For the last installment of our Marriage Stories series, I’m sharing a letter that I wrote to a gorgeous on the inside and outside bride on her wedding day. A good friend of mine, the mother of the bride, asked me some weeks before the wedding to write a letter to her daughter to give her on her wedding day. I was happy to oblige.
I’m only two years out from being the mother of the bride myself for our daughter so I knew this was something I wanted to participate in. Something I had to participate in. And I knew just what I wanted to write to her.
Jamie is married now. Her wedding was so perfectly perfect. She granted me permission to share the letter I wrote to her. I’m thankful because they are words I wished someone would have spoken to me 27 years ago on my wedding day. Words I wanted to share with others. Words I wished I had known to share with my own daughter on her wedding day.
Most of your life, I’ve watched you grow up and what a wonderful thing it has been to watch. I think you were about 6 when our families met.
I remember when we put together some devotionals at BPF for a church-wide study. You were probably in about 5th or 6th grade. You wrote something about “all my life” and I remember chuckling a little. Not mocking at all but just thinking it was so honest and cute. Your life had not been that long but you were already thinking in terms of “all”.
As a young, almost married woman, your “all my life” has so much more meaning. You know a lot more. You’ve experienced a lot more and it has been sheer joy to get to watch you continue to grow in your faith and go follow the right path. I’m not your mom but I know “mom pride” and I’m so proud of you!
I could give you an endless amount marriage advice. How you could do some of the things Tommy and I did right and how you should avoid the things we did wrong like the plague. How marriage can be both fulfilling and disappointing. The wonders and the woes. But I have something else I need to tell you.
Jamie, continue being and becoming Jamie. Yes, being Jed’s wife is important but sometimes we, as women, get caught up in trying to be the best helpmate God created us to be and we lose sight of being the woman He created us to be first. Be the Jamie that God created you to be SO you can be the helpmate He created you to be. Jed fell in love with that Jamie. You can become a better wife as you continue to become a better you. It’s not an either/or. It’s a both/and.
In God’s economy of the marriage relationship, it takes two wholes to make a whole one. In other words, you need to be a complete whole and Jed needs to be a complete whole. Your two wholes come together and make a complete and healthy one. This is the perfectness of intimacy. You can be better together when you’re better individually. It’s kind of like tithing. It doesn’t make sense on paper.
I want you to get to each leg of your journey and be able to say that “all my life”, along with all the other things you got to be and do, wife, teacher, mom, that you were always Jamie. She is pretty amazing and worth keeping around.
And since I can’t write this without giving you some nugget of marriage advice, here it is…
Communication is key. Sharing life together might be easy enough but as you share your life together, don’t just share your days and your words, share your soul.
And… read the book Boundaries In Marriage, by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. It’s in your pile of wedding gifts, btw. If we would have read this when our marriage was young, I’m confident we could have avoided some of the ugliness we’ve endured.
I’m praying for you both as you begin this wonderfully crazy adventure.
Tons of love for “all my life”,
I have very much enjoyed sharing the hearts of my friends and my own here during this series. There are such good words of wisdom and encouragement in this Marriage Stories series. I hope you’ll read each one and share them with others. Click on this link to see all of the posts in the Marriage Stories Series. Maybe we’ll get to do this again next November!