and bruises along the way, and our softer edges and the lines worn into our face from years of living, loving and laughing – they are trophies. And even now, the best is yet to be.”
(Photo by Brenda Saul Thomson)