My sweet friend Stacy is doing the calligraphy for our wedding invitations and recently came over to show me a handful of options. We sat on my dining room floor, shuffling between 20 different styles she'd created, trying to determine our favorites.
I laughed as I went to get our invitations from my room - they were sitting in a beat up box, on a shelf in the back of my closet. When you think about glamorous wedding invitations - the beautiful paper, calligraphy and stamps - you don't exactly envision them collecting dust in the back of someone's little Virginia-Highland rental.
I told Stacy that this has been one of the most unexpected parts of wedding planning. In my baby dreams, on some level, I thought that my life would pause when I got engaged. I didn't think about the fact that I'd still have a job, a lot of stuff to do and the normal highs and lows of life. I thought about the glamour of dress shopping, selecting the band and the pretty flowers. I thought about the rings and cake and dancing.
But, as we've planned during the last five months, I've come to realize that wedding planning is about so much more than planning a wedding. Chris and I have grown deeper in our relationship with one another and with the Lord. We've had amazing conversations in premarital counseling, overturning parts of our pasts we've never touched with anyone else. We've learned to rely on one another in a new way. I feel God working between us, drawing us closer and guiding us.
Last week, we went to dinner on a ScoutMob Sun in My Belly deal. We ordered a glass of wine, chatted with the two elderly women on the bench next to us and then got down to business writing on the paper table cloth. What did we want our lives to look like in 10 years? And 5? How about 2? We wrote down baseline needs, smallest wishes and biggest dreams.
In that moment I thought that if I had a little journal where I wrote down happy memories between Chris and me (which, I should!), I would write this one down. Because, like wedding planning, sometimes you think things are going to be more glamorous than they really are. But, when it comes down to it, you're mapping out your life with a 50 percent off coupon and the pen you snagged when the couple next to you paid their check. It might not be quite as fancy or perfect as you anticipated, but it turns out to be better.
The moment reminded to keep my hands open during this season. It can be so easy to white knuckle the plans we had for our lives - refusing to relinquish control. But, the more I allow myself to kill those dreams to make room for new ones, the more I realize there was a better plan for me all along. My expectations might have looked different for 29, or wedding planning, or living in Atlanta or my job (or any area of life), but the more I make room for God to move, the more I'm overcome with joy and gratitude.