Your Tomorrow Wife.

I haven’t been able to write in months, oh how I’ve missed it.

What with not owning a personal computer and the library keeping such odd hours, my face in the screen time is usually associated with classwork.  But now, as my bright tangerine Science folder lays off to the side waiting to have work completed, my very heavy heart needs an outlet.

This weekend started off so brightly.

My darling Abigail Esther Cook married the man I believe was designed to be her husband.  Though this was my 38th wedding extravaganza, I remain ever-sensitive to the romance, the answered prayers, the detail…I love it.

There were new wedding-related tasks I had never performed such as leading a 20lb cheese cubing effort, and also familiar ones such as bouquet-making, hair-curling, curl-pinning, makeup-applying, ribbon-wrapping, and emceeing.

Abi regaled the ladies-in-waiting with the story of how our very first encounter with one another included me praying (quite loudly) that God would  “find Abi a MAN!”

After a long and somewhat battered road to her heart’s home- she stood in a beautiful beaded gown early Saturday afternoon and said “I Do” to Mr. Justin Eugene Tubbs.  A man whose patience, godliness, and character where not only evidenced at that moment, but also the night before. 

At the rehersal dinner, we all gathered to share lasagna and laughter as the guests were invited to share stories about the bride and groom to be.  Justin’s old roommates had the crowd roaring and Dr. Cook and Stan’s tender hearts toward “Applejack” had tears pouring down my cheeks at a mascara-melting speed.

Lastly, Phil Wing, beloved music pastor at Apex, stood to speak.

I listened intently, because this man still can lay claim to having spoken one of my most beloved phrases in regards to worship… on a cold Saturday morning a few years ago, while leading a small worship-workshop, Phil simply stated that his idea of worship was “opening my mouth and allowing the Spirit to speak back to the Father.”

So, I set my fork down, stilled my napkin-twisting fingers and perked my ears.

Phil shared kind words about his dear friend Abi and elicited many a chuckle with his story of fooling her before she let on that she and Justin were dating, but somewhere in his soliloquy, I hung on to this…

While directing his words to Justin, he referred to Abi as “your tomorrow wife.”

For whatever reason, that sent a thrill through my heart, and as I snuck a peek across my table at the glittering blue-grey eyes of my darling Abi, the idea of being a BRIDE suddenly seemed so exciting again!  To have someone long for you, love you, want you as his own… I smiled quietly to myself and pondered the thought.

After too few hours of sleep, a wonderful morning with my favorite Cook girls and a lovely ceremony, I was preparing to give yet another announcement about the garter toss, when I snuck out of the reception hall and got a message that made me sick. 

My best friend’s sister was in an accident- no details- start praying.

I ran to grab a bridesmaid who also knew my best friend Aftan and we shakily prayed at that moment to the only One who knew the details.  With slight confidence that everything would be okay, we went back to being wedding guests.

I snuck in and out of the sanctuary, checking my text messages and making phone calls, until the most horrible words flashed across the screen… “Kate died.”

I ran out of the church, stood in the parking lot and curled over in my cocktail dress till I could wrap my arms around my knees.  I made more phone calls, in complete disbelief, as my heart sank and my stomach twisted itself inside-out.

Trying to regain some semblance of composure, I went back into the church to let Dr. Cook know I was leaving, as Abi passed by me with a grin stretched ear to ear, the starkest of contrasts shocked my soul.

At the very same moment that my precious, beloved Abi was happier than ever before… at that very same moment my precious, beloved Aftan and her precious, beloved family were experiencing true horror.

Two almost strangers and my friend Julie stopped me, sat me down, and took a minute to pray with me for the Hunts, and then I all but ran to my Jeep.  I sat in the front seat and called Katie and Jamie and Emily with sobs ripping through my throat.  As soon as I could get on the road, I raced home to Indianapolis.

As the last few days have unfolded, there have been thousands of tears, anger, silence, sleeplessness, hurt, confusion and sadness beyond comprehension for so many people that I love so much.

And yet, as I talked to Aftan that night, trying to decipher her blurried words, she reminded me that her sister was with her God. That no matter what, there was utter peace in where Kate was.

And right then, Phil’s words rang again in my head…

 “Your tomorrow wife”…
The significance and weight pressing in upon me. 

Although she wasn’t wearing a gauzy white veil or carrying a dozen roses, on Saturday February 7th, 2009… Katelynn Melissa Hunt ran into the arms of the One who loves her most of all.  The One who vowed to cherish her, the One who treasured her for every stitch of her patchwork, the One who truly loved her more than Himself, enough to die, enough to sacrifice, enough to save.

Kate, you are loved. You are missed.  You leave behind a family and friends that will forever have a you-shaped hole inside, but I thank our God that there is comfort in the fact that last Saturday, you had a wedding of your own … where your freed and sanctified soul flew to the One who called you home.

katelynn

“The bride belongs to the bridegroom…That joy is mine, and it is now complete.” John 3:29

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