The time is here, y’all: I finally get to use this little space I have to gush about my sister’s wedding and, as best I can, articulate what it feels like to see your little sister in a moment as perfect and joyful as marriage brings.
Ever since we were little, my sister Lauren and I have never been storybook sisters. I often joke that even in the sweetest, most heartfelt notes I receive from Lauren, she always has a part that says, “Even though we are very different…” or “Even though we don’t always agree…” and it’s true! I’m sure any and all sisters reading this can agree that we all have moments like this, and it was no different for us. But no matter how different we are, we love each other so dearly – and the emotional writer side of me came to life dramatically as I walked through each part of Lauren’s beautiful October wedding day alongside her.
While the Type A person in me spent most of my sister’s wedding day keeping up with schedules, telling people what to do (hopefully in a nice way?), and internalizing one giant stress ball that ebbed and flowed until the last sparkler burnt out that night (shout-out to my husband, who was truly a God-send that day), there was another part of me that pushed past the details to really soak in and respond to the gravity of what it meant for my sister to marry the love of her life.
If I am any kind of respectable role model today – and I hope that I am – it’s because I had a gracious, loving “protege” who continued to look up to me when I was hurt and broken and didn’t even desire to lead. We are all desperate for that level of unconditional love, and it’s the ever-present commitment to loving me over the course of so many years that makes Lauren a true gem… and when you package up those 20+ years and deliver them in one emotional package to a MOH on her sister’s wedding day, the tears really start to flow. It was beautiful and hard and perfect. There’s no other way to describe it.
And as you have seen (and will see much more of at the bottom of this post) from the amazing photos Chelsey Loren Photography captured, Lauren and Anthony’s night was nothing short of magical. But for all of the perfectly hung string lights, thoughtfully-crafted playlists (guys, my sister killed the playlist game – best song selection ever), and the jaw-dropping exit that my sister and brother-in-law made as they drove off in an old-school Thunderbird — everything paled in comparison to the truth and the promise that God brought two people together that Saturday night that not only approach their commitment to one another in love, but they see this world and the people around them with an optimism and hope that not many of us can claim. I am so eager to see how God uses their marriage to do great things.
It’s hard to believe that this blog post is netting out shorter than most (have any of you noticed that I’m a little long-winded? :)), but I also think it’s fitting – because this is just the first page of the story. As I told my sister when she was quickly approaching her wedding date and we (well, mostly me) were fretting over the tiny details: being married is FAR better than even the most extravagant wedding day. That has been so true for us, and it is my prayer for her and Anthony as they walk into this beautiful mess.
Most of you have probably heard a quote by Tim Keller that no matter how many times I hear it, still has so much impact each and every time:
“To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.”
So I’ll end with this. To the person who knew me and saw me so clearly as the insecure older sister that I was, and yet fully loved me anyway: it is one of my greatest joys to see you find someone who will forever know and love you in the God-honoring way that you so deserve. I can’t wait to see what’s next for you.