Whenever we told people that we had decided to honeymoon in New Zealand, we were invariably met with some version of, “YES, oh my goodness, you’ll love it. New Zealand is so you guys!” And oh, truly, we did love it.
New Zealand captured our hearts and in the few weeks that we were there, we felt a quietness and stillness we’d never felt before. We were stunned in every way possible by New Zealand’s rugged, wild beauty. She afforded us a slowness of life that we hadn’t realised had been sucked from our grasp in the months leading up to our wedding in Sydney. We had just experienced the most beautiful day of our lives – getting married surrounded by all whom we loved – and to be projected by that joy into our honeymoon where we ran and danced and laughed together in the fields and valleys of New Zealand was like exhaling and breathing afresh; releasing an enormous breath that we hadn’t realised we were holding.
It was the first time that either of us had been to New Zealand and everything about every single big and little moment was overstimulating and utterly beautiful to us. We soared over hilltops in a hot air balloon, we kayaked next to jumping dolphins in the wide, open fjord waters of Milford Sound, we rode horses through wildflower valleys, we held each other on mountain peaks and we indulged in wine, coffee, gin, cheese and some of the best meals that we’ve ever had. We wandered all over the south island and skimmed the surface of the north. A few of our days were spent in a stunning home perched atop a mountainside covered by pine trees and surrounded by snow-capped mountains. Another few days were spent tucked away by a fireplace in a gorgeous little riverside cabin tucked away in the woods. We, and everything around us, basked in a golden hue of sheer delight and thankfulness to God for the bliss of marriage. We met the loveliest people on our travels and our days of adventure were mellowed by days spent picnicking, reflecting and revelling, and it was all in a rhythm of rest.
I never wanted our honeymoon to end.
And it was in that very sentiment that God whispered to us of His endless affection for us. Amidst the soaring highs of our joys as we began our marriage together, He reminded us that we were finite. Our delight was deep and true, but the emotional layers of our marriage were inevitably going to change, fade and grow. In our humanity, we knew that we wouldn’t be able to sustain that heightened ‘honeymoon level’ of intensity and affection. But we got a taste of it, and we’ll continue to get tastes of it. Tastes of it not only within our own marriage as a wonderful gift from God, but ultimately, in the perfect, eternally sustained and unwavering love that God has for us, His people: His bride.
Our God is endlessly creative, wise, powerful and kind; and He carries us close to His heart (Isaiah 40:11b).
With Him and in His love, the honeymoon never ends.
Here is a tiny glimpse into the unparalleled beauty that is New Zealand.