23 years ago I woke on a sunny December morning, butterflies abounding. Wedding day. Is there any more thrilling day in the life? Our courtship had been short and fast-paced, starting wedding plans after only a month of dating. Now, the dress had been borrowed and altered, the tuxedos ordered and picked up, the cake made and the church reserved and ready for decorations. Just miles away, the temple stood waiting.
That young woman is so very different than who I am today. I wonder, if I could sit with her that morning as she rushed to put on makeup and do her hair, what would I tell her?
Would I explain that the man she would soon kneel across the altar from was a good man? Should I tell her how he adored her and how he would do just about anything for her? Perhaps she already suspected this, but I know she didn't understand the depth of his adoration.
Could I whisper to her that he was not, in fact, perfect? That there would be times he would disappoint her, and that she would return the favor?
Maybe I should tell her that each baby she would have, whether the timing seemed right or not, was born exactly when it should be. She might like to know that she would have six boys and only one girl, but that girl would be all she needed and more. If she felt a bit disappointed that her daughter wouldn't have a sister, I could assure her that one would come along in a most unexpected way and that her two daughters would be the best of friends.
Would she want to know about the tears she would shed as she tried to figure out who she was when she was surrounded by babies and no friends? Could I tell her to not stop writing for years and years because she would one day regret ignoring that part of herself?
Should I give her some advice about body image and accepting the beauty within? Or maybe remind her the importance of flossing everyday?
Honestly, I don't think I'd say a thing. That young woman was not much more than a girl with stars in her eyes. She saw her new husband as her hope for the future, the father of her children, her best friend. The hard things she'd go through would test her to the core, but she would come out stronger and smarter. She would find out that love isn't easy, but he is absolutely worth the fight. She needed to learn for herself that marriage is a roller coaster with highs and lows, but if you hang on, it's a fabulous and thrilling ride.
I think of her that morning. Nervous, but excited. Hopeful and romantic, She was innocent and naive, but that isn't a bad thing. Because most of all, she was a girl in love.
And she still is.