Friday, September 9, 2011

How A Wedding Taught Me to Trust

(Photo: Jessica Fairchild)
We wake up early, and she wriggles with excitement when I hug her good morning. "It's today!" I say, and a smile escapes from her eyes and her mouth and she's grinning like crazy. Today, this beautiful woman, who I have known from days at Chop't and wandering through Old Town Alexandria, who tells me over and over that I am beautiful, that she loves me, who makes me tea lattes and walks to the WWII Memorial with me to explore our hearts and to laugh as we trip over the curb and say, "Good afternoon!" to a police officer at 8pm - she is getting married.

We eat half a bagel and the air around us feels light. It hums with some kind of excitement, some kind of energy that I haven't felt before. I look out at the light grey sky, watching as the breeze slinks between the trees and the passion fruit growing above the porch sways. She sweeps her hair over her shoulder as she gazes around her, a smile on her face. I look down at our feet, coral toes against the clean white kitchen tiles. It seems like just yesterday she was whispering into the phone all her love for this man, how it was growing, how she thought, yes, I want to marry him. And from those small words, that seemed so very unreal, so far from what might be possible, she is here, her bare feet grazing the floor, her brown eyes crinkled in laughter and I realize it: this is what it looks like to trust Him.

(Photo: Jessica Fairchild)
She disappears for a little while, to get her hair curled and braided and to put on the bronze and gold eyeshadow that makes her brown eyes glow. Her dad runs out to Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf to buy hazelnut lattes, and I remember how on my first visit to California we curled up in chairs and talked about our futures, and the world, and how we didn't know what was next, but we dreamed about it, about getting back to DC and laughing and seeking the truth. And she reminded me then, that He will surely do it (her favorite verse from Thessalonians), and I reminded her that we must be strong, and take heart, and wait for the Lord (my favorite verse from Psalm 27). And we planted seeds of our own love of Him in each other.

And as I straighten my hair, watch as its red glints catch the rising sun through the bathroom window, and hum a few bars of their song - "Somewhere Only We Know" by Keane - I shake my head and think about the journey: the surprises of love, how none of us would have predicted or believed that we would be here. But we are here, and she is looking in that mirror about to walk down that aisle, and I see the trust in her delight.

I'm humbled by it. Delight comes from trust. Not from knowing the next steps, the perfect plan. Not from being certain, but from laying her life in His hands and saying yes to love, yes to hope, yes to the unlikely promises. The prayers of "what next, Lord?" the humble us and bring us to our knees. And this morning, I look into my own eyes and I sneak a peek of her in the mirror, as she gets ready to become married, and I long, suddenly, to trust Him like she does. To let that kind of pure delight wash over me, and fill me up. To let her be the example, today on this most glorious, unexpected, and beautiful day of the beauty that comes from the heart that trusts Him. 

(photo: Jessica Fairchild)
So I slip into the purple dress and slip into delight, too. And I watch this beautiful woman, full to the brim with love, get married. The bridesmaids and I marvel at her, at the sun that bursts over the courtyard just as the ceremony begins, and the slight wind that almost seems to tell us that yes, the blessing is real.

So I watch her, with all of my heart, and I speak the words of my toast to the room, about the surprises of love. And I realize that this is a surprise for us all: that in two people who get married on a Sunday in August is hidden the example of delight.

And I'm so glad that I know her, that she pours out her heart and lifts it up, and reminds me, always, to do the same.

Trust in the LORD, and do good;
         Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
  Delight yourself also in the LORD,
         And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
  Commit your way to the LORD,
         Trust also in Him,
         And He shall bring it to pass.
 He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
         And your justice as the noonday. 

(Photo: Jessica Fairchild)


  1. Oh, Hilary! This is beautiful!!! Thank you so much for sharing all of this. It warmed my heart and made me smile a lot.


  2. what a special tribute to your friend. beautifully written.
    have a great weekend, hilary!


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