SA Weddings

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Juliet van der Westhuizen

Married on Apr 8, 2017 in Western Cape

Better Together #TeamWest

The scripture printed on our welcome frame at our wedding and also an extract of the scripture I read together with my bridesmaids as we broke bread together in the bridal suite.

“For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, But My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, Nor will My covenant of peace be shaken,” Says the LORD who has compassion on you.”
‭‭ISAIAH‬ ‭54:10‬ ‭

Not in a still and "holy" moment but amidst a flurry of hairstylists, makeup, buzz...God doesn't always need stillness. God takes ordinary life, ordinary moments and still takes honour from them as He looks far past our actions, and into our hearts. The same scripture God has used time and time again to speak courage into my heart- that NO matter what, He remains. God's kindness endures through it all.

The day of our wedding arrived and I felt like I woke up in a daze, as if I was observing things in slow motion, everything felt strangely calm. I wanted to soak up every moment, to feel every bit of love, to hear every laugh, get as many hugs in as I could manage. I wanted to look people in the eye, tell the people I loved how much I loved them. I wanted to be so present in every bit of it. As the start of the day swept by, I couldn't believe how beautiful every moment was. I remembering looking around at every person in my bridal preparation suite (considering I had 7 bridesmaids, my mom, Aunty Lynette, 3 flower girls and 4 hair and make up pros with a cameraman and photographer intermittently floating in and was a full house), and thinking to myself how humbled I felt to get to be surrounded by these incredible people. Humbled and in awe.

Walking down the aisle a little while later my dad turned to me and said "I love you my girl". I knew that he did. My dad has been telling me every day for as long as I can remember that he loves me. I love that his declaration felt so "normal" to me, he'd told me and shown me he loved me my whole life through.

I looked up from my dad's face and up to the top of the aisle... there stood the love of my life, with tears streaming down his face and a smile so wide. I couldn't believe we'd made it to this moment. Our story isn't ordinary, no one's is, but ours has had a few more twists and turns than most. Many of the friends and family standing with us witnessing God's "putting together" knew it too- and a deep joy seemed to reverberate throughout them all. As I turned to look at my beautiful mom sitting next to my dad, and I saw the peaceful look on her face I knew once again, I was made for "such a time as this".

Our wedding ceremony was one of the best hours of my life, full of Jesus, full of truth, full of thanks, full of promise, full of hope, full of God's presence, full of laughter, full of the hope of something new, full of life.

What continued from there on our was pure delight. Again, I took a moment and slipped away with my middle sister to our bridal suite , just to take a breathe amidst the fun of the reception and as we sat on the bed giggling about the day's proceedings and all that had been happening I took another snapshot in my mind. Abby, my brave and beautiful sister, facing so much, having faced so much and miraculously standing there earlier that night giving a speech, for me. She'd not wanted to be up front, but because of love, she did. She put me first. How did I land the two most generous, love filled, amazing sisters in the world? I don't know, God knew I needed them I guess.
As I spun around the dance floor later the night and caught glimpses of each of my bridesmaids and I knew I'd chosen well. These girls had loved me for years gone by and I knew, without a doubt, they'd love me for years to come. I had keepers by my side.

Wait, how could I forget to mention THE kiss. Not just a first wedding day kiss, my very first kiss, after 30 years of waiting. Well to be honest I had kissed Callum under the school lunch table when I was 4 years old. Hehe. Other than that...I'd been waiting. It was worth the wait, not because the first kiss was earth shattering. Though it was very...very lovely and felt like the most natural thing in the world. It was worth the wait because I knew the good pleasure of my Heavenly Dad saying "well done". I'd listened to His voice, I'd chosen Him first, before I'd chosen Pierre, and so kissing Pierre in that moment felt like a "meant to be" moment. It wasn't about that kiss, it was about all the moments that had shaped my life story by not opening the door to that first kiss. It was about the story I could tell others about, of God being enough for me and Him being enough even when I'd hoped for more in those moments, longed to love and be loved. That first kiss was my worship God, my sacrifice of praise, my declaration of His worth.

So, to sum it all up. Our wedding day, for both myself and my most wonderful husband was our perfect day. We have no regrets, no "if only we'd...", we have only hearts brimming with thanks and awe at God's goodness, mercy and grace towards us. Waiting, on God's timing and plans, it's always worth it. As I sit and write this my very new husband (who I seem to feel like I only love more every day) sits next to me typing away, and as I look from him out at the breathtaking ocean view from our suite.... I know once again, no matter what our future holds, God's kindness will remain. The adventure continues, one week with my forever man. #bettertogether #TeamWest

**Little did we know that a few weeks after I first wrote this down, my husband's brother, one of his groomsman, would pass away in a motorbike accident and our vows would get 'very real, very fast' and every memory we'd have of this day would become even more precious than before.. Adding to the surreal heartache was the knowledge that my own brother passed away in a motorbike accident when I was just 15 years old. Through it all we remain confident of God's kindness and love**


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