Wednesday, June 20, 2012

C, A Preacher, A Dress And A Little Bit Of Joy

A dear friend of mine got married this past weekend, and though her wedding wasn't extravagant, it was beautiful, joyous, heartwarming and God-honoring. I rememeber thinking, during the worship part of her ceremony, "I'm home. I'm home." In that moment, in that church, with those people, and pouring my heart out to God, the God that loves me as His bride, and the God that brought my friend the bride her beloved husband, I knew that my heart was home, where it belonged. And all this at a wedding!

I'll be planning my own wedding soon, and I hope, beyond hope, that at least one life is touched this way on the day my fiance and I get to share our love with the friends and family we cherish. I know we may disagree on how much worship is too much worship at a wedding, or how preachy should the preacher get. But at the end of the day, if one life can walk away filled with joy, at seeing love incarnate between two people, who have first known love incarnate through their Savior, then we'll have done our jobs. Well, I'll have done my job, because his is basically just Get Us To The Honeymoon!!

We struggle a little bit, he and I, in how to express our faith during this occasion. I come from the FBC tradition of outright evangelism, and strong public expression. C comes from a more reserved, private tradition, wherein your faith is something you share upon invitation, and with a good helping of respect for the diversity of other's beliefs. I worry about this polarization of our beliefs when it comes to the kind of service we will have. I desire a service in which two or three Protestant hymns are sung, and the unity sand is poured, and a blessing is given under a chuppah. Eclectic, yes, but faith inspired. I think C wouldn't mind the five minute "Do you? Yeah I do." version.   I know that all I really need is this man, a preacher and a dress, but I sincerely hope we'll find a way to meet in the middle on all the other little details.  No matter what we decide, however, when I think about marrying this man who balances me out so well the thought fills my heart with joy. Joy at the thought of watching him watch me walk down the aisle, giving him heart and life publicly and sealing it all with a kiss.

And joy is the one thing I want this day to be about. Yes, it's a celebration, and yes, it's about love, but joy is the manifestation of that love in our hearts, that makes them flutter, and leap and pop, for the emotional outpouring we feel of celebrating all that darned love. When I picture my wedding, I picture looking out from the dance floor, twirling and being spun around (by a quite reluctant dancing groom), and seeing every face in the house grinning. Not just smiling, but grinning. Smiling is what you do when you know the camera is near. Grinning is the look your face makes when your heart just can't hold it all in anymore, a second cousin to laughing if you will.

When I think about things that I have to figure out, like the venue, the decorations, colors (oh, so many colors to think about), the dinner, the dessert, the dancing, the wine, the favors, the kids, the parents, the EVERYTHING, the only thing I keep coming back to is this: what will bring our guests the most joy? What is going to inspire their hearts to recognize the love that this man and I have for each other, because God first loved us, and share in that love so directly that it makes their faces grin? What is going to bring all involved joy? Oh yes, I want to make C proud. And show off my personal style, and DIY abilities. And I want to make sure everyone has fun, we don't spend too much money and all six parents and multiple grandparents are satisfied. But mostly, I think of the faces of my dear friends, and I want to look around and know that they have felt the same way I felt the other day at my dear friends wedding. Joy - it's what a wedding should be about.

So, as I embark on trying to figure out how to take one quarter of the budget of the average American wedding and turn it into something special, I need to remind myself that joy is something we can all have for free. It's the feeling in your heart when you know you are home. It's the feeling in your heart when you see two people so madly in love that they can only grin at each other stupidly, and you know that you love them so much too that you can have nothing but joy for them. In the end, all I really need is this man, a preacher and a dress. But I really hope our wedding can be so much more than that both for us, and the people around us. I hope it can be an occasion of joy, to be remembered for years. Something that brings other's closer to God, more covered in the shadow of His love, and more filled with the joy that they too are loved by Him, and by us. 

In the end, that joy is all I really need.  And that's my story, and I'm stickin to it.

1 comment:

Latest Fashion And Style said...

Amazing and lovely theory of joy. so nice