Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Happy (07/12/07)
TITLE: Happy is Hard
By Kristi Sands
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“You may now kiss the bride.”
His eyes took one last deep stare into hers as he braced himself for his first official kiss as her husband. The twinkling tear in the corner of Lisa’s eye stopped him for a moment, and he lingered staring. He was making her happy. He loved that feeling.
The journey to happy had not been easy, though. Happy, in fact, was hard. It involved sacrifice. Time and again Jeremy and Lisa had to make tough choices to protect their love and especially to protect their purity. The scenes flooded through Jeremy’s mind like a winding reel of life on film – the night he left her apartment when all he wanted to do was stay, the sound of the door behind him, the tingle in his stomach, and the relief that came much later when the intensity subsided. He had seen Lisa in hundreds of situations, all replaying before him now - in grungy jeans and a t-shirt; standing before him in a dress with hair bounding from her head in curls; playing basketball aggressively with her teammates, laughing carelessly with her dad. Each vision of Lisa rushed through his mind as he stood before her. Each Lisa held so much beauty - beauty that he had long protected, long held at distance, long left untouched. And today was different. Today he would be able to love his bride freely.
Today the road of sacrifice opened the door and ushered them into happiness.
The path of life ahead of them lay open, illuminated, waiting for their footsteps. This path would start with an ascent up the very same aisle they had walked down just moments before. Only before Lisa came alone. Now, they would walk together.
Arriving here required self-denial and dependence upon God, and Jeremy knew that going forth in their new life would require no less. Happiness would always be “hard.” But the tear on Lisa’s cheek told him it was worth it. The tear told him she was proud. The tear told him that she loved him.
And he could stand it no longer. He placed his hand on the cheek of his delicate bride. He smiled, closed his eyes, and moved towards his wife. His lips met hers, now sealing their unity, now displaying their love, now announcing their happiness.
They turned and faced forward, the music started, and they started up the aisle.
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