I watched my wedding video the other day. It was the first time in years I had. I didn't intend to watch the entire thing, just searching for a particular moment and then a quick exit. My heart couldn't bear to take much more. Not long after Milo came in the room and was entranced. He wanted to watch every bit of it (although let the record state that he still thinks he's going to be the one to marry his Mommy. Swoon.)
A lump formed in my throat watching myself weeping as I walked down the aisle toward my groom. I listened to our vows as we promised each other forever through whatever trials we would face.
Who would've ever guessed the trials to come?
In the video I saw a very in love, and also a fairly young 23 (almost 24) girl who spoke her vows with conviction and heart. Yet looking back there's no way that girl could've understood the magnitude of what they truly meant.
Through sickness? Through trials? Through uncertainty? Through death?
I said yes, yes, yes wholeheartedly that day. As did he.
I meant it wholeheartedly that day. As did he.
How many times in life do we say "yes" to things and really have no true inkling as to what we are saying yes to?
A yes is always a leap of faith.
A yes to the commitment of marriage is not an easy one. It's work. Certainly it is filled with memories, happiness and joy. But it is also filled with a hefty dose of compromise, dying to self, tribulation, pain and sometimes loss.
As I look at the giddy bride I was that day, I see a girl who had no idea what was coming.
How could I ever have?
Life rarely turns out the way any of us expect. We have our plans, we have our ideas, we have our vision-and then there's life. Life is unruly, unpredictable even cruel. Very, very, cruel.
No one can ever guess when you say yes to something where it can lead. You are only doing the best with what you know. At the end of the day you are jumping off a cliff and trusting in whatever comes next.
I was texting with a girlfriend the other night about life. We were talking about a difficult moment in time she and her family are walking through. Then the conversation came back around to my life situation. And once again it was a moment of a friend reiterating how painful life can sometimes be. And how sorry she was that I've had to endure such pain.
"I never in a million years would've thought my life would turn out like this, on so many levels" I told her.
As my fingers were typing my mind was going back to that video. That day. That vow of forever no matter whatever. The fairytale moment I thought would always remain a fairytale.
"If we only knew" she said. "Wonder if we had the chance to choose another path if we would?"
"I don't think I would" I answered. "Because any path I could've chosen to avoid the pain would've also robbed me from the joy."
That's why I would say yes all over again, even knowing what I know now.
Yes I could try to shield myself from any kind of pain life may throw my way. Yes I could try to avoid loss by never reaching for gain. But that's not living.
In the end I would rather have lived with all my might, dreamed big, followed my heart then to never have experienced it at all.
I say yes to LIFE. Every bit of it. To success and failures. To joy and pain. To highs and lows. To love and even to loss.
In many ways the heartache I've experienced has caused me to understand, hold close and value even the smallest yet most important of things. That in turn has lead me to the truest of joys. To the understanding of what life is really about and what matters most.
I'd never take back that yes.
I'd walk down that aisle again in a heartbeat.
Saying yes to love. To life.
To the journey.
No matter what may come.
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