My "joy" photos were all taken at a wedding we attended last Saturday.
* (and the songs featured in this post are written and performed by the band Cedarwell, A.K.A Erik G. Neave, the ecstatic groom)
It was joy-filled alright - a sweet amalgam of love, family, food, drink and music .
I can't help when I'm at a wedding but to think of my own.
There I am, all of 22-years-old again in my mother's wedding dress, and high-heeled shoes too narrow for my feet, blissfully oblivious to the hurdles looming ahead.
That first layer of love, the newlywed layer, is gauzy and delicate as a bridal veil.
Then weeks turn into years and the bond between husband and wife is tested, that first layer torn by pregnancies, children, grad school, school loans, by two different personalities with two different methods of communicating, stretching and humbling a couple the hard way.
Via the stitching together of a thousand sacrifices, compromises and apologies, however, a new sturdier layer is constructed, more durable (weatherproof) than sparkly - but sometimes still sparkly.
Sometimes, more sparkly than ever.
I am in love with love that "bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (I Cor. 13:7)".
I find great joy in looking back and realizing, with no small amount of wonder and gratitude, how far my darling groom and I have already come, since then when we were staring into the canyon preparing to hold hands and jump.
It's good to reflect on the lessons learned (what doesn't kill ya, makes you stronger), important to celebrate the milestones reached, despite the obstacles in our path.
And on we continue, more one than two...or six I should say. True love begets more love - loud, messy, "keeps you always on your toes" love. Love you rock to sleep and pray you can carry with an open hand.
Congratulations to Erik and Meaghan! Cling tightly to one another, be ye bound up in Christ, in Whom love, perseverance and forgiveness is continually replenished!
Peace and joy to you, lovelies! Live happily fully in the present ever after - where our merciful God and thus healing resides.
Our prayers, hearts and support are with you.
Do you have a photo of "Joy" to share? Link to it below.
Next week's theme will be Autumn.