This is the day we will celebrate as our anniversary. The day that happened a week before our made-public wedding.
Seeing Israel at the airport was almost surreal. We hadn’t see each other in three months. The meeting was sweet. My first thought was “He’s so skinny”. Apparently he’d been running more that spring and I got to see the results magnified. We greeted each other, looked into each others eyes unbelievingly and shared a few sweet moments before we scurried off to the car. We stopped at his place to freshen up. I put on the dress I’d gotten in Chile, showered and did my hair. He found a button down shirt and paired it with his orange and blue shoes. We were set. Ready to do this wedding thing. We kept looking at each other and realizing how strange it was just to be in the same place. We had communicated through skype over this time and we were only used to faces on computer screens. It was a very strange feeling, but oh so nice to finally be able to hold hands, kiss, and look close into loving eyes.
We had a little less than an hour before we were to meet my parents, my siblings, and my pastor for the wedding. We went to the courthouse, spewed out our social security numbers and addresses, payed a few dollars and were given our marriage license ready for our pastor to fill out.
We finally made it a tiny bit late to the hospital where we were meeting everyone. My dad couldn’t get the day off so my mom had arranged for us to meet at the chapel in the hospital where he works. It was the perfect size for our small group and pretty enough for our purposes.
One of the things that was completely special about this little wedding that wouldn’t have happened otherwise was that my pastor who I’ve known since I was about a year old was able to marry us. It made things very sweet and special and it was lovely to have his familiar ways in our little ceremony. He had us stand up front. We said our vows, barely realizing what we were doing, but very much realizing I had just got off a plane this morning and this was the second hour we had spent together in person this year. The ceremony was short and to the point, over in about 15 minutes or less.
My mom took pictures of us and the family and of course Israel had to set up a few himself :) Being the photographer that he is.
That wedding was lovely and allowed my siblings to be involved. And I can see how even that little deviation from our specific plans was in God’s plan for the beginning of our life together. This little visit (shortened considerably by my cancelled flight) let us see each other earlier, got the paperwork completed, involved my growing up pastor, involved my siblings, and allowed us a couple days together in english-speaking land before heading off to other places. It was a blessing.
The rest of the weekend was spent in normal newlywed activities, catching up on sleep, going out to dinner, surprising a couple friends with our married status (of course they were sworn to secrecy), organizing newly transported items (my dad brought all of my stuff from my room at home to israel’s little tiny duplex and we had to make that livable for him before I left) and just enjoying being with each other.
I flew out again on Monday morning. We could barely stand it. The only thing to bring our mood up a little was that there would only be four days of not seeing each other until we saw each other again and now we were securely married.