For most of my life I’ve either been a late-bloomer or just an true-blue oddball. For instance, in junior high while other girls were on the phone talking about boys, bras, and makeup, I was trying to get off the phone with them so I could return to playing with my Barbies. (Michael Jackson had recently taken a dive off the raft that he, Ken, Jem, & other random Barbie dolls all had built to leave the deserted island they were stranded on. In reality, he [Michael Jackson doll] fell into the creek that ran along-side our house, never to be seen again… but that’s another blog for another time…and probably another age group altogether.)
In early high school, while girls were already dating and going to at least third base, I was panicking that I would never get my period. (No fear, I got my first “monthly bill” at the end of my freshman year. I’m completely normal.) Late high school and early college, it was the beloved Bridal magazine–usually accompanied by the age-appropriate Prom magazine. Girls would flip through the pages daydreaming and envisioning themselves in their favorite gowns and planning their ceremony as well as their reception. Nope. Not this girl. I was mapping out my future as a Broadway star, deciding which classes in college and auditions to attend that would shoot me straight to The Great White Way.
I never made it that far on stage. But this isn’t about my supposed “shattered dreams”. Those dreams don’t feel even remotely “shattered” to me at this point of time in my life. This is about why I always felt behind and where I’m finally at now, now that some things have already been said and done. In high school, I did not daydream about my future wedding. I did not ever imagine what my marriage would be like, let alone my gown. The same stands for college. I didn’t even want to get married. Having kids were O-U-T, out.
But it all happened anyway, didn’t it? Maybe I should have daydreamed about it, even if only once in a while. Maybe then I would have held myself to a higher standard. Better yet, maybe I should have prayed on it–just once–before I said “I do”. I never once concerned myself with God’s favor in the marriage. I was never officially proposed to (and no, it was not a shotgun wedding). I didn’t really get to choose where I wanted to be married. I had to invite a ton of bridesmaides to match the groomsmen count. I never had musicians play at my wedding (and that’s a HUGE no-no for me seeing as how I am a musician. In my opinion, the whole wedding should be set to a soundtrack as opposed to a soundtrack set to my wedding.) And don’t even get me started on the reception–it was a complete disaster…
(Maybe I should actually spend a whole blog spilling the ruined details of my wedding sometime?)
None of it just wasn’t what I imagined… but then again, I didn’t imagine much before then. So, here I am. Divorced. But not because I had a crappy wedding. Not at all. It was because I wasn’t ready. My heart wasn’t in it from the get go. I didn’t press in to God for the answers.
Some areas of society today, such as the small town I grew up in, promote the unspoken suggestion and pressure to be married in your 20’s. Start young because life is short. You can finish college when you’re married. You’ll get your career when you’re married. You aren’t sure of who you are yet? Don’t worry, you’ll figure it out someday together when you’re married.
I. Was. Not. Ready.
I felt like I was standing 14,000 feet over the Earth, strapped to a tandem skydiving instructor, hanging onto the sides of an aircraft for dear life until the instructor forced us to a plummet… wait a minute, that actually did happen. 80-year-old, Laverne Everett was in that same position in an actual skydiving incident and her results were much like my marriage.
But several months back, I came to my first self-glimpse of what marriage was supposed to be like. Better late than never, right? (See “And the Two Shall Become One”.) To be honest with you, the idea of getting married again still sets in fear with me. I’m afraid that I’ll choose the wrong person, or after we exchange vows he’ll realize that I was the wrong person for him. I worry that I’ll make the same mistakes I made before or allow the same mistakes to be done against me. I want to believe that I’ve lived and learned, but I haven’t fully been able to shake the fear. My guilt of a failed marriage has converted to an absolute fear.
Prayer has been a constant weapon against this struggle and most recently I have been in a women’s bible study about becoming the Proverbs 31 woman, which has opened my eyes to the kind of Godly woman I’m striving to be. The kind of woman a Godly man will find worthy of being his wife. Along with these two, I’ve also been reading–for the second time around–“Love at Last Sight” on my Kindle.
And out of nowhere, the change has begun.
A month ago, I decided to waste about 2 hours of my night clicking through the internet’s latest craze, Pinterest. I was drawn to photos of cake decorations. Originally, I was checking out the silly zombie cakes–I know, I’m sick and twisted. But 30 minutes into that obsession I found myself marveling at the wedding cakes. Beautiful and creative wedding cakes. Quite honestly, I didn’t think much about it that night. But when I allowed this insanity to occur the second and third night, I started to panic that I was no longer panicking.
Then I crossed the line. I crossed it big time. Don’t blame me, blame my friend Heather who felt that updating her Facebook profile picture to herself in a wedding gown instead of her current pregnant state was a good idea. I studied her dress for quite a while, appreciating the fact that this being a second wedding, she steered clear of the traditional white and chose more of a candlelight color for her gown. And I asked myself… would I avoid white for the obvious reasons? Would I be bolder and actually add some vibrant color in the dress?
One hour and 45 “saved” gowns on my hard drive later, I realized… Maybe I’m not so scared anymore? I mean afterall, I’ve been taking this becoming Proverbs 31 Woman seriously.
Now before there are any assumptions made by those who know me and the person I am currently involved with, we are nowhere close to tying the knot. The idea still freaks us both out. So I repeat, we are not getting married anytime soon. Getting engaged hasn’t crossed our minds as an immediate plan either. I’m just happy to be with him right now and am taking this journey one day at a time… Love is patient, remember?
But I’m finally at that place where my friends were at 15 years ago! Can you believe it? No, I haven’t broke down and purchased a bridal magazine yet, but that’s because I have that sort of information at my fingertips now, thanks to Google. I have just recently entered the realm of do I have a ceremony outside or indoors? And even considered an elopement in Ireland!… or honeymoon. There are so many possibilities!
This all may sound crazy to most and scary to a few, but keep in mind that this is how older girls play “dress up”. I’m in prep-mode which is perfectly normal and healthy. And for once, I’m excited about it. Told you I was a late-bloomer.
Just not excited enough to actually followthroughwith it… not yet anyway. I still need a few tweaks in my life, behaviors, and fears. For starters, I want to finish school this time. I want to have at least the beginning of a career that I believe in. I want my two boys to be ready and prepared for the change in our lives when I get married. I want to lose a few pounds so I can look super-hott in a wedding gown. Not to mention gaining a healthier body to possibly have another baby (yes, that is a daydream too now! Wow!).
I want the fear of marriage and the possibility of messing up gone, because I’m going to mess up and more than just once. But now I understand that a sincere “I’m sorry” goes a long way. That I need to be intentional in my dedication to our marriage. That my marriage will be more than two lovers, but as best friends. A relationship. That I am to love my partner as Jesus loves His bride… that I will never turn my back on that union despite the flaws and shortcomings. God is working on me, creating me for someone. In a few months to a few years, depending on His timing (because that’s what I’m banking on this time around–Him), I’m going to be the perfect match for someone, ready to commit my whole being to him–to us–and jump into a whole new adventure together.
Until then, I’m going to continue my own individual journey in becoming who God has always intended for me to be–becoming far more precious than rubies. Striving to be a terrific mom to my boys. Studying hard in school. Allowing Jesus’ light to shine through me daily to others that feel as though they are walking in darkness. I’m going to be an amazing girlfriend, support and best friend to that special guy in my life.
And I’m going to continue daydreaming about my perfect wedding, chisling away the fear little by little, laughing at the future.
God wants me happy and I now know that this dream would actually make me happy.