As wedding coordinator here at the Cathedral, I spent the better part of 2020 talking to brides and grooms about their wedding plans not going how they wanted them to go. There were many conversations about the money that had been lost, dreams that were no longer possible, and dashed hopes they had for the perfect day — all followed with diverse opinions on what they should or should not do in response. It made for a rough year in their lives, for a multitude of reasons. The navigation of wedding plans in a pandemic is one of the most hands-on marriage preparation experiences possible! These couples learned a LOT. One lesson I learned from all of these conversations, is that hard situations can invite us to consider what is most important and make our decisions based on those values.
I had to reschedule multiple weddings. There was not a blueprint to plan a wedding for our couples in a pandemic; they did what was best for them. Some couples were concerned about the health of their loved ones so cancelled their weddings altogether. Other weddings took place because the couple wanted nothing more than to marry in the eyes of God, even if that meant it was a smaller wedding with safety measures in place. What they all had to decide was not whether or not they wanted their dream wedding; or, more accurately, they had to decide what the perfect wedding truly entailed. The same is true for each of us. God is inviting us into a deeper relationship with Him, every minute of every day. Instead of trying to choose based on our circumstances, or own expectations, we are called to keep our eyes fixed on Him.
C.S. Lewis once said, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” Not only when it comes to a wedding day, but each and every day we each have the freedom to see our world by the light of God if we so choose. The Psalms remind us to work towards a perspective that recognizes His presence in every circumstance: “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad.” (Ps. 118:24) God knows we are hurting and heart broken from all of the losses this life has brought us, yet we “Praise the Lord, who heals the brokenhearted.” (Ps. 147:3 – from today’s readings) He also knows that what matters most is our closeness to Him, and no obstacle in this world can stop that relationship from continuing to grow. We, however, do get in the way of that relationship more often than we realize. Choosing to leave our Bible on the shelf one more day, choosing to pray tomorrow instead of today, choosing to do things on our own instead of trusting Him, or choosing to ignore His constant offer to give peace in the storms of this world are all things we can change.
“Let my heart and my focus be on you, Jesus. So I can face whatever today brings.” (Ps. 105:4)
Director of Family Ministries