You know how it is when you're about to get married, right? The day has arrived and because chances are good you have never been the center of such a grand-scale event there is a little twinge of panic that has taken up residence in your body.
Everything must be perfect!
The months (years?!) of planning are coming to a grand culmination. From the dress to the venue to the decorations to the menu to the flowers, every aspect has been pored over in great detail. This day is the grand finale of weeks, months, and sometimes years of planning. Done right, a wedding reflects the style of the bride and groom as a couple and pleases the senses of all in attendance.
That's a tall order to fill. No wonder stories of bride-zillas abound. The pressure, the stress, the cultural demands, the strain on relationships - who decided this was a good idea?
I remember not being too terribly stressed for our wedding. Cosmo and I have amazing families who supported us and did whatever we asked of them, never demanding their own way. On top of that, we're both pretty laid back most of the time and actually really like planning events together. But even though I was starting off in a bit of an easier position than some brides, I do remember the nerves in the days before the big day.
Let's break it down right now. These were the "What if's" that were running through my brain. What if...
- ...the flowers are all wrong?
- ...the flowers don't show up at all?
- ...no one shows up?
- ...too many people show up?
- ...my hair looks weird?
- ...my dress is ugly?
- ...I bite it on my way down the aisle?
- ...the flowers are too close to the candles and they start to burn during the ceremony (true story)?
- ...it rains?
- ...it doesn't rain?
You get the idea...and those aren't even the very worse-case scenarios we might entertain.
In the midst of my doomsday thinking, I remembered a conversation with our pastor during one of our pre-marriage counseling sessions. He said, "Just remember: no matter what happens, you'll leave here married." And that, my friends, is all that really, actually matters on your wedding day.
Since that time (almost 15 years ago now!), I have found that to be the single most important piece of wedding-day advice I ever received and it is one thing we make sure to always tell engaged couples we have the privilege of talking with - especially the stressed ones.
Application to everyday life
But you know, this phrase has come to mean more to me over the years.
In the Bible, God calls the body of believers "the Bride of Christ." I won't go into the details and theology of what that means, but if you're interested, this website gives a good, succinct explanation.
Anyway, back to my analogy... As the Bride of Christ, we are in preparation mode. We are faithfully awaiting the wedding day, taking care of all the details in similar fashion to the way we prepare for an earthly wedding.
Maybe we're nervous. Maybe we're stressed that we aren't getting things just right. Maybe we're concerned something will go wrong because things in this world often go wrong. Maybe we feel depressed or angry or disappointed or scared. Maybe we long for life to be easier or better or just different.
"No matter what happens, you'll leave here married."
It's the assurance of faith in Christ that plants this statement deep in my soul and sustains me when life is just plan bad. It's the knowing with the greatest depth of knowing that I leave here married. I leave here - this life - eternally secure with my Savior.
If you are a Christ-follower, what do you think? Does this concept give you some peace in a chaotic world or just in your chaotic situation?
If you aren't a Christ-follower and you've read this far, what do you think? I don't want to start a big theological debate over the inter-webs, but if you have sincere questions or thoughts, I'd love to hear them.