Their newly built pole barn near their newly built house had yet to be defiled by any tractors, cars, tools, animals, or people. The poured concrete floor had yet to receive even a single stain from oil. The walls didn’t have a single cobweb. The darn thing even smelled new.
Until the caterers arrived with the food. The main dish, pot roast, of course.
The decorations were simple. The folding chairs were lined up in rows at the beginning of the wedding, and pushed to the side for the reception.
Melissa’s dress was modest enough to be worn to the temple or to a Mennonite church, even though they were married in a pole barn filled with a diverse collection of guests who mostly disagreed with their decision to be married.
Troy and Melissa didn’t care. They refused to let their friends and family members sway their decision.
Troy’s minister declined to marry them, and there was still the looming threat of excommunication. Troy refused to let that sway his decision.
Melissa’s bishop was willing to officiate even though they realized the sealing power of the temple ceremony would not be included and the marriage would last for the rest of their lives rather than the rest of eternity. Melissa refused to let that sway her decision.
They refused to let anything, or anyone come between them.
The wedding was held on a Friday evening a few days after they’d been given final approval and the keys to their new home. Forget a hotel. They had the most beautiful view of the landscape from the kitchen window, and beautiful curtains and shades in the bedroom window, which they didn’t intend to open for a long, long time.
After they’d eaten the obligatory number of bites of food and cake, taken the obligatory number of photographs, and hugged the obligatory number of guests, they kicked their family and friends off their property and Troy carried Melissa over the threshold of the door to their new home.
The carpet had never been walked on, the dishwasher had never been run, the laundry machine had never been used, and the bed had never been slept on… yet.
Troy set Melissa on the floor near the entrance to their bedroom and leaned against the wall near the door. “Can I tell you a secret?”
“I hope you’re comfortable telling me anything,” Melissa whispered, suddenly more nervous than she had been at the prospect of finally being alone with her groom.
“I didn’t want to get married.”
“What?” The butterflies in her center turned into thumping in her ears.
“Until I met you.” A sly smile grew on Troy’s face.
“Really?” Melissa blew out a long, shaky breath. “But I’m not exactly the kind of wife you dreamed of in your youth.”
“I have devoted my life to serving God, and to serving the land, and my community, and my church. But getting married wasn’t a priority to me. I didn’t spend my youth dreaming up the perfect wife.”
“What changed your mind?”
“You.” Troy lowered his head so that he was looking her in the eye. “You changed my mind, and my heart. You punched a hole into my world and challenged everything I thought I knew about life.”
“You confirmed everything I thought knew about life,” Melissa said, eliciting a confused crease on Troy’s brow. “I’m headstrong and determined to live on my own terms and not be seen as just a beautiful woman.”
“Hard to hide the beauty of an angel in white,” Troy said, his eyes playfully travelling the length of her wedding gown.
She ignored his teasing. “You’ve shown me that it’s okay to be a beautiful woman.”
“I have?” Troy pulled her into his arms. “How have I shown you that it’s okay to be a beautiful woman?”
“You have shown me that I’m a chosen vessel of God, prepared to bring your babies into the world and raise them and love them and protect them… while you protect me.”
The teasing was gone from his countenance and his eyes searched hers. His whisper was sincere, “I promise to protect you… and our babies.”
“I know we won’t always agree on everything,” Melissa said. “And I know there will be struggles and challenges as we grow together in our marriage. But I truly believe that God directs your path and that you live your life according to his plan for you.”
“I try,” Troy whispered, his voice wavering but his gaze never leaving hers.
“Troy, I honor you as head of our household and as the spiritual leader in our home.” Melissa felt a peace come over her heart and a single tear fell from each of her eyes. She took a deep breath and continued. “I will follow wherever you lead.”
“I will lead you in righteousness.” The intensity of Troy’s statement hung in the air and Melissa felt warmth from her heart emanating to the very tips of her toes. Her fingers trembled as she reached her arms up and pulled his face down to hers.
A passionate kiss sealed their commitment to one another. The rest of that night is too sacred for words, but the love they shared will forever remain in their hearts.