Our wedding wasn’t the best day of my life. It just wasn’t. It was a happy day, but it wasn’t the best day.
But please, don’t misunderstand me! I’m thrilled to be married to my husband. I love him so dearly! It’s just that the day we said “I do” wasn’t the best day of my life. And it wasn’t because a bunch of little things didn’t go as planned (they didn’t) or because enough people didn’t show up (they did). It was because something had been stirring inside my soul. Not only does that day signify the moment us two became one, for me it’s a memory stamped with inner wrestling and learning to die to self.
It all started months before our wedding, just weeks after our engagement actually. About the time when wedding planning kicked into high gear. (I’ve already voiced my feelings about wedding planning!)
Ladies from my local church gathered around this bride-to-be, and eagerly offered their help. And I needed it. I had only ever attended a few weddings at that point in my life, and had certainly never been in one. Initially I was grateful for their wisdom and experience. But as we walked through the day I began to resent all the little decisions brides are expected to make. The more entrenched we became with vases and floating candles, the more frustrated I became. At the time I couldn’t see the benefits of having many voices chiming in; I just wanted to hear one voice: my own.Ben and I had several car drives’ worth of conversations about the whole ordeal. He patiently reminded me that this wedding, the marriage for that matter, wasn’t about us at all. Both were all about Jesus. The wedding in particular was a way to love others in a Christ-like way by putting our preferences aside. It was our conviction that we should be as accommodating as possible to the wishes of our friends and family, as a way to love them well.
To be honest that was a hard pill for my fleshly desires to swallow. I regret I didn’t arrive at more of an understanding before the big day. Hindsight is 20/20, right? While I smiled and thanked everyone for their help, in my heart I was bitter. I wanted things done my way. I saw the involvement of friends and family as detracting from the experience, not adding to it. In part, this post is an apology – and an explanation – to them.
So, while I have fond memories of the event – sharing the morning with childhood friends, looking into my husband’s eyes at the altar, greeting friends and family at the reception, and heading off to our honeymoon – many of my memories are not so fond. Because of my shortsightedness, many of my memories are of the details that weren’t how I would have done them. Regrets over little things that didn’t happen, or that didn’t happen the way I preferred. Over a year later, I still hold that day at a bit of a distance. And, you know, I think that’s okay.
To be honest, I’d rather have the last day of our marriage be the best day. On that day, we’ll have a lifetime of memories together. A lifetime of best days all rolled up into one. I want to look around at our children and grandchildren, and know that we taught our family to love and serve the Lord. I want to know that we kept our covenant “til death do us part.” I want to see the man of God that Ben will become, knowing that being married to me played a role in making him more like Jesus. I, too, want Ben to see the woman of God that I will become, knowing that our marriage was the training ground. I want us both to rejoice in the great wedding day, when Jesus Christ returns for His Bride, the Church. That wedding day will be the best of my life.
There have been some concerns raised privately to me about this post. I want to clarify that this post isn’t meant to insult those mentioned, but to help me work through a few lingering feelings I’ve been carrying and to speak truth. I also want to clarify that I did enjoy much of my wedding day! Particularly the ceremony, which my husband and I carefully planned along with our premarital counselor. We were very intentional to make much of Christ in the ceremony and I believe we did. Praise the Lord!