Thursday, October 11, 2012

Reflections down the Aisle

After six months of marriage, I wrote this post saying we are "drawing the blueprints to ensure that the foundation of our faith is solid enough to build up a marriage."

It's hard to believe that on Monday we will have been married for one year! As is typical with time, in many ways it seems to have flown by (weren't we just celebrating with our friends?!) yet in other ways I see how we have both grown so much this year.

Before John and I were married, I presented him with about 15 letters I had written over the years "to my future husband." I started writing these when I was in 10th grade - before I even had my first boyfriend. I knew I would want my future husband to know how I'd matured in my thoughts on marriage over the years, how I valued my faith, and how I saw grace and forgiveness in my life. Little did I know that high school dramas, emotions, and lessons that I expressed in my letters were already being experienced with me by my future husband! (For those of you who don't know, John and I have been friends since 7th grade, but we didn't start dating until we were 19.)

At our rehearsal dinner, I read this poem to our family and friends about how my friendship to John turned into love. I thought it'd be appropriate to share this poem today, as I'm so thankful for the blessing of our marriage.

Reflections down the Aisle

October 15, 2011
Written by: Stephanie Shackelford

This man down the long aisle from me –
with a treasured, loving, and slightly stunned gaze –
is the same sweaty teenager who coached me
on how to throw a football like a guy.

If you had hinted to me as I climbed into the front seat
that this boy who waits for his mom in the carpool lane
would be my husband in ten years,
I would have promptly persuaded you of the impossibility
because, frankly, he is an inch shorter than me –
inexcusable in twelve-year-old eyes.

What I couldn’t see then were those seven years later
when devotion deputized for doubts,
and he drove sixteen hours through Midwest snows
to visit me in Nashville for twenty-four. 

I didn’t know yet of his encouraging words, leadership,
passionate dedication to all he is committed to;
and that at age twenty I would be running with my future husband,
realizing that I would run the length of Lake Michigan’s shore
if he would always remain alongside me.

Here I am now, walking down the aisle,
and my maturing eyes have not only watched him grow taller
but also transform from my ninth grade Homecoming date
into a man of Christ, my best friend, and my husband.

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