Marrying you.

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photos by the lovely http://www.nickfrancisphoto.com

They always asked me if I was nervous. I said, “yes” every time because, well, wasn’t I supposed to be? All eyes would be on me. I would have to say words that made sense while people listened and watched. And “worst” of all, I was about to commit the rest of my breathing moments to existing with a single person.

The simple truth is, walking down the isle in a white dress, heels sinking into the grass, arms in arms with my father and brother as a guitar plucked its way through a melody I couldn’t quite make out, was the most effortless thing I’ve ever done. The second my cue began, I walked taller than I thought possible. I’ve always shrunk behind the achievement of people around me, hidden myself from possibility with insecurity, or painted the future in all sorts of shades of worry and anxiousness. But that moment, I’d never felt stronger or surer of anything.

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Certain-ness has always avoided me. I never let it near me. With all the choices I had, the majors to choose from the topics to write about the careers to pursue the outfits to wear, I was always confident I’d choose the wrong one. Nothing ever amounted to what it could be. I don’t know what was different about Cooper but I knew the first time he held my hand that I was certain about him. Maybe it was his inherent certain-ness that made me certain. He knew he’d marry me nearly a year before we started thinking about dating. He was like that. He knew his abilities, his limits, his desires and he loudly declared them. He’d always been that way. His assuredness complicated my life in a wonderful way. Now I had to choose to be certain of something or lose that something. And certain I was. I laughed. It seems silly — but my heart alone wouldn’t put up with the joy that was spilling out in my smile. My soul pulsed with confidence as I took the steps toward my groom. And Cooper nearly wept. “You’re the crier,” he kept saying. But it seems we both discovered foreign ways to express a foreign feeling of utterly unstained joy.

How beautiful. Cooper, my rock of a man, crumbled with joy at the sight of his bride. And I walked with so much courage. I think the fearlessness that led me down the isle is the same fearlessness I’ll have to have when happiness and security is scarce to be found. The thing I do fear is myself, that I will cower at the first glimpse of trouble. Yet because of that moment, that odd security that was unfamiliar, I know for certain about Cooper and I know for certain about our God. He dwelled in me as I vowed with a fire in my heart to follow my husband wherever he goes.

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It’s not simple, being married. I’m still a worrier. I’m anxious at everything and constantly needing to be reminded of the rescue that comes with Christ. And he’s still sure. He knows our purpose and our destination and that we are perfectly where we are supposed to be. The stark contrast of us is incredible. In ways we are the salves to one another’s aches and in other ways our frustration forbids us from understanding. But I’m never uncertain that he belongs right there next to me.