*Disclaimer: I've never been in love before, so maybe I don't know what I'm talking about.*
About three weeks ago I was in one of my best friend's weddings. It was the first wedding I've been in as both a bridesmaid and as an adult. I had a backstage pass and a front row seat to nearly everything: from the dresses to the shoes to the bachelorette party to the ceremony. A couple times leading up until her big day, I was in disbelief that she was even getting married. Okay, well, maybe I felt that way more than just a couple times. At different times I felt a little stressed, though. I think that was because I was a bit worried about the pictures. I was mentally prepping myself for the amount of pictures that would be taken of me and everyone else in the wedding party, but that wasn't all. About a couple months before I was whitening my teeth and using a skin firming lotion every other day mainly for one reason: They are going to see these pictures for their rest of their lives so I better not ruin any of the ones I'm in! Needless to say I trained for this wedding and I will train for the next one I'm in, whenever it will be. It's not that I don't already know I'm pretty. I merely just wanted to look as good as I possibly could in order to honor the bride and groom.
It was incredible the thoughts I had, and never expected to have, during the months that lead up to my friend's wedding. On the day of the ceremony and up until a week after it, I had numerous strange thoughts about love and relationships that I had ever had in my life.
I want to first start off by saying that the "devil is in the details," as the old saying goes. I am certain he was messing with my mind, trying to get me to doubt that marriage is something God has blessed and desires for those who desire a mate. My funk could more or less be described as aftereffects from being THAT involved in a friend's major life event and not knowing every little detail that goes into being a part of one.
Let's take a little trip down memory lane on that day, by way of my thought process:
-We will be remembering all of these little moments of the day 5, 10, 20 and 50+ years down the road.
-This is the last time she will ever have to be alone and as [insert first and maiden name here]
-I would really like to see someone look at me the way I know he will be looking at her as she makes her entrance.
-Never imagined myself getting caught up the moment she walked through the chapel doors and down the aisle.
-Sometimes glancing at the guests in the pews and thinking, "Wow. So this is what the day we've been planning for many months ago is actually like. It's really happening!"
-I didn't think my thoughts would drift to my future wedding and the strong feeling of desire I got to have Spanish spoken during it. (Side note: And my thought of, "The pastor's words and the vows they exchanged were beautiful, but it's ALL in English." I didn't mean that in a mocking way, just merely as a genuine observation.) It's a whole nother story, but let's just say God was stirring something in my soul at that moment.
-I didn't think their first kiss would be so passionate nor did I factor in me being about 10 feet away from them - watching the entire thing. haha!
-All of the pictures that were taken on the way in and on the way out of the chapel were just the beginning. . . hehe
-The fact that so many people were snapping more pictures during the ceremony than I expected and I didn't know which ones to look at and let alone smile at! (only during the times I was walking in and out, though)
-What being in the wedding party really meant: you were essentially on a different schedule than everyone else. Being told to "Wait here!" or "Come back in two minutes for pictures!" while the guests moved about as they pleased, was something I had to get used to all day.
-How difficult it actually was to wear high heels for eight hours straight. . .and run in them!!! We ran because we were sneaking away from the groom and his posse a couple times while getting pictures taken before the ceremony. :P
-How great it felt to wear earrings again but forgetting just how much clip-on earrings can hurt! (My holes closed up years ago but that is another long story.)
-I talked with both of the other bridesmaids at different times about how well the groom was taking care of his bride at the reception - which was very sweet. We talked about independence too and I mentioned that it might be hard for me, a girl who's used to doing pretty much everything on her own, to let someone get me food, drinks, fix my dress, hold a purse or bouquet for me, etc. It's not that I would be ungrateful or too prideful to let someone do things like this for me, it's more like I would not be used to having that kind of help available.
A couple thoughts on the car ride and when I was back at home:
-Though my friend is now off experiencing marital bliss, I too was experiencing a different kind of bliss. I was sort of in the bridesmaid's version of a honeymoon phase. We still had our makeup on but the dresses (and the heels, thank God) had been long since taken off. I didn't know how to exactly describe how I felt until the next day when I someone snapped at me later in the afternoon. It was like my ephemeral bubble was suddenly popped and reality sunk back in. I wasn't at her wedding anymore eating, laughing, feeling girly and having an awesome time with my friends.
-I had known that both the bride and groom had been capable living on their own, taking care of themselves and making their own decisions. What's more is that I have been living on my own since age 18 so it shouldn't have phased me. However, another strange thought still crossed my mind. "So wait, now they can just go wherever and do whatever they want and their parents won't care (or know)? NOW, they're truly adults!"
And last but not least: "They're now going to be with each other nearly every day of the year for the rest of their lives! There's no more doing things solo but if one of them does want to do something without the other, they're going to have to ask? Wow, wouldn't they get sick of each other and want to be single again?"
That last thought is something that the devil almost had a hay day with in my mind. You see the thing is, I do want to find someone to share my life with - a helpmate, if you will. When God brings a man and a woman together in marriage, they will have good days and bad but ultimately they will complement each other and enjoy the other's company, after having faced the world on their own. I'm a single person going at this life alone (and by God's strength) and though try as I might to see marriage from the perspective of a married person, I can't. It's like trying to put a square-shaped plastic toy into a circular hole - it just won't fit!
I know what love is supposed to be like in the Biblical sense (self-sacrificing) and I strive to live it out while I'm single. I don't have much experience with every type of love, especially romantic love-something I desire to know-, which is probably why the devil attacked me the way he did. There's only one time, a couple years ago, that I can say that I was deeply infatuated with someone. Maybe it was the beginnings of romantic love, I can't say for sure. I did do some crazy things, but I know I didn't "love" that person, though. It's hard for me to say, "I love you," to people other than my immediate family members, because I didn't hear it nearly enough from a particular male figure in my life growing up.
I can almost guarantee that it's going to be the scariest and most exciting time of my life when I do meet the someone who will hear me say those three life-changing little words. He, whoever he may be, should know in that moment, I will have just given him one of the most treasured gifts there is - the key to my heart.
Whether you are in love or not, the very mention of true love stirs up crazy thoughts in our minds. My only hope is that, later down the road - when I am in a relationship - I will think back to this wedding or read this post again and want to slap myself for having these thoughts.
Oh, the things we say when we are young!