734076_10151607253624619_619366226_nThe new year brings such a plethora of possibilities–new beginnings, a fresh slate, options that burst with potential.  But nothing says “new” like a wedding:  two people committing their lives to each other, for better or for worse, till death separates them.  Romance and dreams and expectations all rolled into one phenomenal day.  And so often, so much energy and emphasis is put on that one day, that the effort put into the living out of “for better or for worse” pales in comparison.  That was not the case last night.

Amy and Marty got married.  Much as many people get married.  There was a beautiful church service with the sublime intertwining of Christian and Jewish symbolism.  There was the amazing reception where everyone laughed and danced and sang songs with the word “love” in them to get the bride and groom to kiss.  There was celebration and music and joy.  Much like other weddings.

But this was about Amy and Marty, two people whose stories of personal challenge and hurt merged to create a story of love and redemption.  Two people feeling the loneliness of life and its messiness who found a heart companion in one another.  Two people whose stories seemed so different and in such a different genre that writing them together didn’t seem possible.

But it is.

Watching Amy come down the aisle on the arm of her dad was entrancing–her eyes were locked onto Marty.  Her smile was radiant.  You could sense the anticipation in her as if she couldn’t get down the aisle quickly enough.

Marty’s grin matched Amy’s for wattage.  And watching them come together under the chuppah that had been in her family for years was like reading the satisfying end to a really exciting story and having it turn out just the way you wanted it to.

Gratitude.  That’s what was communicated, that’s what radiated from these two.  Love, yes–in abundance.  But it thrilled me to sense the genuine gratitude that washed gently over all of us as we witnessed Marty and Amy’s vows.

I know how hard it is to wait for something you want really badly.  I know how haunting disappointment can be when you don’t get what you think you should.  And I know how easy it is to fall into a mental state of entitlement when you feel that God is denying you something good and right, something that makes more sense to have than to not.  Waiting for what I think I should have can be agonizing.

But waiting can give you the opportunity to develop that gratitude muscle, to allow the interim period–however long–to grow you in ways that receiving could never do.  I’m learning–slowly, mind you–that God’s gift in the waiting is that my hope rests solely on Him, not the thing I’m waiting for.  Gratitude comes from realizing that what we think we wait for isn’t nearly as significant as drawing closer to God in the waiting.  Because whatever is from His hand is more than worth it.

Congratulations, Amy and Marty, not only on your marriage, but in a lesson well-learned and well-taught.

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