2020, what a year. So much has changed and challenged everyone. For me, this was the year I graduated college, got engaged, found out my sister was pregnant with baby no.2, and then got married, which all happened within a six month time period. Not only did things alter my life personally, but the world has drastically changed since the Spring Break of 2020. There has been a worldwide pandemic that has left the entire country quarantined. There has also been an extreme amount of controversy throughout the country with our people and our political leaders.
“The World has been more of a Bridezilla than I have!”
I initially said this jokingly, but this is an issue that only the brides of 2020 will ever truly understand. (Unfortunately, this might also be relatable for the future brides of this year, too). For starters, Pinterest, Instagram, movies, tv shows, and reality TV have transformed the way weddings operate. It’s no longer a simple ceremony, but it is a huge party that everyone says “is for you,” but it can easily turn into being more about pleasing everyone else. Comparison is a concept that seems to come naturally to me, so it is not surprising that it also influenced how I planned our 2020 fall wedding. For instance, when I went dress shopping I wanted “a show stopper, jaw dropper dress.” Although it truly was the wedding dress of my dreams(!), I also went almost a thousand dollars over budget with the “perfect wedding dress” and “the perfect veil to accent the perfect wedding dress.” Although I have no regrets since it truly was perfect for what I envisioned, there is also a portion that compared it to other brides, social media, and what others might think of it when I initially went dress shopping. I think a lot of brides can struggle with this concept, and I also think it is natural, but that also does not mean that it is a good thing. I even know a girl that deleted all social media during this time of planning to keep a healthy mindset - such a smart woman!
At a time when the world is falling apart, literally in terms of 2020, while an engaged couple is attempting to bring families together, this can bring more challenges beyond imaginable. However, in my experience, it also brought clarity (#seekclarity), peace, and strength.
This season has brought so much clarity on the people who truly care about me. During this time I experienced the shattering news that one of my bridesmaids that I had initially chosen, asked, and she accepted, later decided that she did not want to be a bridesmaid anymore. This then ended a five year friendship. At a time that is supposed to be full of joy, love and celebration, I endured heartbreak, betrayal, and devastation. It truly felt like a breakup. I had lost a friend. A friend who I thought cared for me as much as I did for her. That by far was the worst thing about the wedding planning process, especially since it was amidst the other issues of the devastation in the world we live in today. Thankfully, my true friends then surrounded me closer than ever and encouraged me beyond what I deserve. This situation brought clarity about those who truly love and care for me. Although the thought of it still breaks my heart to this day, God has a plan and He will get the victory in the end!
This situation during the wedding planning process also brought clarity in my relationship with my Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ. At this time, I asked God to search my heart and align my heart with what His word says. It's not about me and what I believe might be true, but what God says because He IS "the Way, the Truth, and the Life." (John 14:6). This season brought clarity to my life that we are not created for this world.(John 15:19) I had never in my life longed for Heaven more than in this situation. This enlightened me more than any verse that we were not created for this world and that we are created to be in relationship with our Heavenly Father.(Romans 12,2; 1 John 2:15) I was never more ready for the Lord to make His second return than in any other situation I have ever experienced. It instilled in me a longing for Heaven. I wasn’t thinking about the opportunities/experiences I might miss out on, but it showed me how my citizenship belongs to Heaven alone.(Colossians 3:2). The idea that if you are a follower of Christ, that you are a citizen of Heaven before you are a citizen of the United States should also bring comfort & joy!
This season also brought a time of peace. After the storm, I felt so much peace. I had peace with the godly man I was marrying, who was/is seriously my rock that constantly points me to Christ. I had peace with my family who would encourage me and lift me up. I also had peace in the rest of our wedding party that was even more supportive and encouraging. God then provided peace in the outcome. He is in control of every situation. When I said I prayed for peace in that God would provide clarity where my beliefs would align with His word. He did, and has already blessed me because of it. This sort of situation was not the first, and I know it won’t be the last. God’s Word, the Bible, even tells us multiple times throughout the New Testament that these situations will occur. (As I have listed below.) But in every one of these verses, He also says that we are not alone, He is with us, He has experienced this before, and that He will get the glory in the end.
John 16:33, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
2 Corinthians 12:10, “That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, He is strong.”
James 1:2-3, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you face trials of various kinds, for you know the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”
1 Peter 4:13, “But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.”
John 15:18-20, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than it’s master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.”
So my advice for any bride that is dealing with a variety of difficulties during a time that is supposed to be full of love and joy, is to focus on the outcome. At the end of the day, if everything goes perfect or if everything goes wrong, at the end of the day, you will be married to your person. That’s all that matters. Getting married in 2020, 2021, or in a later year when the word is "normal" again, don't stress because you have found your person that you get to marry no matter what. Enjoy the process! It only comes once in a lifetime. And if you have a relationship with Christ, then you know that He brought you two together, He has a purpose for your union, He is in control, and He is going to use you for His kingdom!