To Be Loved...

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Wedding Day

May 1, 2021

I sat there staring at my reflection in the mirror. It was my wedding day, a day to be elated, but so many thoughts were running through my head.

“Will he be happy with me?”

“Stacy…”

“I’m so broken, how can he love me?”

“Stacy…”

“Do I deserve to be happy?”

“STACY!!!”

I was startled from my thoughts as my sister, Sarah, shouted my name.

“I’m sorry Sarah, what were you saying?”

“I said it’s time to finish getting ready. The ceremony is about to start.”

“OK, I’ll be finished in just a minute.”

“Hurry up! You don’t want Jake to think you left him at the altar, do you?” Sarah chuckled as she walked out of the room.

As I turned back to the mirror to put on my finishing touches, my mind wandered to Jake and how he saved me just one year ago today…

“No, I don’t want him to think I left him.” I smiled to myself, got up, grabbed my flowers, and headed to the back of the church. My father reached out to me and gave me a hug.

“You look so beautiful! Are you ready?” he asked with tears in his eyes.

I may not have known my father for very long, but I’m so grateful that he is here to walk me down the aisle.

“As ready as I’ll ever be,” I nervously answered him.

I realized at that moment that my bridesmaids had already walked down the aisle and it was my time. I took a deep breath and put a nervous smile on my face and nodded to my father to proceed.

As the music played, my father began walking me down the aisle. I noticed that the church was packed with people I hardly knew, but bravely walked alongside my father. There was only one person I wanted to see, and when I looked straight ahead, he was there at the end of the aisle waiting for me with the biggest smile on his face. I couldn’t help but relax a little and smiled back. “This is it, there is no turning back now,” I thought to myself.

When we reached the front of the church, my father gave me another hug before placing my right hand into Jake’s left. Jake and I walked up to the priest together.

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to celebrate the bonds of Holy Matrimony as these two young people before me become one.” The priest began.

As the service proceeded, I could feel my heart race with nerves and excitement for the moments we would share our vows, exchange rings and end with a kiss. Jake’s thumb rubbed against the top of my hand, which tells me he was feeling the same way.

“Jake and Stacy have decided to recite their own vows they have written. Please face each other and join hands. Jake, you may start.”

“Stacy, from the moment I first met you, I felt a connection that I have never felt with anyone ever before. I know we met under unusual circumstances, but I always felt the need to support you, care for you, provide for you and love you unconditionally. My vow to you is to continue to provide everything I can to offer support, comfort, warmth and love for the rest of our lives together and even beyond. I love you with all my heart.” Jake smiled while my eyes filled up with tears.

“Stacy, it is your turn.” The priest continued.

“Jake, when we met, I had no clue who I was or anything about my life, yet you were there for me through everything as I relived it over and regained my life. You helped me when I had no one, provided me with everything I needed and more. You comforted me when I couldn’t sleep, held me when fear took over and loved me, even when I couldn’t love myself. You showed me that no matter how broken I thought I was, I deserved your love and you helped me put the pieces back together. You even found my family who I thought I lost forever and then let me go so I could get to know them again. I know things haven’t always been easy and they won’t always be going forward, but I promise that I will allow you to help me through it. I promise to be there for you when you need me as well and support you in all your challenges and triumphs. I promise to love you with my whole heart for as long as we shall live, and even longer.”

When I finished, Jake squeezed my hands and I noticed the tears in his eyes, while mine continued to flow down my cheeks. Jake then reached up and wiped them away before the priest continued on.

“It is now time to exchange the rings.” Sarah, maid of honor, and Jake’s best man, Jordan, gave the priest the rings. “We bless these rings as a token of love and a promise made to not only each other, but a promise made to God. The Exchange of Wedding Rings represent the vows and promises the bride and groom have exchanged. They signify to the world that they belong to someone special and someone special belongs to them. Jake, please take Stacy’s ring and place it at the end of her fourth finger on her left hand and repeat after me.”

“I, Jake, give you, Stacy, this ring…”

“I, Jake, give you, Stacy, this ring…”

“As a sign of my love for you,”

“As a sign of my love for you,”

“of choosing to share my whole life’s journey with you,”

“of choosing to share my whole life’s journey with you,”

“and of my knowing that in marrying you”

“and of my knowing that in marrying you”

“I shall become much more than I am,”

“I shall become much more than I am,”

“I give you this ring, with the pledge”

“I give you this ring, with the pledge”

“That with you, I shall become my highest expression of God,”

“That with you, I shall become my highest expression of God,”

“Sharing the gifts that I have and I am with you and the world.”

“Sharing the gifts that I have and I am with you and the world.”

As Jake finished, he slid the ring onto my finger. He had the wedding ring attached to the engagement ring and it was absolutely beautiful.

“Stacy, please take Jake’s ring and place it at the end of his fourth finger of his left hand and repeat after me.”

“I, Stacy, give you, Jake, this ring…”

“I, Stacy, give you, Jake, this ring…”

After completing, I slid the ring onto Jake’s finger and smiled as I looked into his eyes.

As the musicians sang our love song, Jake and I walked up to the altar and lit our unity candle together, officially uniting our lives together as one.

As we stood back in front of the priest, he finished the ceremony. “I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss your bride!”

Jake pulled me close to him, bent down and kissed me softly yet passionately.

We then turned to face our family, friends and others who came to wish us happiness.

“I now present to you Mr. and Mrs. Masterson!”

Everyone began clapping and whistling as the “Wedding March” began to play. Jake and I walked down the aisle to the back of the church and when we got to the end, he turned and kissed me again.

We stood at the back of the church with our bridesmaids and groomsmen as our guests left the church as they wished us happiness and blessings.

Sarah, Jordan, Jake and I met with Father Adams, after everyone left, to sign the wedding papers to make everything official. We then spent an hour or so taking pictures with the parents, grandparents, siblings, extended family and several of just the two of us. There was still so much celebrating to come, but I was already exhausted.

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