The frost crackled beneath our feet as we strode across the field and into the morning light. The scene before us brought to mind images of a sunrise in Hertfordshire and Matthew MacFadyen walking through the mist in his long coat and riding boots. The temperature hovered just north of freezing, turning our words into soft clouds as we spoke. Austin took Juliana's hand in his and pulled her close, hoping that his embrace and his nearness would keep her warm. The morning was cold, but the light - oh, the light - it was everything that I hoped for. It peeked timidly over the horizon when we arrived, but as we lingered near the creek bed the sun crept over the tree line and boldly proclaimed its presence. Its arrival chased the chill from the air and the frost from the landscape, bringing about a change that was as abrupt as it was beautiful. However, not even the sun's warmth compared to the tenderness shared between these two.
Austin and his family have been part of my life for many years, and when Robert and I were engaged Austin told him that his heart longed for a love like ours - planted in friendship, rooted in trust, and nourished by God's grace. When I see the way Austin looks at Juliana, I know that God has answered his prayers with a love that is deeper and more joyful than he could have imagined.
"You have bewitched me, body and soul, and I love... I love... I love you."