Here’s to New Beginnings

I was set up to believe that my wedding day would be a much bigger deal than it actually was. Sure, some of that was due to COVID-19 and realizing we would have to downsize (while also realizing that a small, intimate wedding in our backyard suited us better than the big production ever would).

But still…

I was waiting for that moment—anticipating the pre-wedding jitters as the magnitude of this decision sunk in. That moment never happened, because really the ceremony was little more than an official confirmation of a decision that had already been made, slowly, over the past two years.

On the day I read Levi Roper my vows, I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. That was not the case two years ago.

I remember that night so clearly. After three months of fighting feelings I did not wish to have, I found myself losing the battle. I had to address what was happening between us. I had to know.

And yet…

I had an entire list of reasons I shouldn’t pursue this. I imagined a hundred scenarios of things going wrong. In fact, I had only one reason to consider having this conversation at all.

I wanted this. Despite Logic’s attempts to reason me out of it. Despite everything I risked losing. Despite the easy path being to continue on with my life as it was before I ever heard the name Levi Roper.

Yes, despite all of that, one thought rang clear in my mind on the night of July 14, 2018:

“Damn the torpedoes. Full speed ahead.”

So I brought forth my questions and uncertainties and, one by one, he dismantled them all.

Now here we are—one month into a life I never dreamed possible. Mere weeks into a lifetime I almost never had.

All because I was afraid of new beginnings.

I still am. I have a hard time plunging into things where I cannot predict the outcome.

I’m practical, is all. You may not think a trait so simple and seemingly helpful as practicality would be the death of me, but it is, you see. Because pouring all that energy into something that isn’t going to last seems decidedly unpractical to me.

That’s why I find beginnings to be so daunting. Because choosing something worthy of cultivating is a challenge. Starting out and forcing myself into a rhythm is a chore. And knowing that I could work my hardest for naught… Well, that is disheartening, to say the least.

It is so easy, two years down the road, to look back on that pivotal moment and romanticize it:

Silly girl. Look at how things turned out. What did you ever have to be afraid of?

But I was afraid. Looking back on it now, knowing the ending, doesn’t take that fear away; it simply transformed it into something I can cherish with the gift of hindsight.

My favorite part of our story is that I chose him despite myself. Despite my fears. Despite the story I was trying to write for my life.

Levi was (and is) a new beginning. And I didn’t think I was ready for that.

The word God whispered to me as a theme for this year is Becoming. I am all too aware that I am in transition—that God is shifting me into a new season, despite my own plans.

Something new is beginning in my life and it scares me. It scares me because it is unknown and unfamiliar and not in the plan. It scares me because I can’t make out the shape of it quite yet and I feel like I’m walking helplessly into the dark. It scares me because everything I thought I wanted suddenly doesn’t feel like enough.

And I haven’t felt this afraid in two years, when I whispered my confession that, yes, I wanted this into the dark.

I don’t know who I am. I don’t know what I’m becoming. And I could think of a hundred things that could go wrong. I can think of a hundred reasons to stay the same—to cling to the familiar. Still, I find myself whispering into the darkness, “I want this. I don’t know what it’s going to look like or how long it’s going to last, but I want this. Despite everything.”

So here’s to new beginnings and the adventures they hold in store.

@jessicahackerphotography

2 thoughts on “Here’s to New Beginnings

  1. This is beautifully said. Here’s to new beginnings. I am also one who fears change. But I know this man you’ve married and I know this family you’ve married into. They are forever. Once loved by them always loved by them. Wishing you 2 nothing but joy.

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