The most beautiful thing

Raw, imperfect, intense, honest, inspiring. I would use all these things to describe something beautiful. I would also use them to describe the wedding I witnessed this weekend.

Against the backdrop of a pasture in the Nebraska Sandhills, with witnesses dressed in jeans, dresses, boots, and hats seated on hay bails, my young cousin and her new husband vowed to love each other and love God until the end of time.

Sure, sure. Weddings happen all the time, you say. Yes, but not like this one. First, they stripped the day of all the pomp, circumstance, and bling that distract us from the real reason we are there. The beauty of love and commitment. Second, because this day wasn’t just about these two people coming together. It was about two families becoming one, and it was clear that God was in the driver’s seat of it all. It was deeply emotional and very intense to witness if you were willing to open yourself up to see all of its beauty.

In economic terms it was a very simple wedding. In all other ways it was an amazingly fulfilling experience. What I admire most about this fearsome foursome (my aunt, uncle, and two cousins) is that for their entire lives they have purposefully chosen to lead God-focused lives. They are some of the kindest and happiest people I know. They have faced every earthly challenge you could imagine, but they have stayed true to God and true to each other. They have poured love into each other and into all of us around them. I have always been anxious to watch the lives of my two young cousins unfold.

This was a wedding that Keylee and Matt wanted. It represented every part of who they are. The setting, the attire, the scripture choices, the Unity branding ceremony (yes with cattle brands which was amazing!), the family prayer after the Unity, the way they smeared cake on each other, the surprise song Matt sang and played for Keylee in front of everyone. It was so raw and honest. So beautiful.

As we were driving back today, I was thinking a lot about how they built this life. I came back to just why I admire my uncle DM, my aunt Jenny, and my cousins Keylee and Maycey so much. Maycey talked about it in her speech in reference to Keylee, and the pastor spoke about it in reference to Matt and Keylee’s relationship. They are willing to help each other, even if it means putting themselves last. They aren’t resentful about it, they don’t expect anything in return, they help each other because they love each other unconditionally. They can love each other unconditionally because they get what they need as individuals from God and His perfect love for them.

This idea became even more clear as I was listening to a recent sermon from Veritas Church about connecting. What if we were able to live in a world where we got all of the love and validation we needed from God, so that we could love and serve others with no expectation or need of reciprocation. What a beautiful world that would be. What I beautiful world that is. I’ve seen it.

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