Walking Down The Aisle Alone

Taking a break from Lovely Letters for a little bit, to bring you some new things. Hope you enjoy!

I’ve been afraid to look at tragedy.

I flip the channel when the news comes on. I close my eyes at dead bodies during tv shows. I leave conversations where these dark things are being discussed. I’ve been through such pain, that I’m afraid seeing even the slightest bit more will break me. I’ve created a world where I pretend it no longer exists.

So, I was in a wedding this past weekend for one of my best friends. It was the perfect setting for this fairytale world I’ve been living in. I was surrounded by such beauty, such excitement and joy. I was walking around inside of her childhood dream and it had some magical moments.

But when they assigned groomsmen to accompany the bridesmaids up the aisle, I looked around for the man they’d paired me with and he was nowhere to be found.

He couldn’t make it to the rehearsal, but they assured me he would be at the wedding.

So, when all the bridesmaids started doing their walk of honor, I stood at the base of the altar ready to make my exit and with no one standing next to me.

Mostly humored, I still felt the slightest prick at my heart. This pointed to pain I have been trying to look away from. It was messing with my imaginary world where there are no wars, no deaths, no loneliness, no shame, no insecurity…only happily ever afters. It put salt in wounds that are not quite healed.

Finally, my moment came. I took a deep breath and stepped forward, determined to walk that aisle with head held high and in laughter. I began to tell myself that all I needed to do was tweak my mindset. In this chapter of my perfect world, I was the independent, confident, strong, flawless woman who had enough flair to own that aisle. I was ready to show the world that I didn’t need anybody else.

Just as I put my game face on and took that first step, I felt someone’s arm lock with mine.

Someone had stepped in.

It was the father of the bride, a man whom I trust, who has shown me love my entire life. Without thought or provocation, he saw me in need and he did not turn his head.

Something about that moment impacted me and until this morning I couldn’t quite pinpoint it.

Stopped at a red light today, that scene played in my mind and I heard a loud whisper: be the person who steps in.

But you can’t step in if your head is turned away. You were born to step in. You were born to ease the pain of others by nothing more than showing up. There are going to be needs that you cannot meet, but you can still choose to stand up, lock arms with them and walk with them wherever they’re going.

I know it’s easier to believe that it isn’t happening or that it will take care of itself. But you’re standing right in front of a world of people walking aisles alone and you’re sitting in your chair, hoping someone else steps in.

Be the person who steps in.

You’re waiting for provocation or invitation, but there isn’t always time for that, you know. They’re about to make a move and if you don’t stand up and grab their arm right now, the moment will be gone. Don’t let them walk the aisle wondering if loneliness is all they’ll ever know.

I hope we start stepping in, showing up and locking arms. I hope we offer others some stability, maybe even do a little dance and make them laugh along the way. I hope it becomes as common as breathing. I hope that without hesitation and at every opportunity we storm the aisles with a fearless and reckless love that tells that person they’re seen and not walking alone.