Let me just start by saying that the year 2020 isn’t exactly going the way I planned it. I’ll just go out on a limb and assume I’m not alone there.
I, like hundreds and thousands of other brides, find myself questioning how this exciting, joyful, once-in-a-lifetime season of preparing for marriage has turned out this way. I’ve wondered “why us?” a countless number of times, feeling like I just can’t catch a break.
Yet, the fascinating thing is I’m pretty grateful for it all. You see, it’s a reminder that we aren’t promised these things. That we have a tendency to believe we’re entitled to days or moments or picture-perfect events. But the truth is, we aren’t guaranteed or even entitled to any of those things. Until something like your wedding day is slipping through your fingers and is entirely out of your control, you don’t realize how much you think you’ve earned or deserved it.
Now, please hear me when I say this. I pray for every woman reading this that her wedding day would be the one she’s dreamed of. Truly, I would not wish this time of uncertainty, rescheduling, and cancellations on anyone. I pray the details are just right for you. I pray it’s everything you’ve ever wanted.
But I also pray it’s not your hope and joy. I pray you know that you live in a broken world, which means you aren’t entitled to perfection. I hope you know you aren’t defined by the price tag of your dress, the wedding body you’ve been working on, the colors of your florals, or the food you serve. I pray your wedding day is so much more than the details of your Pinterest board and the fancy invitations and everything going as planned. I pray your heart finds comfort whether you have all of these things or none of them.
Trust me. It’s a hard pill to swallow.
When I was 9 years old, I read an old wives’ tale that said if you went to sleep with an onion under your pillow, you’d have dreams of what your future husband looked like. I spent months trying to figure out how I could possibly get an onion into my bed at night and out in the morning before my parents noticed. Truth be told, I never made it happen- too nervous about having to explain to my dad (who always reminded me, “boys are stupid, throw rocks at them.” endearing.) that I was trying to see my future husband in my dreams.
The point is, I understand your heart. I feel the gut-wrenching pain of having those moments stripped away at this time. But, you’re still getting married- whether it’s before, on, or after the day you initially thought it’d be.
I’m reminded of the story of Jesus calling Simon Peter. He tells Peter to push his boats out into deep water after a long night of fishing and catching nothing. I imagine Peter being reluctant to oblige, yet curious as to Jesus’ motivations.
It says that when Peter cast out his nets, they began to fill to overflowing. There were so many fish the nets were ripping, and he needed help. Even more nets and fishermen came, and the nets were tearing with the overwhelming catch.
A blessing so great they were drowning in it. Mercy too great for the nets to contain that they were bursting at the seams.
If looked at in a different light, this encounter with Jesus could have been seen as an inconvenience or a hardship. Torn nets and drowned boats are of no use to fishermen. Jesus just destroyed their livelihood. How could he do such a thing to them?
But Jesus saw the bigger picture. Jesus knew that, moments later, those men would find themselves with a much grander calling. He broke what needed to be broken in order to show mercy so severe it captivated them. He drowned only what had to be drowned to fix their eyes on Him.
He stripped away the things they thought their lives depended on so He could prove that He is all they ever really needed.
You see, Jesus knew that what they needed in the next season was not boats or nets- it was Him. I feel like Jesus is doing the same thing in this time we have today- clearing from our eyes all that we think we need, to give us full sight of Him.
It isn’t until the nets are breaking and the boats are sinking that you find yourself feeling knots in your stomach. Those knots make you realize you’re a lot more dependent on what’s drowning than you probably ever realized. But you don’t need them in this season.
I don’t need the wedding I’ve always dreamed of in order to be a good wife. I need Jesus. And that’s the simplest truth there is.
Don’t confuse sinking deep in mercy & blessings so great you’re drowning in them for an inconvenience. Seek His heart in this time.