Faith & Suffering

“For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in Him but also suffer for His sake…”

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭1:29‬



So I was offended earlier this week by a joking comment that I felt implied that I’m some crazy woman obsessed with wedding planning, plagued by the upcoming nuptials. To be honest, I was absolutely being overly sensitive and I tend to be very easily offended, but at the same time, if I’m to take my own advice, then I ought to take a step back from my emotions and really consider if there’s any truth to what was said, whether in joking or not. As they always say, there’s almost always some truth to any criticism even if it’s done in a joking manner.

So this is my honest heart eval. Am I really turning into a Bridezilla? Am I already one? I’m certain most Bridezillas don’t think themselves so. With a little self-awareness they probably recognize that they might be partially crazy, but aren’t we always very gracious to ourselves in our own assessments?

Am I obsessed with the wedding? Well, what is obsession? Is it constantly thinking about something over and over again? Well, in that case, it’s quite possible, but am I not justified as in this whole world, the two people who care the most about this wedding are Kenny and me? And really will any of these many tasks be completed if we’re not on top of things in these last 14 days before the wedding?

And though I’m plagued day and night with thoughts of the wedding… and btw just writing that upsets me as in the past I ALWAYS thought I’d be one of the few ones able to stay focused on Jesus and the truly important things… at the same time I feel like I’m actually pretty gosh-darn reasonable, am I not? I’ve tried to ask very little of anyone else. I’ve tried to be independent and self-sufficient. I’ve tried to keep costs at a minimum for others. And when my gut is telling me no I actually don’t like that, or no that’s actually the wrong color, or no I actually wanted to go here… I think I’ve been able to keep my perspective???

But then again, in all those instances above, am I not just trying to justify myself and my feelings of selfishness and at times loss of focus by comparing myself to other worst-case examples and thereby saying hey look at my comparative “righteousness!?”

At the end of the day, here’s the truth: the standard is not other brides, the standard is Jesus and what He wants for me during this time.

Is it okay to care about the wedding? Yes. Is it okay to care about it a lot? Yes. Is it even okay to spend way more than I ever thought we’d spend on a wedding (though again my self-righteouness screams, but wait compared to others we aren’t spending THAT much!)? Honestly, in the past I would have said no, spending so much on a wedding is a terrible waste (and then feel prideful about my view), but I think it really is okay.

So as with all things weddings are not evil. Wedding planning is not evil. Spending money on a wedding is not evil (well to some degree– I think budgets need to be prayerfully set… which I can’t say we 100% did do either). All these things are neutral. But they do draw out the dross in our own hearts.

So back to the main question. Has wedding planning drawn out some of the dross, the sin in me? Yes. Absolutely. I’ve found it really hard to focus on Christ during this time and to be honest a lot plans were made without so much as a thought of Him. I’ve been saying all along that this is for His glory, but I’ve lost sight of Him in the journey. I’ve been planning on my own will and strength and maybe that’s why I’m so stressed and why I can’t stop thinking about all the to do’s that are left on our list. Maybe that’s why I’ve withdrawn from society in these last few months. And some of that is honestly necessary, but some of it is probably not what God wants.

But it’s okay. So maybe I’m a Bridezilla. But guess what. Jesus loves me anyway and it’s Satan who would love to rub that Bridezilla-ness in my face and remind me of it and condemn me. But Jesus says, you know what it’s okay, Melissa. There’s still time. There’s still 14 days. There’s hope. I forgive you. I will help you. Turn back and come follow me.

What a gracious Savior we have, I have. He is gracious and He is loving and it’s by His might that I can hopefully live out these next 14 days with a better perspective and get back to what we really want this wedding to be: a celebration of marriage, the God-breathed example of Christ’s love for the church; an opportunity to point to God above all, then serve and love and extol our guests, and finally serve and love each other. Oh and then have some fun too!

So in the end I’m thankful for comments I take the wrong way and criticisms because they lead me to reevaluate the enormous log in my own eye and remind me that I am ever learning and ever in need of grace. I’m also thankful for Jesus who loves me when the enemy tells me to despise me, and then gives me grace to die to my old ways.

Finally, thanks be to God I was finally able to crack open my dusty old Bible app today during lunch. Here’s the passage He used to correct me and remind me of what really matters to Him:

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also the interests of others.

Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life

Philippians 2:3-4 & 14-16

The Lord is gracious to me. I’m in ever need of His grace.

14 more days to go. I’m dreading it mostly because of the person I feel wedding planning makes me be. But really, that person was there all along and wedding planning is just a tool to bring that sin to the surface so I can bring it before God and be sanctified and made clean!

And finally (I know I know it seemed like I was bringing this home twenty paragraphs ago!!), overall this may seem very overly dramatic and petty and maybe that’s Bridezilla-y of me too. But to be honest in the past I was SOOOOOOO judgmental of girls who I deemed too obsessed/stressed/picky/whatever about their weddings! So if you find yourself in my old shoes, I’d ask that you give us grace, for now I realize I was wrong in my old thinking too.

Anyway I have many more thoughts on this subject matter and seriously catch me on a different day and I’ll probably tell you how wedding planning is so overrated and it really isn’t as bad as I thought it’d be haha. But today is today and this is what I feel and think and by the grace of God I know He will help me through these last 14 days for His glory and because He is so gracious and loving to me.

No condemnation! But staying focused on Christ! Others before me! And finally… I’m gettingmarrYEEd!!!!! :) :) :)