Today my friend, Katelyn, will marry her Prince Andrew. She asked me last summer to write something for their wedding. Their story is like so many of ours–boy meets girl. And yet? So very different. Because it’s their story. This is my heart’s prayer for them on this, their wedding day. It’s my prayer for your marriage too.
The musical cadence floats through the sparkling air.
Sunlight dances onto the altar.
Our walk begins.
My heart stills. I breathe, feeling your heart beat with each step forward.
The people fade
I see just one.
I see you.
I see the one—
The one I will walk with.
For better or for worse.
For richer or for poorer.
In sickness and in health.
I choose to walk with you.
A walk through mountains and valleys.
Joy and pain.
Heart-piercing sadness and soul-healing light.
A walk I choose.
When the Christmas tree remains up through June and our definitions of clean clash, I’ll walk with you.
When life is perfect and we live in a world of narwhales and unicorns, I’ll walk with you.
When students take you away from me, and our differences glare across the room, I’ll walk with you.
When I never have to measure up and my authentic self is accepted, I’ll walk with you.
When tears fall for reasons unknown and you catch the drops in cupped hands without question, I’ll walk with you.
When I want to know answers, answers that hold my life in the balance, and you don’t have them, I’ll walk with you.
When love for the game takes over and compulsions are your burden, I’ll walk with you.
I choose this walk.
Because there will be days of laughter, giddiness welling up within. Problems will seem distant and our merry will go round as we delight in the presence of one another. The beauty we share will bring light to our corner of this world.
I choose this walk.
Because there will be times when the scraps left on the table top will be more than the scraps of ourselves we have to give at day’s end. There’ll be angry words. Moments of agony, ripping the tissue of our souls.
Yet with each step, I’ll choose to hold your hand, secure, fitted together. And I will find you in the night, my feet searching for yours, our arms wrapped against cold—an anchor.
Because this walk is love acted out—lived out—breathed out. It is a dare to choose love when love is hard.
It’s a selfless walk, this walking beside love.
Not ahead. Not behind. Beside.
My shoulder against yours.
How can I help you put one foot in front of the other?
Because true love is never about me. Rather always about you.
Oh, the beauty unfolding when we both live selfless for the other.
And this marriage walk? It’s not just you. It’s not just me. It’s recognizing another pair of footprints in our sand. Those Jesus-love footprints never leaving, never forsaking. Refusing to allow us this walk alone.
Ours won’t always be steady. But the Giver of Love will make it sure.
And life walked step-by-step, side-by-side is a life of joy.
So I’ll walk with you.
Because this walk is a choice. And I choose you.
I’ll always choose you.