Marriage

Here comes the bride

It was this day, five years ago, that I was a bride. For months–or more accurately, my whole life–I’d been looking forward to that day. The day I would become a “Mrs.” Finally, it was here.

My photographer told me later that many brides are reluctant for the “big day” to be over, and try to stretch out their days as a bride by dragging their feet on ordering a wedding album.

Not me. Well, it did take me forever to order my album, but not because I wanted to be a bride forever. Quite the contrary. I was all too happy to shed the identity of “bride.”

You see, my wedding day was delightful, but the days leading up to that happy day were not so easy. On top of the stress of wedding planning, I was heartsick. I spent as much of each day with Jason as I could, but at night, he went to his house and I went to mine. It was right and proper, and I don’t regret one single boundary we placed around our relationship during that season. But the living it was difficult. As an engaged woman, my heart and my life already belonged to Jason. In my mind, I was his.

And yet, that wasn’t our practical reality. For four months, I cried myself to sleep nearly every night with homesickness. My home was in Ozark, with my husband-to-be, and I was in Springfield, without him. That’s the secret side of being a bride, the side the magazines never tell you about.

It isn’t exactly unrequited love, but it’s something like it. I didn’t think I was going to make it, until one morning, when reading my Bible, it occurred to me that I was not only Jason’s bride, I was also Christ’s bride.

So if you’re an engaged woman, especially if you’re one who is struggling in the heartsickness of simply wanting to be married already, let me encourage you: lean into those feelings. Let yourself fully experience the longing, the sighing,and  the homesickness, until they’re imprinted on your soul and you cannot forget them.

Your wedding day will surely come, and all of that will fade from your immediate experience. But it is my belief that those are the exact feelings the Lord wants us to have as we consider his kingdom and the promise of his return.

Because this is not our home.

We are betrothed to Christ. Our hearts and lives are his. Our home is with him; we are simply awaiting the day when he sweeps us off our feet and carries us over that heavenly threshold.

So long for it. Eagerly expect it. Be homesick. Be the Bride.

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