I am as sick today as I was this day 17 years ago. Unlike today however, I didn’t have the luxury to curl up in my flannel sheets for the entire day to rest, as the next day would be my wedding day.
Our wedding was something I spent a lot of time planning, coordinating and preparing for and on which my parents spent a lot of money. Unfortunately my wedding doesn’t come with many pleasant memories as I had hoped it would after all that toil. I was so worn out from all that I thought I had to do to make the day turn out the way I wanted it to that my body got to the point where it just started to break down. The week leading up to our wedding I started to get sick, and by our wedding day I barely had a voice; in fact I had to squeak out my vows. I had Kleenex stuck in between my carefully selected Fire and Ice roses of my bouquet not because of anticipated tears but because my sinuses were a mess. I remember waking up on my wedding day wondering how I was going to make it because I was so tired and I determined that I would just have get through it…not exactly the frame of mind a bride should have on this very special day. At the end of the reception, with my groom down for the count in his parent’s hotel room because he was whiter than a sheet not feeling well himself, I roamed the hotel in my wedding dress feeling a bit pathetic. I worked so hard to make this day beautiful yet it was far from the bliss that I thought I would experience throughout the day.
I wish I could say that was the only time that I ran myself ragged because I wanted life to be ‘done’ a certain way. On some level I thought all that I would achieve in my life, or all the beauty that would surround me, or all the harmony in my relationships would depend on my manipulation or control of them. Only during times of reflection usually due to being forced to step off the ride for a while do I get to see how futile my efforts truly are in making me content. Because of my efforts I may actually fool others in thinking my life is beautiful, but like with my wedding plans, all that work brought little joy to me in the end. The logistics of a wedding have little impact on ones life (or at least should have little impact)but how sad it would be for me to get to the end of my life tired and full of regrets because I thought the only way to be satisfied in this life was to do it my way.
Thankfully, we do have a God who we can run to once we realize the feebleness of our plans. A God who has the power to heal us during those times of complete exhaustion and arranges circumstances that ‘encourages’ us to be still. A God who will speak truth to us so that we recognize the lies we’ve been basing our decisions on. And best of all, a God who will redeem our situation, by turning something wretched, even lifeless into something beautiful and glorifying.
“Dear Heavenly Father; thank You for helping me recognize those areas of sin such as pride, fear, approval of man amongst many others, that have robbed me of peace, stability and physical and mental health. Thank you for handling me gently as I can be so fragile. Continue to keep my true priorities in front of my face, to set healthy boundaries, and to put no other person or thing above You. Help me to remember that all I do is because You have gifted me to do them and help me to remember that You have not asked me to do all things. Amen.”