As I sit on my couch wrapped up in Maw’s quilt and sip my coffee, I look down at my left hand and I notice something different. It’s been there over a week now and yet I still find myself catching my breath when I look down and see it shine. This new piece of jewelry brings so much emotion and it has taken me this long to really articulate what’s going on inside of me. Part of why it has taken me so long is that I have been working keeping my mind occupied with details of our upcoming festivities and trying to plan out as much as possible in the first few weeks so that the rest of the time can be spent a little more relaxed. Now that I’ve had a day off of work and have had some downtime, the reality is setting in.
I’m a new girl. I’m ENGAGED! I’m spoken for. I’m betrothed. I SAID YES! (Well technically, I said “Is this real life?” but eventually said YES!) I am going to be a wife and we are going to spend our days making each other more aware of ways that we can be more like Christ as we serve Christ and His church. I will be gaining a new family, a new last name, will be monogramming different letters and as exciting as it is that the days I’ve dreamt of since I was a little girl are upon us, I’m still missing something. Something big.
See, I am no newbie to this whole “planning a wedding” thing. While I have never officially planned my own, I have sat with girls and their mothers as they came into my mom’s flower shop and we went over every detail. I have stood next to Maw as she decorated countless brides’ wedding cakes with little roses and swirls. I have loaded glassware and candelabras and linens into our van headed to make some girl’s dream come true. I have stood at the back doors of the church and told the flower girl when it was her time to walk down the aisle and I have washed dishes, finished off the last of the punch and loaded all of that equipment back in the van for us to go home when it was all finished. And now that it’s my turn, I want all of those things for my own day.
I want to see my mom wrapping boutonnieres for my groom and his groomsman. I want to run into Maw’s house like I did after school as a kid and dig into the bowl of “cake scraps” as we called it and devour the little shavings that were sliced off the top and sides to get the tiers perfect. I want to hear mom yelling at my dad over the phone because he can’t follow her directions to deliver the centerpieces to the right venue for the reception. (I mean, how hard is it to “turn on the second OR third street to the right OR maybe left, the one next to the big tree”?) I want to fight with my mom over whether or not the confetti roses are coral enough to fit into my color scheme and I want to quote “Steel Magnolias” and watch “Father of the Bride” over and over again in the flower shop as we pull this thing off.
But here I am. Planning what will be, no doubt, the happiest day of my life without them and it just feels wrong. I am so completely ecstatic to be marrying M and spending my life with him but doing it without my mom and dad and without my grandmothers and grandfather, without my aunts and uncle just feels wrong.
But I am grateful. I am grateful to have learned from them. I am grateful to have a piece of them within my spirit. I am grateful to still have my siblings and folks that are just like family to do this with me. And I am grateful to know that the spirit of the Lord brings freedom from pain, freedom from grief, freedom from anxiety and brings peace as my days grow chaotic. May my focus be on finding comfort in Him when the pain grows unbearable and on making much of Him as we bring praise to God and offer our thanks for His work in mine and M’s life thus far and as we dedicate our marriage to His Glory.
Please do lift me up in prayer. Grief comes in waves and as I have come so very far in allowing God to heal me in my brokenness, this new chapter in my life brings a new dimension to my healing process. Also, be praying for us as we plan our special day. We are working on a tight budget and are doing everything we can to keep it simple while still having a day where our closest friends and family can come and celebrate this time with us. November 1st will be here before we know it!