So many people have asked me, "Are you excited??!"
And I say, "YES!" (But that's really not true.)
"Excited" doesn't even BEGIN to describe it.
This countdown is honestly unlike anything I've ever experienced.
It's close...but not synonymous with counting down to the last day of school before summer vacation. I feel that same expectancy, that same vibe of impending freedom and fun. We're leaving behind an old stage and entering something new. New rules. New responsibilities. Newness.
It's close...but not just like the feeling of getting your dream job and waiting for your first day at work. You hope you're qualified and pray that you don't mess it up. You are anxious to get started and eager to succeed. It's work, and you have a lot to learn, and you won't ever be perfect... but it's what you've always dreamed of doing.
It's close...but not the same as waiting to be baptized. You know that your life has been transformed and you can't wait to get up in front of everyone, proclaim God's goodness, and receive unending grace. A covenant that endures despite my daily failures. A promise that I am part of a new family.
Yeah - I think counting down to my wedding day is like and unlike all these life events. It's not exciting. It's enormous. It's life-altering. It's transforming.
And I have a hunch that maybe, just maybe, marriage is less like the enormous things, and more like the small things. Those small, commonplace, unexpected things that sneak up on you and stir your affections for the Lord.
Like taking a sip of coffee on a tired Monday morning - feeling warm and energized.
Like starting a new book and eagerly turning the pages and not wanting the story to be over - feeling anticipation and curiosity.
Like seeing an old friend for the first time in years - feeling known and missed.
Like listening to an incredible song you didn't write - feeling swept away by lyrics that are already in your heart.
Like arriving at church with a heavy spirit and leaving full of wonder and praise - feeling forgiven and light.
Like receiving a crayon drawing from a child, given with such purity of heart - feeling humbled and happy.
Like giving a big bear hug - feeling connected and close.
Like talking to your mom on the phone - feeling listened to and loved.
And I love thinking how all of these little soul-stirring moments that happened to me for 29 years of singleness were good and perfect gifts. They pointed me toward the giver of all good gifts, the Father of heavenly lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
And I can't believe I'm typing it, but it's only in hindsight that I realize that singleness WAS A GOOD AND PERFECT GIFT.
I'm so grateful that my "countdown" to finding Derek took longer than I ever thought it would. 29 years of singleness made me rely on the Lord. 29 years of singleness made me trust Him. 29 years of singleness made me see that the gifts are not as important as the giver. (Just like this wedding is not as important as my marriage!)
And when He saw fit, God gave me another good and perfect gift, my almost-husband, Derek: a man that stirs my affections for the Lord more than anyone. A man who gives sacrificially and selflessly. A man who prays with me and for me. A man who believes I can do anything. A man who loves to surprise me. A man who speaks words full of grace and truth - not afraid to call me out when I'm wrong. A man who emailed me yesterday to ask if I wanted to serve in the nursery at church with him this summer (talk about SWOON!). A man who ran a stinkin' half marathon with me even though he doesn't like to run.
A man who will continue running the race with me and pointing me towards God for the rest of my days. That's not "exciting." It's everything.
Now I know (for sure):
We can get rid of our countdowns. God's timing is perfect.