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My Wedding Plans Changed. God Didnt.

My Wedding Plans Changed. God Didnt.

Wedding season is upon us, but this time it’s different. Spring usually brings bridal showers and bachelor and bachelorette parties. It usually brings dress fittings and last-minute details for the big day. It brings the anticipation of seeing friends and family from all overtogether in one place to celebrate the union of a new couple. But in the era of COVID-19, springs showers fall like tears.

My fianc and I were about 40 days from our wedding date when we began to realize that our initial plan wasnt going to be realized. In two weeks, our wedding guest list plummeted from 250 to 100 to 50. We ended up with 8.

Throughout our planning, we knew this event wasnt ultimately about us. We genuinely wanted God to be glorified; we spent time praying for him to be exalted during both the preparation process and also the wedding itself. We sought wise counsel, we pursued purity, and we tried to be frugal with our expenses. Doing all those things didnt add a drop of righteousness to my fianc and me. Doing all those things didnt guarantee everything would go right. But, to be honest, I sometimes believed it would.

In the end, we got married in a small, livestreamed ceremony that looked nothing like the wedding of my dreams. And God was still good.

In the end, we got married in a small, livestreamed ceremony that looked nothing like the wedding of my dreams. And God was still good.

If you’re engaged to be married and discouraged by the upheaval of your plans this spring or summer, I want to offer some encouragement. Behind a frowning providence, God does indeed hide a smiling face.

Here are three things he’s been reminding me in this season.

1. Its ok to grieve.

When our wedding plans were first threatened, I immediately sought to regain control. I spent several hours trying to figure out loopholes, then frantically texting family and church friends with prayer requests. My anxiety only increased. Eventually, I gave up.

But accepting defeat brought additional complications. Amid all that was going on in the world, I knew that my ruined wedding plans werent the worst trial. I felt guilty for being sad.

As I sought the Lord in prayer, James 1 came to mind. James was writing to the scattered twelve tribes in the Dispersion (v. 1) who were dealing with worlds of struggle (vv. 23). They needed to know God was in control (vv. 1718), that he wasnt being sneaky or malicious (v. 13), and more importantly that he was at work in them (v. 18). As they encountered trials of various kinds (v. 2)both large and smallGod was accomplishing his good purposes.

There are aspects of our wedding I so badly wish I could have had. We were excited that our unsaved guests would be able to hear the gospel. We were looking forward to being physically surrounded by members of both our families. I was looking forward to my dad walking me down the aisle. And the dancing! Oh, we were looking forward to the dancing!

These wedding trials may not be the largest trials in the world right now, but they are counted among the various kinds (v. 2) that Gods people experience. We can acknowledge our sadnessgrieving the loss of good things we anticipatedand find comfort in our unchanging God. When all our plans fall through, he is still the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change (v. 17).

2. A wedding isnt just about the wedding.

My fianc and I decided to get married on April 3. We had cake, a bouquet filled with my favorite flowers, and hand sanitizer. Our pastor and the individuals from our household were physically present in my former backyard.

As I began to walk out to Gungors Vous tes Mon Cur, I saw my groom standing there crying. It was there I realized God had given us everything we needed. Our former expectations of decorations, table arrangements, and appetizers didnt matter. Our commitment before God was of first importance. God used an unpolished, backyard wedding for eight to teach me about the beauty of becoming Mrs. Greer. Although our wedding wasnt like anything that we had planned, it was perfect.

Although our wedding wasnt like anything that we had planned, it was perfect.

My COVID-19 wedding stripped me of both comforts and also idols. And while it was painful, it was also a blessing. One dashed plan after another gave me a chance to examine if I was more enthralled with the idea of a wedding than with marriage. As the pressures and expectations of the big day were removed, I grew more and more confident that my fianc was the right one for me. I cant help but think God allowed this so I would have more opportunity to examine my future life decisions. As a result, my soul became anchored in the Lord, not in any person or plan. Could he be doing the same for you?

3. Look forward to a greater celebration.

An unpolished wedding also produced a longing in me for the day we get to celebrate the covenant between Christ and his bride. And if my less-than-ideal earthly wedding is how God prepares my heart to feast at his heavenly banquet, then I will gladly take it.

And if my less-than-ideal earthly wedding is how God prepares my heart to feast at his heavenly banquet, then I will gladly take it.

When our pastor gave his charge, he referenced Christs sacrifice. In the greatest sacrifice ever made, God loved us so much that he gave his only Son so that we might have eternal life (John 3:16). Now we await our coming King, the bridegroom who is coming back for those eagerly awaiting him (Heb. 9:28).

When I stare at that truth, worldly trials hold no eternal weight. They are but reminders of the fact that God will one day welcome us to his eternal home, and it will be the greatest celebration we have ever known (Matt. 25:34).

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