Sunday, September 15, 2013


September 15th, 2012.

My eyes cracked open at around 5:00 am, and I sat up slowly in my bed. Protestations from my body resounded; a combination of frayed nerves and a lack of sleep caused my heart and my head to pound in tandem.

I got up and paced around for a bit, being careful not to wake my parents who were snoozing in the next room over. The repetitive movement brought me no comfort, as my mind was being barraged with a never-ending cacophony of "What Ifs":

"What if the DJ is late?
What if I spill something on my dress?
What if I forget my vows as I'm standing in front of everyone?
What if I look fat?
What if I get some kind of food poisoning and throw up all over myself?
What if I trip in my ridiculously high shoes? I knew I shouldn't have gotten those shoes...Oh, sweet Lord, why oh why do I not think of these things??"

My fear of tripping in those high shoes might sound a bit overly-dramatic, but those were some pretty dang tall shoes, Readers. 
I was finding myself slipping into a small meltdown. I sat down on the bed, scrunched my face up, and began to do what it is I usually do when I find myself losing out to my anxieties: I prayed. Or, more accurately, I began to whine to God.

"God, I beg of you,
Don't let me throw up at the wedding. Oh, Lord, please, oh please don't let me throw up at our wedding.
Don't let me trip as I'm walking down the aisle.
Don't let me look like a fool! Please, oh please, Lord, don't let me be a laughingstock in front of my friends and family!"

My mind was reeling with anxiety as I listed each and every potential disaster. Just as my head felt as if it would explode with worry, I saw a flash of orange and black gracefully waft by my window, framed by the lovely pinks and light blues that go along with a beautiful New England sunrise.

I sat there, eyes locked on that spot. After a couple of seconds, it happened again, and that flash of orange and black was revealed to be particularly large monarch butterfly, happily fluttering about in search of nectar. Immediately my mind went from worrying about spilling red wine on my dress to my (very) limited knowledge of entomology, and I quietly said, "What're you doing out this early, you beautiful thing?"

I stood up and walked to the window. The butterfly had landed on a tree not far from my room, slowly flexing her wings. I felt my face relax, my lips forming a small smile. 

My body was still churning with nerves, so I pulled on a sweatshirt over my pajamas and walked across the street from the hotel to climb around the rocky shore for a bit. The butterfly fluttered away towards the small thicket of trees behind the hotel as I passed the tree she was perched on. 

I sat on a large rock and just watched the Atlantic, letting the peaceful, rhythmic music played by the waves provide some much needed comfort. I got up and walked along the rocks, enjoying the cool, salty air. 

One year ago today, I took that butterfly to be a sign of sorts; God's way of distracting me from my imagined disasters, and perhaps a sign of his approval. 

"It's okay. You're going to be just fine. This is part of my plan for you. Your marriage has my blessing."

I didn't see the butterfly after that morning, as she probably wasn't interested in hanging around all the noise and hullabaloo. And, as it turned out, I didn't throw up on myself. I didn't trip in my too-high heels. I didn't spill wine on myself, but my wedding veil did fall off after the wedding ceremony. 

My bridesmaids were on it. :-)
Our wedding day was the beginning of the happiest year of my life so far. It was a day that I will never, ever forget. 

I never told John about the butterfly.

Yesterday, John and I did somewhat of a pre-anniversary gift exchange. For our first anniversary, he gave me a beautiful necklace:

"It's okay. You're going to be just fine. This is part of my plan for you. Your marriage has my blessing."

Here's to many anniversaries to come! John, sweetheart, I love you so much!