Anything Else is Grace (On Wedding Planning)

This morning, I read a wonderful post over at CBMW on “Lies Women Believe While Wedding Planning.” As I read Brittany’s article, I remembered a little blogpost I wrote in 2009 when Grant and I were engaged and planning our wedding. I’m so thankful I had people in my life (specifically my mom and sisters-in-law) who spoke truth to me about the lies young women so often believe regarding their wedding day. The truth they spoke into my life saved me from much selfish heartache.

(July 2009)

I officially entered the world of wedding planning in May after Grant and I got engaged. I knew there would be a lot involved with planning a wedding, but I didn’t realize how much is involved.Image

After we got engaged, I thought I should probably pick up a wedding planner to help me stay organized. I walked into Barnes & Noble to buy one. I stood there in shock as I discovered how thick the basic wedding planners are! The first one I opened started with a checklist that said, “16 months out from the wedding.” Well, I already missed that deadline by over a year!

I thought that picking out a wedding planner would help keep me from feeling overwhelmed, not the other way around! Needless to say, I walked out of the store empty handed.

To be fair, there is a lot involved in planning a wedding (though not nearly as much as the “planners” would like you to believe).

As my parents and I prepare for my wedding, there has been one thing my sister-in-law Chesed told me at the beginning of the summer that has really helped me in this whole process of planning. She told me, “GraceAnna, whenever you get stressed or start to feel like maybe something is not working out the way you want it to, you need to remember something that my brother told me when I was planning for my wedding, ‘You deserve hell; anything else is grace.’

I laughed when she first said it, and said, “Wow, that’s harsh!” But the more I thought about it, the more it resonated with me. Then she added, “And just remember to be thankful for the godly man that God has brought into your life to be your husband. You are entering a covenant relationship with him. That’s what your wedding day is all about.”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought about those words. When I’ve been tempted to get overwhelmed by things, I’ve remembered, “I deserve hell, and look what God has given me!” When I contemplate this great truth, my heart is immediately filled with joy and gratitude. Whatever it is that I’m trying to make a decision about, suddenly pales in comparison. At the end of the day, the exact hue of the bridal bouquets and boutonnieres doesn’t matter. Whether the cake is moist and fluffy or dried and flaky, doesn’t matter.  Whether it’s a beautiful sunny day or gloomy and rainy, it doesn’t matter. 

I would definitely be lying if I said that I don’t desire to have a beautiful wedding day. I do. But what’s even more beautiful than all the trappings of a wedding is the redemption that has taken place in my heart and the grace of God in bringing a godly man into my life. Look at all of that grace! And it’s not just that I don’t deserve those wonderful things, it’s that I deserve hell and have been given eternal life.

I’ve already been given the best.

Job 33:28 says, “You have redeemed my life from the pit, and my life shall look upon the light.”

I’m so grateful for His redemption. I’m so grateful to be able to spend my life serving the Lord with a man who loves the Lord with all of his heart. The dress, the flowers, the everything else…that’s just something extra. Those things are just there to accent something that is already beautiful all on its own- the covenant of marriage which is a gift of God’s grace. And I have been so overwhelmed by it these past few months.

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