June and Everything After

August 11, 2022 | Kelli Dalrymple

After a 12 hour day wiping noses, butts, and kitchen countertops, presumably with different implements, there is nothing better than a good sit with a good scroll. I spend the majority of my waking hours with toddlers, and sometimes scrolling through my phone or feed helps me to return to the world of the adult. 

While covered with yogurt, peanut butter, and other unidentified substances and sprawled out on my couch (also covered with the same substances), I am drawn to images and Instas of clean cut, classy, chic people who took a shower that morning. These likenesses transport me from the bone tired, brain dead, basic moment I’m having on the couch to better times when I, too, took a shower every morning. 

Recently, my soothing screen time has drawn me to a sweet spot in the gigabyte galaxy where my wedding photos are stored. Every time I find them on my phone and start scrolling, I relax into a catharsis of joy, remembrance, and amazement. Instead of comparing my present state of smelling like rotten milk––and urine? yup, urine––to another person’s seeming perfection and more appropriate aroma, these photos transport me back to a day where it all made sense and I felt incredibly secure and significant. 

My husband, Derek, and I met and got married in the twilight of our thirties, when the majority of our friends were shuttling spawn to travel soccer matches and little league games. Both he and I had reached a point in our lives and our singleness where we felt like though there was a desire to cleave to someone else, marriage was not in the cards. When we did meet and connect on that first date, it was totally unprecedented and uncanny. The two of us had longed for a lifelong companion, and we both found such a person in what seemed to be a barren wasteland for relationships and romance. 

It kinda makes sense that I love to scroll through photogs of the day our lives changed forever. The cropped and expertly edited images reveal dear friends in delightful places with dreamy details. I loved every single thing about our wedding day and wouldn’t change it one iota. From my dress, to our sparse but spectacular wedding party, the forested florals to the officiant, it was a day that I wish I could relive in the flesh again and again.

The breathtaking beauty of our wedding photos is not only a credit to our photographer, our wedding venue or my husband’s dashing good looks - I can’t stop ogling these images because I was made for weddings. You were too. 

Weddings, marriages, white dresses and black tuxes all remind us of what we were made for––connection, communion, and cohabitation with One who knows us, sees us for all that we are and still calls us “Beloved”. In all of us––married, dating, single, and satisfied or anywhere else on the marital status slide rule––there is a place deep inside that wonders if we are worth getting to know. 

For a long time, I felt like I wasn’t worth knowing or pursuing. I didn’t date in high school, was a bit of a recluse in college and went on my first date as a 30 year old woman. I was single and downright afraid to mingle the majority of my adult life. I remember at one point a stranger with whom I was exchanging small talk with at a bridal shower realized I was 32, unmarried and not dating. In the face of such statistics she abruptly asked me, “What’s the matter with you? Why isn’t anyone interested in you?” It was the question I was asking myself on the regular as well. I felt inadequate, unlovable and like a second class citizen most of the time. Anyone else? 

After I got engaged I still wrestled with the same line of questioning. Was I attractive, engaging, kind, humble, sexy, ambitious, thin, educated enough to get married and stay married? There was always a reason to doubt my own abilities or my fiance’s motives. I was in such tornado of trepidation about our impending nuptials that at one point I gave Derek back his grandmother’s wedding band and tearfully bid adieu to him and our relationship. While in another state. In a borrowed truck. In a strip mall parking lot. At midnight. 

Here is where my internal dialogue differs from the biblical narrative: the church (all people in all nations who align themselves with Christ) is called a bride in scripture, and this motley crew's connection to God is likened to a marriage. The prophet Isaiah speaks in glowing terms about how God willingly and lovingly engages in a union with the church, and get this…DELIGHTING in said individuals. Isaiah continues to speak about how this union between God and his bride the church changes them from forsaken, desolate, and alone to desirable and worthy of rejoicing over. I get no wiffs of cold feet from this coupling at all. 

In no uncertain terms, God’s people are viewed with the same glowing eyes my groom exhibits  in our wedding pictures. No matter how many times faith is questioned, backs are turned, or enthusiasm wanes thin, God is a faithful husband who pursues his people and wins them back, time and time again. His people are secure and content in his arms––just as I was in those photos on that breezy day in June.

You and I are made for this kind of security. This kind of delight. This kind of vulnerability, acceptance, and forgiveness. 

Both on earth, and as it will be in heaven.


Kelli Dalrymple is the Liberti Kids Director at Liberti Church Collingswood.



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