This is the year of change, re-arrange, compromise and make-the-best-of-it. I never thought our wedding celebrations would end up the way they did, or that we would have so much uncertainty… and I never planned on trying to work out so many things, in so many different ways in just a few short months. I’m sure many brides and grooms this year feel the strain of trying to do the right thing and keep everyone safe, while not giving up all of their dreams.
At the end of July, we flew to Utah for Jeff to meet my family, and to have a small party with my family to celebrate our wedding and sealing. We were married last November in Michigan, and sealed in the Chicago temple on Saturday, March 21, 2020. We felt inspired and guided to “run” to the temple on the last day it was open, just hours before our state entered “lock-down”. Thursday night of that week, we met with our leader to get our paperwork signed so we could go to the temple. (For those of you don’t know about this process, you have to have a special paper, called a recommend, to be able to attend the temple. It signifies your willingness to obey God’s laws, and allows you the privilege of entering the House of the Lord.)
After we finished our appointment, as we were shaking hands – something we really miss – and he said to us, “you know you could just go up to the temple and get sealed this weekend!” I actually thought he was CRAZY! But, the idea would not leave my mind. I kept thinking that it would be so sad if my family couldn’t be there, and if most of our friends couldn’t be there, and I just keep feeling like this was NOT what we wanted. BUT, the thought would NOT go away. I call it a God thing. And it was. He guided us that weekend. It was NOT what I wanted, my family was not there. Only 3 of my friends could be there and I didn’t get the big celebration or party that I wanted.
But, you know what I learned? NONE of that matters.
Jeff and I were in the temple together, and we were sealed for all eternity. We had a very spiritual, beautiful experience in the temple that morning. I felt like a royal princess being escorted by the temple matron, whom I love, and we count it as one of God’s greatest blessings that we were sealed by one of my hero’s, President Duffield.
Today we still would not be able to go to OUR temple because it’s closed for remodeling. Some temples are open, and we might be able to get permission to go to another one, but the rule right now is that you have to attend YOUR temple. I thank God daily that we listened to His spirit that day and that we did not delay our sealing one more minute.
Our party in Utah was beautiful and perfect. We had it in my dad’s backyard and it felt like a full circle moment for me. All of my siblings, Jeff’s daughter and most of my nieces and nephews were there to celebrate with us. The beautiful mountains were in the distance and I felt my mamma’s love smiling down on me from heaven.
Nothing the last 5 months, actually nothing the last 5 YEARS, has been how I planned it. Nothing could have prepared me for all the trials, heartache and changes that I would endure. But nothing makes me happier than being married to this man, and knowing that I am sealed to him for eternity. Nothing brings me more joy than loving our children and dreaming of our future together.