As 2020 came to a close many people are discussed how it was a year to forget, but that hasn’t been the case for us. COVID has affected everything that we have tried to do, but if I’m honest I’m very happy with how life has progressed. I left off part one with our engagement. From that point we spent time brainstorming on where our wedding should be. This was particularly complicated because I’ve lived in seven states and have friends everywhere. We settled on a destination wedding in the Tennessee portion of the Appalachian Mountains. In late February we traveled down to visit some venues and found one we really liked and booked a date. I had basically given up on ever getting married and it felt amazing to be planning the wedding that I never expected to have.
Just when plans seemed to be coming together COVID cases started rising in the country. As the weeks progressed COVID continued to rapidly spread and more and more lockdown and travel restrictions were imposed. This started a long running conversation that I think a lot of people were having about what to do in the midst of COVID. Ultimately, COVID drove drastic changes to our plans. First, we decided to sell my house because it could be ready for the market faster and started consolidating 2 houses into one. The plan had been to sell a house in July after the wedding when I wasn’t taking classes, but in the beginning of COVID with all the uncertainty we were concerned that the housing market would crash. In April with the virus running rampant and no end in sight we decided we couldn’t risk bringing all of our friends and family together so the wedding celebration was postponed until 2021.
The celebration was cancelled and the house was sold, but we still needed to get Married. We ended up having the only type of wedding allowed under New York restrictions, a Zoom wedding. I had the bright idea that I still wanted to get married at a place pretty but the weather was not agreeable. It was raining outside all day but it looked like the storms would break for our little ceremony. We drove over to a local park where we found a shelter and tethered a laptop to my cell phone for the wedding, right as it started pouring rain. We followed the script even though I don’t think anyone could really hear, and within about 5 minutes the officiant pronounced us husband and wife. We had a little tripod and remote snap button that we used to try to take a couple wedding pictures.
And that’s how we got Married.
I’ve been part of multiple weddings where the bride was anxious about all of the festivities and I would remind her that the only thing that matters is that guy standing across from her. What matters is that they are two people who love each other and are committing to share life together. Well, that was the only thing that turned out as I had imagined for my wedding. Even though the wedding was not what I planned, I am very happy to be sharing life with the man I love.
Since the wedding we closed on my house and have been on a 6-month purge of stuff so the house finally feels like it’s not bursting at the seams. We did squeeze in a mini-honeymoon to the Lake George where we did a little hiking and rock climbing. Being the gentleman that he is, my husband decided it would be a good idea to put what he considered a pretty (and kids football sized) rock in my backpack with my climbing gear. I thought my pack was heavier than what I carried up, but didn’t find the rock until the next day. Let’s just say I wasn’t thrilled when I found something the size of a small football in my pack, but now we have a “honeymoon rock” on the mantel.
All in all it was a weird year with masks, working from home, and limited travel, but I am happy to be married to the man I love. I struggled to write this post because while I had countless hours of anxiety about wedding plans and cried over not having family there, ultimately we are married. Many people have lost so much more than a wedding this year, our changes in plans don’t begin to compare with people who have lost family or friends. For us, 2020 was not just the year of COVID, it will always be the year that we merged our lives together.
I pray for our country and our world as the challenging year comes to an end. I pray that you can find the joy and the blessing, but also persevere through the challenges.
Romans 5:3-5 ESV
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.