Walking Down the Aisle {Printable}

Isn’t life strange?

There are moments of overwhelming joy, when this world feels like a truly beautiful place. Then there are times of grief, when it hurts just to be alive; every day is a battle; hope feels far away.

And sometimes these disparate life experiences – the blissful and the horrible – collide. How do we make sense of that?!

The poem Walking Down the Aisle is based on a sequence of events surrounding my wedding day (10 years ago next month!). I’m only just writing it down now, as a reminder of God’s ultimate plan: to give us all a hope and a future – together, forever, with him…

At the end of the post are some family photos (including wedding pics!) and two printable freebies of Psalm 90:12.

May God help us all to lift our eyes above the good gifts he gives us, and to fix our gaze on him instead – because God alone can give us the unfailing love we need. ❤️

May God help us to lift our eyes above the good gifts he gives us, to fix our gaze on him instead. Click To Tweet

Walking Down the Aisle

I was young
And so was he
As we joyfully
Chose a new life
Together.
So many plans…
The wedding. A family?
My heart was just bursting
To walk down the aisle!

My fiance’s Nana was old and mute
And confined to her bed or chair.
Her husband long gone –
No family was there,
She lived alone
In a nursing home.

As we sat on her bed
Not much was said –
She was senile
And we were speechless…
But on her wall
Above her head
Hung dozens of photos
That said it all:

Wedding day bliss.
Two sweet little girls
The joys of new life
In black-and-white.
Two happy young mums.
Photos of grandsons –
Toddlers, school boys, now young men.
The first great-grandchild:
A birthday cake
And smiles! Lots of smiles…
Oh, my heart ached
As I shifted my eyes
To this limp, frail, old lady
From that vibrant, young bride.

My own wedding day
Finally came.
How precious!
A new life!
Together
“Till death do us part.”
As I walked down the aisle,
An unstoppable smile
Bubbled up from
Deep in my heart.

We sat in the church,
The whole tribe of us,
Silent, just silent
And waiting.
Two weeping daughters,
Four grandsons, two wives
And the new great-grandchildren
By their sides.

Soon our Nana was
Walked down the aisle,
As sadness
Squeezed dry
Our heavy hearts
And leaked out of
Our blurry eyes…
Hand on my belly,
I felt our unborn baby
Inside me – all safe,
And so close;
Her fully formed body
Like a blanket to me
A tiny reminder
Of hope.

Then we said farewell
And I held my breath…
Nana’s coffin was
A haunting reminder:
That in every life
There is death.

Soon our child was born.
What pure delight!
Such joy, such wonder,
Such love filled our hearts
As happy tears
Replaced shrieks of pain
And labour brought forth
All squirmy and screechy
A precious
Brand new life.

Now adorning our home
Our own photo walls;
Tell a bright and
New-same-old story:

Wedding day bliss
The joys of new life
Two sweet little kids –
Crawling, toddling, then walking,
Now riding scooters and bikes.
Smiles! Birthday cakes!
Timeless things,
The cycle of life:
One ends,
Another begins.

Oh, Father God,
Let us number our days.
Let us fix our gaze
On eternity.

This world contains
So much joy,
And such pain…
A brokenly perfect
Creation.

For You we wait,
As we weep
And we ache
For loved ones
And dreams
We have lost…

Come, Lord Jesus.
Please come soon!
For on that Day,
We will celebrate:
Your precious Bride,
Walked down heaven’s aisle…
And the long, long wait
Will then finally end:

Together. Forever.
With our precious
First Love!
We, the branches and
You, the vine;
Love so divine –
United at last!

– Ruth, 2017

Oh, Father God, let us number our days. Let us fix our gaze on eternity. Click To Tweet

Want to see some family photos? 🙂

Our wedding day. When we got married I was relatively healthy. We were both working full-time. Our eyes were on each other and our future together. How life has changed since then! God has chipped away at our proud self-sufficiency and our worldly outlook regarding the future. He’s also taught us that true love begins with him! The more we look to our First Love, the more love we have to give away – not only to each other but also to other people.

 

Nana’s funeral day. Here are some of the photos I’d seen on Nana’s wall that first time my husband-to-be introduced us. It was both beautiful and saddening to see her precious life moments displayed. Sobering… How fleeting this life is – it brings to mind 1 Peter 1:24.

 

At the cemetery. Our son was just a toddler when Nana passed away. He had no concept of life and death; he just existed in the moment, confident that his Mum and Dad would take care of him. (Oh, to trust in our heavenly Father this way!) He really enjoyed throwing petals into the grave where Nana’s coffin had been laid. We eventually had to stop him – his shrieks of joy were a bit out of place (or were they? I don’t know! Nana was now with her Lord). This little guy’s innocence brought a smile to people’s faces on a very sad occasion.

 

Back to our wedding day – two become one. Since that day we’ve learnt a great deal about the fragility of life. You never know what’s around the corner… The only solid rock is Jesus. Matt 7:24-25 was read out during the marriage service. How fitting, considering the storms that have raged since then!

 

My birthday, 2015 – one becomes two. I caught this shot of my husband and the kids while they were walking off to the toilet! It was the first outing I’d had in months, as I’m mostly housebound, and the weather was just glorious – a sunny, almost-warm winter’s day. Being chronically ill sure has helped me appreciate the small things in life!

 

 

Holiday, 2016. This was the first time we’d attempted a family holiday in years, since we’ve spent much of the last four years in crisis mode!! We opted for a cruise, as we thought it would be manageable for me. It wasn’t… I was unwell most of the time. So frustrating! 😩 While other passengers were out exploring islands, swimming, and generally enjoying themselves, I was huddled under the sheets in our little cabin, all weak and achy, and teary and frustrated that I can never take a holiday from my illness! (Wouldn’t it be nice if we could leave our symptoms at home and just take a break for a few days?) But I do have some treasured memories of our time away. Sometimes we can only start to enjoy an event after it’s over – once we’re lying down, flare-free, at home again. Thank God for photos! I thoroughly enjoyed this holiday through the pictures I took while on board! I wonder if that’s a small taste of the experience we’ll have in heaven? I wonder what moments in life we’ll look back on and remember fondly, once our pain is gone, and once we see things from God’s perspective?
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 🎁 Printable photo freebie! 🎁
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Below is a photo of my little boy, toddling across a bridge. I took this shot in New Zealand, 2012.

Preview of printable photo.
Click on the preview (above) to access the higher quality, printable version. You’ll find it in the Resource Library Photo Verses High Resolution Photos. (Need a password for the Resource Library? Click here.)
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Here’s how the print looks once it’s framed. 🙂  Alternatively, you could download the high resolution photo, to use as a lock screen wallpaper on your iPad / tablet.

 

 .Share the love with these Pinterest images!
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Are we Instagram friends yet?

Click image to view it on Fruitful Today’s (brand new!) Instagram account. You might find some other pics that you like there too. 😉

Photo credits

Feature photo of aisle and stained-glass window Flickr, Roger W, CC licence. All other photos are my own – you may share them but please do not alter them in any way, including removal of the Fruitful Today logo.

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