This is it, guys.
This is for realz.
I am getting married.
I am going to marry
a worthy and righteous priesthood holder
in the holy temple of God,
for time and all eternity.
Ours will be a marriage of service, we know, to each other and to those around us. We have been prepared, and taught, and blessed for this. Life is more than cuddles and kisses, and love is deeper than slow mornings and sunshiny days. Reality comes quick, and wedding days are about giving smiles to loved ones and celebrating with friends.
This is an important piece, good and right, for these are the friends who have raised us for this very moment. It is an answer to their prayers, a confirmation of their service, the consecration of the love they poured into us for years. It is, really, Heavenly Father saying He has accepted their sacrifices of loving and caring for us, and consecrating us to do the same. Love gets passed on this way, stretched this way, greater and further than we could do on our own.
That’s what the gospel does: exponentializes itself.
This is where I find myself tonight, at the temple, pondering this miracle of atonement and restoration. It’s more than just forgiveness. It’s a becoming.
I am becoming His.
I am becoming his, even Nathan’s.
I am becoming me.
Nathan says justification is just like on a document you are typing, where the words meet the exact margins on both sides, even though they are spaced funny in the middle. That’s what God has done for me, getting me in Order and cleaned up my margins, while we still sort out the sloppy mess inside (sanctification). There was both grace (love that I do not deserve) and mercy (punishment I do deserve withheld) in this description.
This what the atonement has done for me.
That is what Nathan gives me: compassion and kindness and goodness in ways that make me better, that make me more me.
And here I am, ready to be sealed.
It is both an ending and a beginning.
The bookends: I started coming to this temple when the current presidency was called, and now they will seal me up on their way out. What a gift to me, their ministry of love and kindness (and patience).
But really, it is only a beginning.
And tonight the family celebrated! My mom, my brother and his wife, and their six kids, and Nathan’s parents and his two sisters and their husbands, all of them joined me and Nathan for a fancy dinner and lots of laughter. We are all in awe of this, and humbled by it, and grateful.
I love his family so much.
I love my family so much.
I left dinner early, needing time at the temple alone.
As it grew late, I sat outside and wrote and journaled and typed this and cried and pondered the miracle of it all, what has transpired and what it is to love and be loved.
Papa, can you hear me?
Papa, can you see me?
Papa can you find me in the night?
Papa are you near me?
Papa, can you hear me?
Papa, can you help me not be frightened?
Looking at the skies I seem to see
A million eyes which ones are yours?
Where are you now that yesterday
Has waved goodbye?
I miss my father tonight.
He would love Nathan.
Tomorrow I am just wearing my temple dress for the sealing, and then I will change into my wedding dress in the foyer changing room instead of the bride’s room so that I can be with my mother.
There is so much to feel, all of it good, all of it so big.
Tomorrow night my friends come to celebrate, and we will put on a show that has been imagined but entirely un-rehearsed due to time zones. It will be amazing.
I will cry.
Because I am loved.
Because I love.
Because I am happy, happier than ever before.
Tomorrow is the day!