Monday, March 21, 2016

 The dress

I came across this dress in my closet the other day.  It was actually packed away in a bin and shoved behind all of my current dresses.

But oh my - the memories this dress brought up in my mind!

This was my "honeymoon dress"

16 Marches ago my sister and I went shopping for my Florida wardrobe.  I couldn't wait.  It seemed like a dream.

One big, beautiful, surreal dream coming true. 

I had just turned 20 and there I was,  laughing with my sister and carefully choosing through aisles of dresses for my honeymoon dress.  Of course I would bring a few dresses - and lots of beach clothes, but I wanted one very special dress.

This one was it.

I bought it and carefully folded it, packing it away in my suitcase.

Dave and I had this crazy, whirlwind, long distance relationship.  Since we lived 500 miles apart and only knew each other for about 8 months before we got married {all the gasps} we really hadn't had that many dates.  I knew this dress would be worn for a very special date.

You guys know my story of ups and downs.  I have never wanted to be fake in what I share.  It's been a hard 15 years in many aspects.  But you know what?  When I pulled this dress out I couldn't stop the grin.  Because I wouldn't change this.

I wouldn't change that innocent girl who had only been on about a dozen dates with the man who she was about to marry.  I wouldn't change our crazy story.  It's almost unthinkable to me, in retrospect, what we actually did.  -And that my parents let us! ;)  But God was writing our story even back then.  No part of it is insignificant.

We knew that we wanted to be married and have a life long commitment before we had a physical relationship; before we settled down.  And we wanted a physical relationship and to settle down. ;) We both held very traditional values and desired to have a home and family.  So we got married after a few months. We knew our commitment to God and to each other was for life no.matter.what.

So all of the betters and worses that came at us, this young couple who had so much to learn about one another, in all directions? - They would hit us hard, but they could not knock us down. 

I love us.  I love our story.  I love our great big God and how magnified He has become in our struggles and weaknesses.  We have a good thing.  A really, really good thing.

This is me in that dress, on that honeymoon, with that guy, who had hair. ;)

It was just as I had imagined.  We were married, and could finally spend all of our days together instead of our limited monthly long distance travel to see one another for a weekend.

It had rained that day but a beautiful sunny Florida warmth still permeated everything.  Our waitress sat us outside on a patio surrounded by twinkly lights.  I remember it was nearly dusk, so those white lights glowed in a really beautiful way.

And life was good.

I'm so glad I still have the dress.  Because pulling it out and having the rush of memories fills my heart.  I feel like right now we are literally on a tread mill of life - just keep running, running, running....
And I need these reminders of all the amazing things God has done in our lives.

You know what?  I may just put this dress on this Thursday.  Fifteen years you guys! Wow.  So hard to believe.  If it's not snowing, I am totally wearing this dress when we celebrate our anniversary.  No Florida this year - just good ol' Jackson, MI.  :) Jackson, MI with the man I love and a story I wouldn't trade for all of the happily ever afters in the world.

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