Arizona and rain are not usually typically spoken of in conjunction with one another. All the reason why the rain was all that more metaphorically and spiritually pervasive on this trip.
Andrew and I met in the Houston airport where we both had layovers. We were lucky enough to get the same flight to Phoenix and had our first experience on an airplane together. (Crazy right? We have been to Arizona, Wyoming, Utah, California, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, and Florida together; not a single one of those trips was made by plane). Having traveled so much in the air alone,especially lately, it was great to be sitting next to Andrew. I however, made a fatal mistake when I sat at the window seat. I was begrudgingly subjected to Andrew’s constantly moving head and hands observing the world at thirty nine thousand feet. Now as I’m sitting alone on my return flight to Houston, I would give anything to have him bugging me.
The main purpose of this trip was to see Andrew’s cousin Stephanie exchange vows at the Grand Canyon; Shoshone Point to be exact.
Friday night was spent in Flagstaff breaking bread with family, pouring libations, and two stepping at the Lumberyard.
I simply cannot articulate how lucky I am to have found such an amazing man, with such an amazing family. They made me one of their own almost immediately, and for that I am incredibly thankful.
Saturday, wedding day! We made our way up to the Grand Canyon and checked into our room at the Maswick Lodge. It was such a beautiful day for a wedding…and then all the sudden, it wasn’t.
Rain. And lots of it.
We drove to Shoshone point, hoping the rain would let up.
As we shuttled to the point, Andrew’s Aunt Bev turned around and said to us, “This is great!”
To our surprise she wasn’t being sarcastic. In my somewhat limited experience with weddings, when speaking of rain at an outdoor ceremony, precipitation is usually greeted with animosity and anxiety, seldom praised.
She then continued, “This is great, God is just showing us that he’s in control, and that he’s going to take care of us. Then right at the right time he is going to send us blue skies to remind us he loves us and that we’re important”.
In her voice there was no wavering. This was fact. She knew that it would happen that way.
Admittedly, I had my doubts.
I doubted until I saw her spoken fact come to fruition in the form of a rainbow stretching from the bottom of the canyon out past the collected worries and questions of a dry exchange of rings.
The rain stopped exactly at the five o’clock scheduled ceremony time. Towels dried the seats, guests found their places, and blue skies opened up like it was the first time they ever had.
The bride found her groom, the sun found our faces, and we all further found the glory of God in his beautiful creation, and perfect timing.
The rain had yet another lesson for me this morning. One of the largest monsoons Arizona has seen in the past decade hit, and hit hard late last night. Andrew and I were woken up multiple times to the tune of the emergency flash flood warnings and advisories. After we woke up to the only alarm we had intended to, we got in our rental, left the house in North Scottsdale at 5:30 AM, returned our car and made our way through security.
We walked up to my gate, and they were already boarding. With tears in my eyes, and a brief goodbye, I boarded a different plane, set to take me to a different airport, to eventually return to a different home.
Sometimes it really sucks. My heart longs to not have to explain to our friends and family that we live in different states. My body yearns to be held by the man I promised my life to. I know we are both doing what we think have to do right now for a bright future, but when you look back from that walkway as you’re boarding just to get a glimpse of your husband for the last time in a little while, it weighs heavily on your spirit.
The rain taught me that the weather on the surface is so arbitrary. You have to push through the storm and continue upward to get to the blue skies. Because eventually, you’ll be on top of the clouds looking down on a storm that once captivated you.
2 months down, 6 to go. The blue skies are in February. We can do this.