Letter to a new bride


Dear newly married bride,

You probably don’t remember me.  I was behind you in line at the County Clerk’s office the day you picked up your marriage license.  I sat in the row of chairs against the wall of windows that let the June sunshine filter in, my three kids sandwiched between my husband and me.  You heard that I was there for passport applications, and you kindly turned around to point out the paperwork on the counter.  My husband asked if you were also applying for a passport, to which you cheerfully replied, “Nope!  Marriage license.”

We later overheard that you would be getting married the very next day.

The picture made sense, you standing there with your fresh french pedicure and flip-flops, your long blonde ponytail tied back loosely with a turquoise band.  You looked healthy and radiant, and ready to get married.

I mentally calculated the date, and it was then that it struck me.

Exactly ten years ago to the very week, I stood at the same clerk’s window, picking up the very same document.

Our marriage license.

I leaned over to my husband and whispered, “Do you think I should tell her that in exactly ten years, she’ll be looking like this?”  My arm swept over the heads of our three kids, and my husband smiled and let out a silent laugh.

I wanted to tell you then and there that you might be sitting in that same chair ten years from now, telling your nine-year-old not to throw frisbees indoors, and asking your seven-year-old where his shoes are.

Your nails will likely be chipped and softened by then, from countless sinks full of dish soap and bathtubs of bubbly water and squirmy, muddy kids.

Your eyes will still sparkle, but they’ll look more tired then, the dark circles under your eyes a near permanent feature.


Letter to a new bride
Photo Credit: Tela Chhe, Flickr Creative Commons


Now, your ring probably still feels awkward in its newness, and I bet you still drive with your left hand placed strategically on the steering wheel, staring at the sparkle as discreetly as possible while you drive.  A decade from now, you’ll still marvel at the sparkle when it catches the light, but it will have become a regular fixture, a tan line on your ring finger when you slide off the gold at night.

You will have broken your vows a thousand times, for “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  But if you hold on to His promises, He will take those shards and glue them back together every morning into a colorful mosaic cemented in grace.

You can’t possibly know the scars or the joys that will be etched upon your heart these next ten years.  You might face pain and trials like you’ve never experienced before.  Anything could happen, and everything could change — everything but this:

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

Cling to that truth, and you’ll be just fine.


Related Post: My Top Four Books on Marriage


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15 thoughts on “letter to a new bride

  1. So beautiful. Could any of us imagine where we are today on our wedding day? Everything is full of possibilities and love seems so easy. Better to be there for the brides when she first approaches the reality that her groom isn’t perfect and neither is she. Love the reminder to keep those new brides close and remember that pure love we had for our husbands.

  2. this was awesome, i loved every world, every detail, and like your husband i laughed too. to see ourselves in a decade from saying i do’s or even a decade from now what will life be like, what will we be like? wow. and your right all I’ve done in the last twenty plus years of marriage is hold on tight to truth, its all we have that doesn’t change

  3. This is beautiful, Kate! And this sentence is crafted with such grace, “But if you hold on to His promises, He will take those shards and glue them back together every morning into a colorful mosaic cemented in grace.” LOVE THAT! Thank you for this beautiful picture of marriage and motherhood in all it’s ordinary glory.

  4. Kate! What an excellent post! I would add that even though 3 kids are acting crazy (4 in my case) and we’re a little older and not as beautiful, the rings still shine, and the marriage is better, the love deeper, the commitment stronger than it was when we were standing in line for our marriage license.

  5. Thank you, Kate! I’ve got tears flowing down my cheeks after reading your sweet words. I already have the kids and the permanent dark circles, but as someone standing in her shoes, I thank you for your message of hope and grace and for a real picture of what marriage will look like. I have to say, I really am a little afraid of the broken pieces.

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