We would talk out our "lists" of what qualities were important in a man and what characteristics (shallow and not-so shallow) we would like "the one" to possess. I was always far more embarrassed to share mine than you were. Of course, as often as it was brought up in conversation, it was easy to get over that.
I'm pretty sure the majority of our teenage conversations went something like this:It baffles me how great our God is and how perfect His timing will always be. You've in every way, shape, and form protected your heart and body for the man the heavenly Father has chosen to be your soulmate. You have faithfully prepared to be not only a servant of the living God but also a wonderful wife and mother.
Esther: "Come on, Beth, who do you like?"
Beth: "Boys are obnoxious. Even if I did like someone, I wouldn't tell."
Esther: "Well, I am getting married someday and you will help and be in my wedding and then I'm going to have twenty-five kids and I really hope my kids have blue eyes."
Even though we talked about your wedding day so much growing up, I never could have predicted how your love story would fall together. The thirteen year-old me wouldn't have been able to see the amazing woman you've become and how overwhelming the goodness of God can be.
I have always, always known that you were a real gem and I was not about to let you settle for anything less than you deserve. You know that verse about the virtuous woman? That's you through and through, my dear friend! You work hard at everything you do, you love people, serve God with a pure heart, and simply beam with a beauty that can only come from within. Kevin is lucky to have you. No, actually, Kevin is blessed to have you.
The next few days mark the last of our times as we've always known them. Your husband will become your best friend, your go-to person, and your top priority - and all as it well should be. Part of this selfish heart of mine aches knowing that things won't ever be quite the same again but most of me is inexplicably happy for you. This week, I'm giving my best friend to Kevin. I know the Maker of your heart has chosen him to care for it and that through His grace, your marriage will be molded into something wonderful.
On Saturday, after the flurry of last minute wedding plans and pulling things together, those doors to the church sanctuary will open and you'll stand there as a child of God, my kindred friend, and Kevin's bride. And what a beautiful bride you will be! I cannot even begin to express how hard it'll be for me not to cry up there and you know how much I dislike crying in front of people! But you're worth every tear and every smile in that church building.
I will see you tomorrow and I will cherish every second we spend getting ready for your big day. I love you more than I could ever say! Congratulations, Esther, you deserve nothing less than happily ever after.
“True friends are always together in spirit." ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables