Recently, I went to a good friend’s wedding. It was the kind of wedding you would never want to have missed, and I am grateful I was able to attend. It was the kind of joyful celebration that stays with you for several days after. At least it did for me.
First things first; I am not typically a fan of weddings. I’m really not 100% sure why. At another wedding, I was once asked by the guest seated next to me whether it was because of a bad experience (I’m divorced). I might even have nodded an emphatic yes as I made my way toward the door. Yep, this really happened. If you read this and recognize your words in this story, I’m sorry I bailed early on you. My response to your question was also probably not as thoughtful or truthful as it ought to have been.
Now hear me out. I understand and believe that marriage is a beautiful covenant made before God that is between a man and a woman. I also believe that a Christ-centered marriage reflects the beauty, shape, and sufficiency of the gospel. Relational strife will happen within any marriage, and without Christ at the center, it can tear the relationship apart. Grace, humility, trust, wisdom, discernment, and lots of humor are a daily necessity to successfully navigate relationships.
Now back to this recent wedding.
As I drove home that night with a clear view of the moon and a warm, summer breeze billowing through the open moonroof, I kept asking myself why I so enjoyed this particular wedding. Maybe it was the joy on the faces of both bride and groom (definitely), how they looked at each other (super sweet). It could have been the bride’s careful planning about seating arrangements (a stroke of brilliance). It could possibly also have been the lovely country drive (a definite plus) or spending quality time with two other dear friends who always help me to lighten up without actually telling me to do so (I praise God often for these two).
Or maybe it was the fact that I discovered the sole of one of my favorite Cole Haan patent leather peep toe wedge pumps came unglued as we were walking toward the seating area where the outdoor ceremony would be held. Wait…what??? Are you kidding me?? What are the chances?
Apparently, they are pretty good as I was not the only guest to suffer footwear insufficiency that day.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. Just before the ceremony, I tried to MacGyver the sole of my shoe with a helpfully supplied paper clip. With the shoe crisis seemingly averted, I was able to focus on my friend as she was about to start her walk down the aisle. After all, it wasn’t my day, it was the bride and groom’s day, and they were blissfully unaware of this mini drama taking place at their wedding (as they ought to have been).
As I walked toward the reception area following the ceremony, I felt the sole of my shoe flapping about again. I looked down and saw the paper clip was missing. I circled back to find it. Another guest found it, but I quickly realized this just was not going to be a solution that would see me through the evening.
I silently wondered how on earth I was going to dance at the reception when I kept tripping over the sole of my shoe. If I only had had some glue (sigh). Going barefoot seemed like the best option, but I had been recently cautioned by my podiatrist to avoid going barefoot when possible. While the drive was a few hours, I had not planned on staying over so the only other shoes I had were the sneakers I had driven up in. Strangely enough, as I had changed into my dress shoes upon arrival, I felt a prompting to forgo vanity, listen to the podiatrist, and simply wear the sneakers that my orthotics fit in.
Kind of funny how that happens.
I imagine some might be laughing at me at this point. It was funny to me too. Even funnier if you understood that it is only recently that I have come to view sneakers as having some other purpose than going for a run. There was a time when I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing sneakers unless I was actively engaged in some kind of sport. That would just be oh-so American (insert eye roll here).
Yet, putting on sneakers at that wedding brought out a playfulness that most, other than my family or this particular bride, don’t get to see. It shifted my own expectations for the remainder of the evening, allowing me to relax and actively share in the contagious joy of the bride and groom. Maybe that is all I needed on that day.
As I reflect now, I am super grateful for God’s surprising provision. It was one that enabled me to joyfully walk into what He had for me that day, rather than anticipate what experience had taught me, and it allowed me to celebrate the two people who had so generously invited me.
Congratulations my friends! Praying for the years ahead for you both. ❤
Photo credit: Amore al Arte on iStock.com