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"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."
Sir Winston Churchill


The Wedding

It's one of those moments no one tells you about. No one tells you that after planning a wedding for seven months -- gathering details, crying, fussing, moving, cleaning, selecting, pushing, creating, coercing and paying -- that you will spend 6 hours fussing over yourself -- to get every detail perfect -- and then end up standing in a hotel hallway utterly and completely alone.

I am by the bank of elevators, my bouquet and blue embroidered handkerchief in tow. I cannot get too close to the windows, lest someone catch a glimpse. The Bride is a white glittering secret; a half-glimpse of the trumpet swan, sailing alone at dusk, not to be looked upon, not to be touched.

A million things are racing around me. A million thoughts, a million feelings. All I can do is wait in silence. The hall is empty; no one coming downstairs; no one using the elevator. I am trapped in an eerie vacuum of anticipation. I don't know if the ceremony has started; whether anyone has tripped down the aisle; whether my precious baby girl has tossed her little pink petals with ease or coercion.

And his face is at the forefront. What will he say? What will he do? How will he look when his swan finally sails in, ready to be seen, felt, touched and cherished? It is the most naked moment of my life.

Alone with the Lord, I pray quietly. "Please get me through my vows. Please don't let my knees buckle, Lord. Lord, this is such a precious moment. I'm so glad You're here. I'm so glad You're my Father. I'm so blessed by You. Thank You, Jesus. Thank You for this moment. Thank You a million times."

And I can feel my grandmother beside me. I know she is smiling, that heaven is dancing with her laughter. But that joy does little to make me feel any more than a girl dressed in her Mother's clothes, masquerading as a woman who can walk tall and face forever with wild fire. I fight tears. This is it. This is the last moment of me, myself, alone. How bless-ed. How terrifying. "Oh, God... Strengthen me."

Then my father ambles around the corner in his goofy, confident, characteristically competent and easy way -- as if he does this all the time. He's not without sentiment, though. "Hey, sweeeetie," he says playfully. His silly confidence will resonate two hours later when he leads me around the dance floor to Louis Armstrong's, "What A Wonderful World." I will lay my head upon his shoulder. Suddenly all my little girl memories of Daddy will rush upon me. I will cry. "I love you, Daddy," I'll say. He'll swing me around and make me giggle. Everyone will clap.

But now, he has to lead me around the corner to a new life, to another man who will become my protector, my defender, my biggest fan. I step into the doorway. Pachabel's, "Canon in D" flows easily into the garden. Everything is beautiful. All the guests are seated.

Two things happen simultaneously. Jadie's face lights up like she's finally seen Santa Claus (gasp! "Auntie!") and my precious fiance takes half a step back and says audibly, "WOW."

I grab for my hanky. This is better than a Lifetime movie.

All my bridesmaids stand in waiting. All the groomsmen are at attention. I don't remember coming down the aisle. Suddenly, I'm there, at the altar, under the Greek colonnade draped with tulle and grapevines; before the minister, gazing at my life.

And he is so sure, so strong, so confident. His eyes are so clear and calm; mine so naked and needy and trusting. He gets through his vows just fine; cool and even, yet bristling with calm energy.

Then the minister prompts me... and I cow under the enormity. All the nights I cried out to God for this; all the tears and fear; the hopes and dreams; all the pain, the fumbling, the mistakes, the regret -- all are veiled in whispering secrets deep within my heart. His Voice has called them to me. Right now, right here. They are all standing at this altar with me, waiting for their turn; waiting for me to speak them. And I break. I let the old ones go. Finally they leave me be. And all that is left are earthquaking tears.

"It's okay," the Minister says, "you can do this."

And I look up into the calm, clear eyes of my heart's desire.

"I know," I say.

And so I do.

Now, all that is left is Peace.


Blogger worshipnaked said...

I'm so glad all your dreams have come true, WG. That's how it should be.

4:28 PM  

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