Emily’s sweaty hands clutched her flowers and her heart raced as she turned toward the door. She had just gotten word that the mothers were being seated and it was time to go out there.
Her best friends, adorned in flowing yellow dresses, surrounded her. They were giddy with excitement. “You look amazing, Em!” Katrina gushed as she embraced her friend.
“It will all be over in 30 minutes, you can do it.” Robin said, holding Emily’s face. She kissed her on the cheek and hurried to take her place in the front of the line.
“Okay, this is your last chance,” her sister, Nell handed her a Kleenex. “Are you sure you want to go through with this?”
Emily nodded and squeezed her sister’s hand. “Thank you so much for all your help and support.”
“Okay, okay,” Nell said, dismissing her words with a wave of her hand. “Don’t get all sappy on me or we’ll both start crying.” She gave Emily a brief hug. “I love you.”
Emily shifted from one foot to the other as she watched her bride’s maids file out the door and into the sanctuary. Cannon in D floated through the air and she could hardly believe that this moment had arrived.
For months, she had planned and scheduled, and dreamed, and stressed and now here she was, at the threshold of a new life.
There were so many emotions coursing through her body all at once. She was scared to tread a new path in life, excited to be marrying her best friend, sad to be leaving her single life behind, and extremely nervous to be the center of attention all day long.
She couldn’t breathe very well as her father held out his arm. His eyes glistened with unshed tears as he smiled down at her. There was so much that he wanted to tell his little girl, but for the life of him, he could not find the words.
She smiled up at her Daddy, but quickly looked away. “Just put one foot in front of the other,” she told herself. “I cannot cry right now.” Tears started to build up behind her eyes as she held onto her father for support. Her shaky legs barely carried her to the sanctuary’s double doors now closed in anticipation of her arrival.
There she stood as she waited for her sister, the Maid of Honor, to take her place at the front of the church. She looked up at her father and took a deep breath as the doors slowly opened.
The wedding march began to play and the guests stood to their feet. She saw no one except the gorgeous man dressed in a black tuxedo standing at the end of the isle. He was smiling at her. She stared straight at him as she took her first wobbly step.
Her mind traveled to fond memories of the past two years. They had met at a church retreat. She had spilled grape juice on him while trying to serve communion. He took it in stride and they sat up half the night talking about scripture and what God was doing in their lives.
In the months that followed, they had a blast playing volleyball, going camping with their friends, and spending time with their families.
They went through the heartache of loosing a mutual friend to cancer, and experienced the joy of new life as Emily became an aunt for the first time.
Nathan was the man that she wanted to wake up next to every morning for the rest of her life. “Lord,” she prayed. “Please bless this day and each day after. I don’t want to take one more step if you do not go with me.”
Before she knew it, she and her father were standing before the Pastor. He invited everyone to be seated. “Family and friends,” he began. “We are gathered here today to witness the marriage of Emily and Nathan.”
The ceremony was like a dream. When it was over, Emily and her new husband Nathan turned to face their guests. They smiled at each other and then, arm in arm, took their first steps down the road of life.
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