*I’ve held off with this post for a few weeks now. I started it way back before October 25. I haven’t been able to finish or post it until now. I have had writers block lately.*
The opening sentences of our ceremony mentioned Jesus’ “first miracle” at the wedding at Cana. For non-Christian friends, in the story, Jesus is at a wedding where they run out of wine. His mom is there, and she nags on him until he decides to help them out by turning the water on hand into wine. As it turns out, this wine is even better than the original wine. For me, there is not only importance in this story in the life of Christ, but also in our own lives and for marriage.
This is a story of transformation.
I don’t really know where to start, but I feel like Christ has transformed me through this process. I was water, and now wine, perhaps. By the time we got engaged, I had already been planning my wedding in my head, and sometimes on paper. I had collected some photos into a tumblr page, bought a sporadic Martha Steward Weddings magazine, and I had high hopes that I would be a thorough and meticulous planner. But when we got engaged that all changed. The wedding I had planned in my head was not what this wedding would ultimately become. I was excited about the planning at first. Around Christmas last year we had a flurry of planning, most of the details never came to fruition. After a few months, as school began for my final semester of graduate school. I was entirely burnt out. I hated weddings. I had a lot of resentment towards the Wedding Industry, towards “tradition”, and towards the idea entirely. I was more than happy to elope.
My family didn’t make it any easier over the summer. My father’s selfish abandoning and pitting of me between him and my mother really tore a hole in me. I had all but given up on planning. The wedding of my dreams didn’t exist. I didn’t day dream about it, I only had nightmares. If it had not been for the graciousness, hard work, and loving kindness of my mother, the wedding would not have happened.
There was a struggle to get all our parents on the same page. No one was telling anyone what exactly was going on. I had a lot of trouble keeping up with it all, and I often found myself really angry towards my family. There were moments when that was directed at Brad because he was in the closest proximately. In the immediate weeks before the wedding, things had smoothed and I was feeling confident and even excited (yes, excited!) about our impending nuptials. We made it on the road with Brad’s parents safely and without incident. We made it through all our errands, balancing time with our parents and wedding party, a brief moment of panic for my mother about the food budget caused by my failure to communicate, through a successful rehearsal dinner, and on Saturday I woke refreshed and ready for the wedding day. One of my beautiful bridesmaids provided yummy breakfast and coffee for us and I took care of a few last minute things.
I was then informed that Brad’s dad was at the house getting turkey for our bulldog, Maggie, because she was sick. I was upset immediately. A few of my relatives on my dad’s side had been feeding her “people-food” the night before. I was positive that she was ill because she was given people food. I was annoyed that no one had cleared it with me before they fed her. I was upset. She was going to be a part of the wedding, but she ended up at the vet that day instead.
When my dad appeared with my step-mom Melissa and the keg of beer for the evening, I snapped. They walked in asking me a bunch of questions that I honestly didn’t know the answer to since I had left so many details to my mom and the coordinator. I referred them to my mom and the coordinator who would arrive in 30 minutes. That didn’t seem to satisfy him. At some point I expressed how annoyed I was that no one asked me if Maggie could have “people-food” the night before, and now she was sick. Apparently I came across as having an attitude…I don’t know if that was actually the case, because I was pretty upset. After an exchange with my dad while I was working on the seating chart he reappeared without Melissa and called me out to the porch. He berated me as if I was a little girl. He told me that my attitude was “piss poor” and that even though it was my wedding day, I “needed to straighten up.” He then went on to hold over me his wedding gift to me. Telling me he had a “big gift for me” and that if I didn’t straighten up that I wouldn’t get it. As calmly and as genuinely as I could I tried my best to explain myself, but he wouldn’t here any of it. He turned and walked away. I was really hurt. So hurt that the only thing that consoled me was to have Brad come over.
I was really worried for the evening. I didn’t want him to walk me down the aisle. I didn’t want to see him.
But it didn’t matter how I felt about him. That night I put on my best, sweetest daughter face and went on with it. I focused on the task at hand, getting married to Brad. Brad is who mattered and that was it. I told Brad that one of the reasons I choose to marry him was because I knew he would never treat me like my father had over the past few months and that morning. I was in love with marriage. I was in love with my dress, Brad, the wedding itself, my bridesmaids, my mom. I loved everything about it.
I admit that I am still jealous of women who have such a strong relationship with their dad. Who have dads that are supportive and helpful. But, I will say that my dad, though not emotionally, has always provided for me monetarily with whatever I need. Perhaps that is the only way he knows how to show love to us.
During the ceremony there were several opportunities to pray for forgiveness. And I prayed for help to forgive him. In my heart, I forgave him during the ceremony. I knew that it was the right thing to do, and I knew that I would feel better that night. I was water earlier that day. God changed me from someone who was so wrapped in up in being treated a certain way by another human being to being more concerned about how I treated other human beings.
Image credit: http://www.sacred-destinations.com/turkey/istanbul-kariye-chora-pictures/slides/kariye-water-into-wine-c-osseman.htm
Above is rundown of a recent Fox News segment. As a recently single and now married woman…I can say that my reproductive rights are essential to my personal economics. There are many benefits that I now receive from the government that I didn’t receive as a single woman….
We survived a “tsunami!” I saw “Jaws!” (surfers will know what I’m talking about, it’s got “teeth” but it’s not a fish. We’ve seen some of the most beautiful territory I’ve ever witnessed. Roadside fruit stands, sport fishing, the most blue water, a lava tube! I’ve ever seen. Awesome so far. More exploring to come.