I'm not sure if you even remember who I am because it's been at least 10 years since I last saw you... but on January 25, 2003 you were the officiant for my wedding ceremony.
I was never one of those girls that grew up dreaming of what my wedding day would be like. Instead, I was off climbing trees, playing in the mud and participating in sports any chance I got. A wedding would happen whenever and however it happened.
The details were unimportant to me. What DID matter was that I would find a guy who loved God and loved me. I did find that and when we started making wedding plans we came to you and asked you to perform the ceremony for us... partly because we had no one else to go to but also because we thought we might have your support and encouragement.
Instead, I got a phrase that has stuck with me ever since. Not because it was mind blowing... at least not in a good way. Not because it was something that would change my life. It stuck with me because I couldn't believe you would say it.
Shortly before our wedding you insisted that we weren't ready and couldn't live on Mike's roofing salary. But you didn't stop there. You looked at us and said "Usually after performing a ceremony I go home and do a happy dance for the couple. I'll do one for you in a year if you are together and still happy."
WHAT A HORRIBLE THING TO SAY!
And also... you were wrong!
You see... sometimes "kids" that are head over heals in love can still be thinking straight and making good decisions. Sometimes those same "kids" know how to trust in God and know when God has brought them together. We did not walk into marriage lightly. In fact, we didn't walk into dating lightly. Instead, we remained only friends for much longer than most would. In that time we built a foundation that no one was aware of. We shared our hearts, our hopes and our secrets. We KNEW each other much more than anyone would ever know. Our hearts were becoming one long before we ever said "I do"... long before we even had a first kiss or held hands.
And we both knew we would marry the other long before we admitted it to each other or moved into dating.
I know that a couple coming to you saying "We've been dating for a month and would like to get married in seven weeks" can make you pause and wonder. But it would have been nice if you would have got out of your own head and your own ideas of how it all works and went to God asking him to give you wisdom in working with us. Had you done that you might not have said such stupid and hurtful things along the way.
We are almost eleven years in. It hasn't all been amazing but I'm going to guess your marriage hasn't always been amazing either. That's how life goes. But I can tell you that in those eleven years we have lived well off of Mike's roofing salary. We paid off school loans and car loans. We bought three cars with cash We added two kids and were debt free until we bought our house. We bought our house with 20% down and owe less than $50,000 on it. I'd say we are doing much better on that measly roofer's salary than many are doing on much more.
Here's the thing... It's impossible to unhear what you said. And it's fortunate for you that you were moved to another church not long after we married because I would have come to you for that happy dance a year later. Your phrase has stuck with me and in a sense I've been living my life to prove you wrong year after year. But I'm not going to live to prove you wrong anymore because the truth is you WERE and ARE wrong. And you will continue to be wrong. So instead of living to prove you wrong I am simply going to LIVE... and you can just know that you had a big moment of complete stupidity.
I don't need your happy dance because I have my own!