At this very moment, Samantha is on her honeymoon. Here’s a peek into her brain in the days before she said, “I do.” Whether you’re a bride, a perpetual bridesmaid, or years away from the altar, you will relate!
I’ve got butterflies in my stomach and a hundred emotions swirling in and out of my head. I’m up to my ears in votive candles, and the pink pen I use for my wedding to-do list is running out of ink. I have just twenty-three days until I change from “Miss” to “Mrs.”
God is giving me the opportunity to put Christ’s relationship to the Church on display. That’s worth more than any fairy-tale dream I’ve had.
The days are ticking down, and I realize I’m a ball of unsorted emotions—happy, sad, nervous, anxious, tired, nostalgic, and even scared. I’m not the glowing bride full of joy and excitement I thought I’d be—the bride I’d like to be. I’m quickly learning that getting married isn’t made up of one big happy emotion. It’s made up of a whole gamut of emotions, and I haven’t been fully embracing them, until now.
I’m writing straight from my emotion-filled heart with the hope that some of my thoughts might touch your heart in return.
What’s on My Mind
I’ve often had mini freak-out moments when I stop and think to myself, Get married? Am I crazy? There’s no way I can be everything my husband will need me to be. And then Jesus reminds me of grace. He showers it upon me daily. And He’ll give me what I need to become a wife who respects her husband, cooks what he likes, and keeps up with laundry. (Lam. 3:22–23; 2 Peter 1:3–4)
2. Lots of nerves:
What if it rains on the wedding day? Will I ugly cry on the way down the aisle? What if I trip? Will guests like the décor? What if I forget a guest’s name when I’m greeting them? This is when God reminds me of His goodness. My wedding planner loves to say, “He’s got this.” She’s right. (Jer. 32:17)
3. Giddy girl giggles:
Yes, I am really excited about signing the marriage certificate and becoming man and wife. But I’m also over-the-moon excited to spend the day with my bridesmaids, too. These girls have invested their hearts into mine, and it’s very possible that my heart will burst when all of them are in one place with me. Godly friends and family are precious. (Ecc. 4:9– 10)
Am I really about to have a husband? And I’m going to be a wife? This feels like the big leagues! When did I get old enough to have the “Mrs.” title? (Trust me, time flies!)
5. A desire to serve:
As I’ve worked through months of wedding planning, this prayer has been ringing in my heart: “God, help my wedding to serve Christ and to serve my guests.” Only by His grace has this desire been placed in my heart, and He often tenderly reminds me when I’ve lost sight of that goal. Weddings are an incredible opportunity to encourage your guests in Christ. I would be honored if guests leave my wedding feeling loved and served. (Phil. 2:1– 5)
I used to think getting married was all about giddy feelings and being hopelessly in love and always happy. But marriage is serious business. It shouldn’t be entered lightly, and, in fact, it displays a powerful picture that I want to honor—the gospel. In my marriage, God is giving me the opportunity to put Christ’s relationship to the Church on display. That’s worth more than any fairy-tale dream I’ve had. That’s of
eternal value. What a privilege He gives to us as couples! (Eph. 5:22– 33)
I have so much to learn. I still ask my mom which settings to choose on the washer. My husband might eat some not-so-perfectly-cooked meals. I’m not the best budgeter. I can never remember how to fold those fitted sheets . . . Growing up, I thought I’d have it all together when I got married. I was wrong. Oh, so wrong. I have a long way to go in my homemaking journey—and in my spiritual journey. I’m thankful I’ll have a husband who will grow with me. (I don’t think he knows how to fold a fitted sheet, either.)
So many friends and family have invested time, ideas, support, and money into our wedding day—and words of thank you don’t feel like they could ever be enough. I’m honored and undeserving to receive the help and support everyone has so kindly offered. And I love this: Recently, one of my best friends, on the night before her wedding, looked at me and said, “There’s no way I’m ever going to be able to thank my parents enough for what they’ve done for me.” I completely agree. (Col. 3:15; Ps. 106:1; James 1:17)
I’ve grown up in the same house for my entire life in a small town. I love where I live. I love that my family lives down the road. I love the lake cottage where we’ve spent summer after summer. And my heart doesn’t want to let go of the blessings I experience here. But my new house is 661 miles from the place I grew up. I can’t shake off the sadness of a big move like that. I’m going to miss my family. I’m going to have tough
days. But Jesus is going with me. And for all of those miles, He’ll always take care of me. (Phil. 4:4– 7)
10. A sense of adventure:
I’m not really the adventurous type. I’m a cautious introvert whose idea of a good time is eating ice cream directly out of the carton. But marriage? That’s going to be an adventure. And if I’m not willing to go all in, I’ll miss out on what God has for us. I’m twenty-three days away from holding his hand, looking in his eyes, and saying, “Let’s go on an adventure together.”
In marriage, in singleness, He is good. In exuberant joy, in deep sorrow, He is faithful.
In all of these emotions, our God is the same. In marriage, in singleness, He is good. In exuberant joy, in deep sorrow, He is faithful. In the big things, in the everyday things, He is sovereign.
I can’t believe that in twenty-three days, Lord-willing, I’ll be wearing a wedding dress and entering a holy covenant before Him. But even more than a wedding, I can’t believe God would choose a sinner to be used in His plan. Truly, He is so good.
If you’d like to read more of how God’s worked in my heart and in my relationship, you can read these posts:
If you’d like to dig into God’s purpose and meaning for marriage and weddings, I’d recommend these fantastic resources:
The Meaning of Marriage
by Timothy Keller
The Mingling of Souls
by Matt Chandler
A Christ-Centered Wedding
by Catherine Parks
For Women Only
by Shaunti Feldhahn
This Momentary Marriage
by John Piper
When God Writes Your Love Story
by Eric and Leslie Ludy
And, if you’re curious (because I know I’d be!), our wedding hashtag was #NievesWeddingDay. And I’m giving you full permission to be a total Instagram stalker.