We got married on a Saturday. It was the day between Good Friday and Easter that year. Some church traditions call this day Holy Saturday. None of my traditions really used that term, but it had a holy sense about it nonetheless. That morning before sunrise our family and a few close friends gathered in a field and shared communion together. Our parents blessed us. It was a beautiful moment. The sun was rising, the woods and fields around us awakening. Bird song in the air and the voices of four people who had loved us first spoke a blessing over the two of us.
Words spoken in the morning air, words of hope and blessing from the heart of our parents, some of them taken directly from the words of our Creator. That blessing follows us to this day.
That day was also my sister’s birthday. As that morning gathering dispersed we wished her a happy birthday. I asked her permission before getting married on her birthday. She kindly agreed to share the day.
It was a strange thing. We looked at the calendar for the best day for our wedding. Two different Saturdays came to the top as the best options for our wedding, one in April and one in May. The April date was my sister Dorcas’ birthday. The May date was Stacie’s sister Katie’s birthday. In the end we chose the earliest date in order to get back to the business of making a movie a little sooner.
We got married on a Saturday. For the previous several weeks we were auditioning people to act in our first movie. By the time Wednesday rolled around we knew it was getting time to set aside the planning of the movie and focus on the wedding. A lady from church inquired about our wedding colors and had already decorated the church for Resurrection Sunday in our colors. Stacie’s sister Lori sewed a wedding dress for her. Our families planned some food and refreshments for the rehearsal and the wedding. My sister Ruth took photos of our engagement that we used for our wedding invitations. A friend of Stacie’s designed the invitation. And so we worked on the movie until sometime in the wedding week. Maybe even Wednesday or Thursday. Then we turned to the wedding preparation.
Some of my groomsmen built a cross with the help of her brothers that we used on stage for our wedding. Her brother Tim set up some stage lighting. Her sisters sewed the tunics that my men and I wore. My brother Jonathan brought in a horse and a buggy for us to use to leave the wedding. There were so many people that were working together to make the wedding day a beautiful moment in time. Stacie did not obsess or over plan any part of the wedding. I really liked that about her.
We were enjoying the moments as they came, looking beyond the wedding itself to the years that stretched beyond. The wedding itself would be what it was. Friends and family would gather. Words would be spoken. Our vows would be said in the presence of God and the witnesses. And then we would be married – for the rest of our life. We had talked about it. We really liked that part about the rest of our life.
Our time of preparation with Pastor Little Bear and Marilyn had set in us a good and proper expectation and hope for what the years might bring. They had generously sat with us and looked back over their years, letting us learn from their marriage even as we prepared for ours. Neither Stacie or I were too hung up on the details of what would actually happen on the day, that day was a doorway to the rest of our life and we were really looking forward to that part.
So on that Saturday afternoon we got married. Our vows were said and Pastor Little Bear pronounced us husband and wife. Stacie and I sang these words together:
I want to know Christ and the power of his rising,
Share in His suffering conform to His death.
When I pour out my life, to be filled with His Spirit,
Joy follows suffering and life follows death.
As we exited the stage my nephew Connor drew his sword and led the way for Stacie and I off the stage and down the aisle. Our married life began.
In the afternoon sunshine we ate popcorn and angel food cake with strawberries While chatting with friends. Our photographer pulled us aside for a few special photos. My sister Rosemary brought out a cake for us to cut. My brother Jonathan pulled the horse and buggy around to the front and our friends and families threw prolific amounts of bird seed at us as we made our way to the buggy.
Some jokester tied a lot of empty green bean cans to the back of the buggy. I still don’t like green beans that much.
A little later I was holding Stacie’s hand in the car driving off toward our honeymoon in Hot Springs Arkansas. Together. It was the first of countless hours of driving that continue to this day. I like having Stacie by my side in this journey of life. Today, Holy Saturday marks the beginning of our eleventh anniversary week. Next Saturday, the 23rd, will be the actual anniversary of the date we were married.
I have an entire week to celebrate. But really, I’m looking forward to what lies beyond, the next ten years. Don’t get me wrong, I am enjoying the moments. Taking each day as it comes, enjoying the journey toward the launching of our children on their journeys. The best part is, I’m doing it side by side with Stacie.