Gratitude. n. the state of being grateful : thankfulness.
Even the definition seems lacking. You know the feeling – the times when you say thank you or maybe you say thank you thank you thank you and it still seems lame and weak. I feel that way, writing thank you notes to the amazing, gracious, generous, beautiful people near and far, friends and family, and even what seemed to be quite nearly casual observers who barely know us but did something, or sent something or shared something.
In the middle of all the rush and slightly chaotic busy-ness of throwing a wedding and reception, I couldn’t stop and let it really sink in at the time because doing that – that act of reflection and true thanks giving – would render me completely helpless and overwhelmed. We were floored by people’s grace toward us, and I don’t mean just gifts – though the gifts were beyond incredible and generous – but also “simply” kind words, thoughtful advice, stories and reflections on their own marriages and weddings and families – there were so many ways that people participated in our marriage, it was truly overwhelming.
I think though, what really struck me most was how people responded to different things in our wedding – the mid-aisle exchange between my parents and my husband – the way we had communion – the vow that Rob wrote which was 500 times better than mine – and then the lanterns of course because let’s face it, that was pretty epic. I didn’t even think we were going to light them all until Rob announced it – I thought we were going to just light one, but I am so glad we did that.
We still have people tell us how they were blessed, moved, how they were challenged to think about their own marriages and renew their love to each other, how they thought about marriage and unity in a new way, or simply how much the love of God was seen and felt throughout. It was an honor to be a part of these responses in our guests, our friends and family, who served as witnesses to what God has done in our lives and it is our prayer that our lives will continue to be a light on the journey for everyone who sees us.
And no, this isn’t our thank you card. We’re still working on those 🙂