As is custom, the matron of honor was expected to give a speech. I did not prepare at all. So when the time came I of course totally flubbed it. I don’t know why I didn’t prepare and I feel so bad about it.
Having some time since then to think it over, this is what I wanted to say…
My sister is one of the most sincere, sensitive, and loving people I know.
A few years ago when she was still in college after a meeting with her small group leader, she called me up in tears. She said they had been discussing forgiveness and the past.
Paula: “Lisa, I just have something to confess. *sniff, sniff*. I’m just so sorry. I never told you about this. *sniff, sniff*. But in high school you know how you would listen to that Charlotte Church CD all the time? *sniff, sniff*. Well, I really hated it (imagine the last half of that sentence squeeking up into the highest registers).”
Me: “Yeah, I know. You used to tell me that all the time. Sorry I played it so much.”
Paula: *sniff, sniff* “Well, that’s not just it. One day when you were at school I broke it into a million little pieces. And I never told you about it. I just let you think it got lost. I’m really, really sorry. I’ll buy you a new one if you want.”
Me: “Oh, Paula, it’s OK. It’s not that big a deal. I don’t really listen to Charlotte Church anymore.”
And I think at this point I started giggling a little and so did she. I mean how many people do you know that would call you up to tell you about breaking a CD eight or so years ago?
We have not always gotten along well and the CD breaking is mild compared to some of the stuff we did to eachother.
In a letter Paula wrote to me last night and in the past she has credited me many times over with saving her life or being the reason for her coming to church and receiving salvation. I don’t know that I deserve such credit especially when you consider some of the raging fights we had during church events. I wasn’t exactly the picture of Christ’s love in that way.
You see, my sister has always been so much more confident and outgoing than me. I honestly don’t know where she gets it from. I mean if I had been through half the stuff she has been through in her life I am sure I’d be just a shell of the person I am today. Yet somehow she has this inner confidence and grace about her.
I have to admit, I’ve always been jealous of this and that is what caused so many fights between us, even at church. When I had been going to our church for several months and people were still having trouble remembering my name, if I was new or who the heck was Paula’s shy and quiet friend, Paula after just two weeks of attendence, quickly had a close circle of girls that she would sit and giggle with. That spring we both got baptised together at the church picnic. Everyone was screaming, “Yeah Paula! Woohooo!” and I heard a single, “Who is that?” when it was my turn.
But eventually, I found my own niche at the church and we stopped fighting with each other so much.
I feel like my sister has been so brave in ways that I always wanted to be. She says she looks up to me, but I don’t know why when I look up to her in so many ways. Standing in front of our entire church to share on a Sunday, leaving for college, finding the job of her dreams, and not settling for anything less than the best.
I know that in Matt this holds true as well. I’ve only shared a couple weeks with Matt, but I know he’s perfect for her. Everything from silly stuff like somewhat weird indie music to serious stuff like a sensitive heart is like two puzzle pieces coming together. They just fit.
This and next few photos by Matt’s amazing sister Beth.
I’ve only been married for five and half years, so that isn’t much to draw from, especially in this day and age. But here is my advice to the two of you…
Communicate. Paula often says that she’s an introvert. I know I am one and this causes me to bottle things up until I explode it all out in a big mess. Let off the pressure slowly. Don’t wait until you are about to explode to say what you want to say.
Know that you are not always going to get your way. My first taste of this was actually in planning my wedding. Like many girls I had all these thoughts about what I wanted and how it was going to go. So when Stephen had an opinion that contradicted mine, I was actually a little offended. I mean hello, this was MY day. How quickly I forgot it was OUR day and he was just as entitled to opinions on the music, cake flavor, tuxes, etc. But more than wedding planning, you will have a lifetime of decisions that you will have to come to a compromise on. Work with each other. Don’t be stubborn, give in sometimes.
Love each other. Even when it hurts. Even when you are sick. Even when you are mad. When you are feeling particularly grumpy take a step back and ask if your actions are speaking love to each other. Oh, and you will feel grumpy. You are not perfect and your marriage will not always be picture perfect. You will go through rough times that really test you and your marriage. Cling to one another and fight for love.