In the months leading up to our wedding, I started really thinking about the whole better or worse thing.
I thought about our friends whose baby was stillborn.
I thought about my friend who loved and served his wife until the succumbed to cancer.
and the whole “worse” thing took center stage.
My wedding weekend was really tough for me. In addition to being knocked over and off my feet by a huge wave of grief, I kept thinking… this declaration and ceremony is BIG. I couldn’t just stand there and think of some house with a white picket fence and 100% healthy children and a long life. I stood there and thought… what if I have to wipe your butt in 7 years? What if our dreams shatter right before our eyes? What if we deal with a loss that threatens to drive us apart? THAT is what the day was about for me. The hard, the unimaginable, the “worse.”
As my friends were grieving and I was still distracted by the sparkly ring on my finger, I kept thinking “did they imagine AT ALL that THIS would come? did they think the worse would be THIS WORSE?”
Right now we’re going through our own season of “worse.” It’s nothing super traumatic. It’s not cancer or an empty nursery. It’s just stressful and hard. The past 24 hours, I’ve cried more than I have the whole year, I think. Year being like 2019, not calendar year, to keep it in the right perspective.
I did that super girl thing where I looked in the mirror when I got a wave of calm (why do we do that?) and as I stood there, watching fresh tears fall down my sad little face, I suddenly remembered a moment of our wedding.
There was a lot I let other people choose. The flowers. The food. The date. But the one thing I had to have my way was the music. I walked down the aisle to By Two by Dave Barnes (sung by one of best friends, Ernie). We walked out to Ever Ever After from Enchanted (don’t judge me). and during our communion, our friend Tyler sang I’m In His Hands, by my friend Phil. It was the best way I could think to reconcile the promise of the “worse.” When that wave rolls, there’s something more and bigger than Justen and I.
I will not fear, though the darkened clouds may gather ’round me.
I trust the One who whispers “Peace.”
Although the wind and waves may threaten to confound me,
He walked upon the raging seas. He still can calm the storm in me.
I cannot see in the night that lies before me,
but I hold the hand that made the stars. …
I’m in His hands, whatever the future holds, I’m in His hands.
The days I cannot see have all been planned for me.
His way is best, you see. I’m in His hands.
I’ve mentioned that song before on my blog because that line about Christ straight up strolling across a stormy sea like it is nothing so of course the storm in my heart and in my head is not a big deal for Him to come in and conquer.
BUT. That’s honestly not what popped in my head as I stood there amazed that my normal eyes could magically transform into such a deep, scary pink color. Instead I thought of these OTHER lyrics.
“You don’t have to worry, and don’t you be afraid.
Joy comes in the morning, troubles they don’t last always
for there’s a friend named Jesus, who will wipe your tears away
and if your heart is broken, just lift your hands and say
‘I know that I can make it, with Him I know I can stand
No matter what may come my way, my life is in His hands.
With Jesus, I can take it. with Him I know I can stand.
No matter what may come my way, my life is in His hands.'”
Which of course made me think of the OTHER lyrics which then just made me start crying EVEN MORE (plus I was staring in the mirror which has like an 80% chance of making you cry again) because I realized that this is what I knew would eventually come. And all things considered…. it’s not cancer or death or anything that rips your heart out and makes it hard to breathe. It’s just a storm, and I know someone who is so unbothered by storms He can nap through them.
These “worse” and stormy seasons are held in holy, holey hands that sleep through, walk on, and straight up shush storms. and I think I’ve done a lot of looking for an umbrella and trying to find a life boat, instead of crying out to the person who is able to shelter and save me from the chaos.
Something I’ve realized is that we’re a society of people who curate and create a feed or timeline that often neglects to mention the things that are breaking our hearts. Not always to hide it, but sometimes because it’s not appropriate to share or we want to hold it close to us. But because of that, I know there are people whose social media presence show life is carrying on as normal but there’s a storm raging on beneath the surface. This is for all of us who fall in that category. <3