The breakdown. The buildup.

It happens when you wait two months for your wedding dress to be altered perfectly and it turns out to be a disaster. You’ve already ordered, tried on, and had your first fitting. You stood in the gown for two hours while a middle aged woman from England tucks and pins in every direction. Now’s the time  when everything should be perfect. It’s time to slip on your wedding dress an instantly feel like a princess. But you don’t. It happens when you take the first look in the mirror and noticed she sewed the neckline of your dress crooked. What is supposed to be a simple scoop in the middle, is now over the left side of your chest. The fabric on the sides of the dress is sewn in such a way it now bunches up all down your left side, adding random lumps where lumps should not be. Your veil doesn’t match the dress and you can’t wait to get out of this hideous outfit. The seamstress is unwilling to make any more changes because she says it looks fine. So it happens. As you walk into the dressing room, your throat gets tight and your face hot. You begin to fight the tears. Your wedding dress is a disaster and you’re not sure if there’s a way to fix it. Hello, breakdown.

And then as you’re driving the 2 hour trip back to Boone, you text your best friends explaining your concern. She volunteers to take you to a seamstress the next day, and assures you the dress will be perfect. “No. We are going to fix this. I don’t care if the woman at David’s Bridal thought it looked good…YOU are the one who thinks it needs to look good. We are going to fix this” Hello, buildup. And as you’re texting your other best friend (who is actually on the other side of the United Stats right now. In a location with no cell service), he calms you down and reminds you that Ray isn’t going to care what the dress looks like. He’s going to look at your face, see the woman he loves, cherishes, and gets to spend the rest of his life with….and he will smile. His breath will be short and his eyes will tear up…you are his bride. And this is the wow moment. Hello, buildup. While you’re texting your friends, stressing over the situation, you have your iPod on shuffle. Somehow, in the 14,000 songs in your playlist…at that exact moment, your song comes on. The song your entire wedding day will be based on. The song your marriage, your life, your family, your entire being will focus on for the rest of your days. You are reminded that Christ will be the center of your life, and your wedding day is a small step, such a small part of the overall picture. And on August 12 you will be married to the man of your dreams. The man God choose for you, 22 years ago, before you were ever born. The man that has become your best friend, your soul mate. You are reminded that your future husband seeks Christ in his daily life. He isn’t like the rest of them. He truly wants to honor and glorify God Almighty in everything he does. Hello, buildup.

It happens when you find out your best friend’s dress is about 4 inches too small. She can barely breathe and it is impossible to zip. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem, but the store is completely out of the dress and the fabric and the seamstress says there’s only about half an inch to work with. Hello, breakdown. It happens when you get a call 2 months before your wedding that her dress doesn’t fit. So you spend the next month trying to find a seamstress, she sews it, you overnight the dress back to your best friend, and then she calls you at work to tell you the dress is smaller than before. It happens when you realize somehow in the craziness of it all, two of the same exact dresses were switched, and the seamstress sewed the smaller dress. It happens when you realize you’re back to square one…a dress 4 inches too small, no extra fabric, the store is out of stock and the seamstress says there is very little we can do….with exactly 5 weeks left before you say your vows. Hello, breakdown.

And then two of your coworkers show up at your desk to pray. Out of the blue, they tap on your shoulder, look at you with understanding eyes, and take the silliest stress of a cotton dress to the Lord. And you are reminded in that moment that the scope of the day is much larger than a yellow dress. Hello buildup. You realize that God does care about the details, and so do your friends. You are thankful that you work at a place where prayer in a cubicle isn’t anything out of the ordinary. You realize that out of all the places in the world you could have worked…somehow you found the perfect place with the perfect people you used to call co-workers but now call friends. They start to pray, one hand on your shoulder, and tears release down your face. Hello, buildup.

And then on the way home, your best friend texts you to tell you she found a seamstress in Wilmington, NC who is willing to fix the bridesmaids dress. So your friend helps you overnight the original dress back to your best friend and pray for success. And then you realize that August 11 will be perfect because your best friend will be next to you. That’s all that matters. And then you get home and find a letter in the mail from her that says this “Lead them with strong hands. Stand up when they can’t. Show them you’re willing to fight. Give them the best of your life” – Sanctus Real. You are reminded that your best friend also seeks truth, and she seeks grace. And that your best friend whom you call your sister, is also your sister in Christ. Someone you can share with, dream with, struggle with, and be honest with. She will be next to your side as you make the most important decision of your life on August 11. And she’ll be next to your side when you give birth to your first child. And when your oldest scores his first touchdown. And your middle child performs in her first band concert. She’ll share life with you and you will love every second of it…. together. Hello, buildup.

It happens when you find out on the same day as the bridesmaids dress fiasco, that you might have to find an alternate location for the reception. Your dream reception of having the meal and dancing in the hayloft of the barn, might not happen if mother nature doesn’t play nice. There is no way to cool down the attic in 90 degree weather and your guests will be miserable. Hello, breakdown.

And then they respond “okay. what can I do for you?” and you realize you have an amazing team of women and men around you, willing to go m.i.l.e.s….just to make your day pefect. But in reality, the day is going to be perfect because of the people around you. Because your best friends and family will be laughing and dancing…whether that’s in a barn, a tent, or on a patio. Hello, buildup.

And then you get a text from your mom out of the blue telling you how much she loves you and how beautiful you are. Hello, buildup.

And your fiance calls about 6pm telling you he’s sorry he had to stay late from work but “It’s worth it because I have a surprise for you.” So he pulls into your driveway, covers your eyes and takes you outside to see your car. Freshly washed – meticulously clean at every inch. Not because it needed it, or because you asked him to, but because he loves you and wanted to surprise you with this small-yet very large-act of service. Hello, buildup.

And the following morning you get an email from your friend who just “wants to check in” because he noticed yesterday was a stressful day. He offers advice and understanding. Hello, buildup.

It will happen when your dress doesn’t fit, when you can’t find fabric to match for the reception decorations, when one of your bridesmaids backs out because she has college friends coming the weekend of your wedding, when you see the price tag for a videographer, when you can’t find jewelry, when your invitations are scheduled to arrive 2 days after you need them, when you see the forecast that says 90 degrees and raining for your outside wedding. It will happen.

But so will joy. So will encouragement. So will honest friendships that I can’t imagine living without.

I know some of these things may be silly, and it’s even a little embarrassing to admit stressing over them. Regardless, I’m thankful for the amazing men and women of faith in my life who continually build me up and challenge me to stay focused.

I love you guys. :)

“I know you want every detail to be perfect, and there’s nothing wrong with that. And I don’t want to minimize that. There are things that need to be fixed, and taken care of. The bridesmaids do need to be able to get their dresses zipped up. But I can assure you that, when you look back 25 years from now, those details are going to be less important. You are going to remember the moment you share with your dad before walking up the aisle. You’re going to remember the look on Ray’s face when you’re walking toward him. You’re going to remember looking into his eyes when you exchange the vows, and when you put the ring on each others fingers. You’re going to remember getting a little teary when the verses are put on the cross. You’re going to remember how much fun you had at the reception. You are going to remember it as that incredible, special day when God joined you in marriage to the man he picked for you from the beginning.”

Hello, buildup.

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3 thoughts on “The breakdown. The buildup.

  1. Really love this. This entire post gives glory to God, because He’s the one who transforms the breakdowns to buildups. The friends mentioned here are merely the vessels.

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