Up until I got married, I would look at photos of brides and think about how graceful they are, how confident they look, how they have it all together. When I put on my dress on my wedding day, I was not feeling any of those emotions. It was raining on my beautiful ceremony site I’ve always dreamed of, I was stuck in a tiny room filled with way too many people also stressing out over the rain, I had no alone time whatsoever, and I had no place to hide. I just wanted a normal moment with Jesus and that’s when I slipped into a closet nearby all by myself to be reminded that I was worthy, that He was with me, and that He is faithful.
Slipping into that closet was exactly what I needed. I needed to remember what He was doing. I needed to remember what He has called me to. I needed to remember that He was the same God in that moment of chaos on one of the most memorable days of my life as He had been in the most quiet moments of my life up until then.
Believe it or not, for weeks after my wedding, I’d wake up wondering if I looked not graceful to my bridesmaids and family, the people that love me most. I felt sick to my stomach at the thought of offending them when I needed to get away, of not being kind even for just a moment, or if for one second I didn’t make them feel loved and appreciated.
It was right after marriage that I learned exactly how much significance I put on what people think about me.
I think I have always operated out of this place of fear and people pleasing, that I would compromise who I am and what I believe is good for me, for the sake of no conflict, no drama, and no chaos.
What I believed had hindered my wedding day and haunted me had actually set me free.
For the past several months, I have let a lot of people down. I have unintentionally hurt people close to me in the midst of the whirlwind of change I’ve been through. Absolutely nothing can prepare you for a year filled with the loss of people that you love, changes in your job, getting engaged, getting married 6 months later, moving twice, and a lot of good and bad days in between.
Change is so unbelievably hard for me. Even good change. I have felt the gaps in my marriage, I have felt the gaps in my friendships, I have felt the gaps in my family, at my job, in my time with God every morning, I have felt it all. Again and again, I’d give all I could give, but it still didn’t feel like enough.
My plate was so full, but my cup was empty.
I felt so powerless to change it, because I didn’t know what was happening to me.
I finally broke and I had some really disturbing stuff in my heart come out, things that were not the heart of God, and it was honestly frightening to see what had been hiding in my heart for so long.
But when you break, you can either break through to Jesus or you can break through to the traps of the enemy. You decide.
Sitting in my mess of emotions was so uncomfortable, so icky, so not graceful, but I knew if I could press into what God is doing through the mess, I’d come out thriving. I couldn’t just sit there and let it consume me.
I read in a book a few months ago, that you don’t have to wait for your circumstances to change to start thriving. You can choose to thrive in the hardest places and when you get to the mountain tops of life you’ll still be thriving. I held on to this, not knowing how to master it, but knowing this is what my goal was: to thrive with Jesus in the most crazy, painful, hard places. I still am currently having bad days every now and again, but they are way fewer and far between. If I’m truly going to make it, I have to choose Him every day and make it about Him and not about how I feel or my circumstances.
Your spouse or dreams of marriage can’t fill the gap.
Your dream job can’t fill the gap.
Your location can’t fill the gap.
Your friends can’t fill the gap.
Your family can’t fill the gap.
I’ve tried all of them and it doesn’t work. Only Jesus can fill these places of failure, inadequacy, heartache, change, sadness, loneliness, neediness, mourning, feeling unloved, etc.
When you’re giving it all you’ve got and you’re pressing into Him for more, you can believe that He is going to meet you in that place and help guide you through the ever so changing seasons of life. I love that we can’t be too needy with God, it’s what we were made for!
So this is me, letting go of not meeting people’s expectations because it sets me free.
This is me tearing off the lies that the enemy wants to cover me with because it sets me free.
This is me believing that God is good and that He is good to me because it sets me free.
This is me declaring that I am graceful, confident, and that I don’t have it all together and it’s totally okay because it sets me free.
This is me choosing that I am going to thrive in the ordinary, daily grind because it sets me free.
This is me saying that Enough is enough.
Because it sets me free.
Oh, and to finish the story, the rain stopped the second I started praying and it was the most glorious day. He’s faithful, you guys.
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” –Philippians 4:12-13
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross,scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” –Hebrews 12:1-3
“I delight greatly in the Lord;
my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” –Isaiah 61:10