As bridesmaids we were asked to write Shayna a letter, so I did, but as many things for your wedding, I felt like I should be doing it for you as well. I didn't have time before the wedding so I'm writing it now. In my letter to your beautiful bride I wrote about some of the silly things we did as children growing up like playing husband and wife, and I assured her that you were great husband material because you always made sure our doll children were fed and well taken care of. I also assured her that you were head over heals in love with her, because its written all over your face and everything you do. I have never seen you put someone first like you do her.
The main thing I really want to tell you is that I am incredibly proud of you. It would have been so easy as an older sister to get jealous of the fact that you're getting married first and that you have someone to spend you life with, but that thought never came to my mind, not once during this whole process. I can honestly say that I'm happy for you but more than that I am proud of you. This weekend I watched you become a man in such an incredible way. I have been seeing bits and pieces of this for awhile but it seemed to take full form this weekend.
Here are the things that stopped me in my tracks, and brought me to tears:
- You have Grandpa's desk and you use it for Bible study just like he did. I noticed this at the Wedding Shower, and the fact that Grandpa's picture sits right there for you to see as you study also was a tear jerker.
- You, not Shayna, you picked scripture to put on your front door. I was already emotional the night we talked about that on the phone, but when you told me that, it was whole different form of emotions. "As for me and my house we will serve the Lord." That is such a powerful statement for you to make and then to boldly put that on the front door for the whole world to see means there is no shame!
- You picked a woman that loves God more than she loves you. One time in the car we were talking about the kind of people we wanted to end up with, I said I wanted someone kind of like you and you said, "no offense, but I don't want someone like you, you're too Jesusy" I remember trying not to be offended and thinking you just wait and see. Ha, you picked Shayna, she just might be more "Jesusy" than I am...whatever Jesusy means! :)
- You pray, by yourself, with your friends, with Shayna. This has become an important part of your life and that's awesome.
- On Saturday when you made it a priority to pray with Shayna before the wedding but without seeing each other that was huge. I stood there smiling from ear to ear watching you be so mature and confident. Then I heard you praying, I don't know what you said but I could hear your voice talking to God and I don't think I have ever been prouder of you. Shayna should feel incredible comfort and safety knowing that her man knows how to have a conversation with God.
- Your face when Shayna got out of your truck and walked down the aisle to you. I have no idea what she looked like at that moment, but watching you making faces so that you wouldn't cry, as she walk toward you was almost too much! :)
- When Connie started talking about your character, this sister beamed with pride. She barely knows you and she sees the incredible man you are, not just the sarcastic guy you like to be sometimes.
- You looked kind of like Grandpa Skelton on Saturday all decked out in your western tux.
- You chose a Unity Cross and it was very important to you two that it be part of your ceremony.
- You chose to get married in the one place that I never fail to feel God's presence. And God was most definitely present at your wedding on Saturday.
As your sister sometimes it is hard for me to see more than the little brother that I grew up with. You were my first best friend, and probably my first "enemy," we spent many hours playing together and many more driving each other crazy. The longer I am away from home the more I appreciate all the time we had together growing up. I always look forward to seeing you when I come home. I know and understand your love for guns, camo, and trucks; and often that is all I see from you. But not anymore, on top of all of that you are a man of God. I know that He owns your heart and guides the decisions you make. I am one incredibly proud big sister and very happy for you and your new life. Also, thanks for picking the sister I have always wanted! :)
P.S. We have to dance together at my wedding, some day, because I wish now we would have danced together at yours!