Friday, July 20, 2012

I Watch the Groom

In the movie, 27 Dresses, there's a bit of banter back and forth between the two main characters (Jane and Kevin) about their favorite wedding moment. Both agree that they, instead of watching the bride make her big entrance, they watch the groom. So I took a cue from them at a wedding I went to this past weekend.

My college roommate of two years was getting married. The day had been long in coming, but it was finally here and the music was playing. Bridesmaids glided down the aisles, including my current roommate. Groomsmen looked very dapper in gray suits. The maid of honor escorted (herded) the cutest 2-year-old ringbearer ever to the front. And then the music swelled. Everyone stood and turned to look at the rear of the church.

Not me. I kept my eyes trained on the groom. I watched as he teared up. I watched as he took a tissue from his mom and dabbed his eyes. I watched the smile light up his face when he caught his first glimpse of his bride. It was an expression of love that cannot be described with mere words. And by the time the bride reached the front, her smile matched his, watt for watt.

The rest of the wedding went by in a blur but I'll never forget the face of the groom (at least not until my eyes are trained on my own groom). And so I got to thinking. I know, scary thought, right? Anyway, here are my meager words of wisdom for today.

The Bible states over and over that we, as the church, are the Bride of Christ. So what would it look like if we were in a wedding with Christ? He would be the One at the front, waiting for us to get our acts together and walk the aisle. He would wait for us no matter how long it took to get to the front. He would get teary-eyed (metaphorically speaking) as our journey to Him neared completion. And He would love us, no matter what we looked like, no matter how many mistakes we'd made, no matter how far we strayed from the aisle.

Just imagine. Christ, at the front. Me (or you), taking one step at a time, sometimes a step back or a step sideways, but the destination is always the same. The altar.

Something to think about, anyway. What do you think? Sound off in the comments below!!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Practicing What You Preach

My book is all about contentment. Finding Christ and letting Him be enough for you even if you are destined to stay single for the rest of your life. Contentment ain't easy. Trust me, I've been there. I've been discontent and convinced that the only way to be "cool" and to achieve complete happiness was to have a boyfriend, someone that you would share all your deepest secrets with and hold hands with and *gasp* even kiss sometimes.

So I threw all my hopes on different boys who would come along. There was the guy I was in love with (read: obsessed with) from sixth grade all the way to my freshman year of college. Yeah. I know. L-o-n-g time. And when I realized it really wasn't going to happen, I was devastated. I was devastated each time he moved to a new girlfriend. I was horribly and sadly depressed when he gradually became less of a friend in order to spend more time with his girlfriend. I. Was. A. Loser. And I was trying to do things all by myself.

Then I threw my hopes on yet another boy in my sophomore year of college and decided that he and I were going to date and be happy forever and, if that didn't happen, well, being happy was just not in my future. And guess what? We didn't date. And I was sad. I decided I was meant to be single and that lasted...about a year.

That's when I joined an online dating website and fell hopelessly in love/like with Mike. Now, don't get me wrong; I wouldn't trade my experiences on this site for anything. After all, it gave me the idea for my book that actually might have a chance at getting published. But, once again, I poured all my energy and dreams into Mike. I waited anxiously for emails. I emailed him when he didn't email back after a while. Yes, I know that's lame. I was learning.

Ultimately, that became the basis of my book, Oh Boyfriend, Where Art Thou? Kinsey Walden is a girl who throws herself into every relationship and cries buckets of tears when they don't work out. But, eventually, she discovers the truth: God HAS to be enough for you and you have to be content with whatever His plan might be. You have to trust that what He has planned for you is way better than anything you could come up with. And then (and only then) will that soulmate come along - if that is indeed part of the Plan.

I wrote this book. Filled it with all this advice. Had Kinsey see the light. And, slowly, I began to take my own advice. No longer did I get all upset when my roommate would talk about holding hands with a boy. No longer was I jealous of the girl who is now dating the guy I was in love with sophomore year. And I'm looking at couples I know and, instead of wanting to have a boyfriend, I'm thinking how great my life is. I. Am. Content.

And then, the other day, I met this guy. Now, I'm not saying he's "The One." I'm not saying he's not. All I'm saying is that when he walked in the door and I laid eyes on him for the first time, I had butterflies performing Olympic gymnastic trials in my stomach. Best of all? I still have that peace where I know that if he's the one, great. If he's not, that's okay, too. I am finally content to let Christ be enough for me. Of course, I won't say no to a boyfriend if God's really bringing me this guy or some other guy.

But guess what? I'm finally practicing what I preach in my book and what I want to use to disciple young women. Be content. Live for Jesus and none other. Don't worry about finding that someone. And...he might just walk into your apartment one night and send your heart flip-flopping.