I am the girl who has been planning her wedding since she was a little girl. My wedding Pinterest board is decorated with color schemes and themes, a variety of dresses and rings, all of the things. I don’t get very excited about many things, but I was ridiculously excited about my wedding.
Two days ago, Desmond and I decided to postpone our wedding. It was an extremely difficult decision to make. I texted my friend today and told her I no longer feel the urge to cry at the thought of things not working out the way I envisioned and the sickening feeling in my stomach has disappeared. A part of me wants to describe my response as dramatic and convince myself it was just a day and it’s not about the wedding, it’s about the marriage, and we’ll celebrate later with all of our family and friends. While all those things may be true, it was also true that I was devastated. That’s the word I used after sharing the news. Even if it’s the right decision, the wise choice, the best option, God’s will, it was still devastating.
Part of being human is getting to experience the range of emotions God has blessed us with. After my dad died, I was scared to feel emotions, terrified that I’d be overtaken by them. My therapists helped me learn there was nothing to be afraid of. I could trust my feelings would stay as long as they needed to, and I could still show up in the world. I also learned that I was capable of creating space for multiple emotions. I can feel joy and sadness. I can feel disappointment and excitement. So when I felt the feelings of devastation of postponing my wedding setting in, I plunged in deeply while embracing the excitement of still being able to marry the love of my life.
Too often we forget that two things can be true at the same time. We try to force ourselves to choose and are left feeling unsettled and not true to ourselves. We are complex, dynamic beings. Our feelings are constantly shifting and that doesn’t have to be a bad thing (although if you’re experiencing really high highs and extremely low lows over short periods of time, you should go talk to a health professional). You can love being a mom and also be really tired of all that comes with being a mom. As much as you enjoy serving at your church, sometimes you do just want to show up on Sunday and sit on the pew. There is room for those feelings.
There are a lot of lessons I’m learning through this experience and I’m grateful I’ve shown myself how comfortable I’ve become feeling emotions, and multiple emotions at that! Yes, I was devastated, but the thought of spending my life with Desmond still filled me with butterflies. He is the light at the end of every dark tunnel and joy in the morning and warmth through the coldest seasons. Other feelings may come and go but those things will always be true. My godfather reminded me to give thanks in everything (1 Thessalonians 5:8). No matter what today looks like and what tomorrow brings, regardless of the tears I cry, laughter I enjoy, pain I feel, smiles I carry, thank you God.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.