The Choice I Had: Regret or Rejoice
It was early morning May 1, as I sat in the kitchen journaling. My boys were all still sleeping, my husband had just walked in the room and was pouring his coffee. He tried to make small talk with me, but I had already decided I was going to be grumpy with him. He asked me what was wrong and my reply was original. You might want to write this down..."Nothing, I am fine." I wasn't fine. There was plenty wrong, I just didn't know the words to express them and I was trying to decide if I just wanted to have a "frustrated moment" or an "angry day." "You seem off." He said. "You seem off." I curtly replied. After the snide words escaped my mouth, I made up my mind. This was not how I wanted to spend my day. My husband had been working so hard on a project that was for the family, but I know in his heart it was really for me. And here I was acting like a spoiled brat.
The truth was, our oldest daughter was getting married later on that day, and though I completely supported her decision to have her wedding now as opposed to later, it was still crushing me that I was not going to be there with her. Her dad and I had actually encouraged her to make the wedding date sooner rather than later. We had settled with the fact that, at this point in our country, traveling would not be wise. We were in the middle of a pandemic and traveling, either by car or plane, would be risky. We had weighed different options. We could fly. But who all would we be putting at risk by doing so? His family? Her and her new husband? Where would we even stay? We weren't about to impose ourselves on somebody else during the age of social distancing. Hotels are closed, lodging in SC was illegal at the time. Staying at her house was not an option for obvious reasons. I have an aunt in the area who would absolutely love to have us, but are we really going to put her at risk by staying at her house after traveling either in an airplane, or across the US by car. That was not an option. If we went and all was well on the way there...who would we be putting at risk when we got back home? My parents who are in their 70's and live next door to us. We have been so careful with social distancing so that we can be there for them. Our kids have not had contact with a single friend since March 15, literally for the sole purpose of keeping my parents safe. My kids are amazing and enough can never be said about their personal sacrifice and heroism.
We looked at the situation from all points of view and settled in our hearts that we would not be physically present for her wedding and we really were at peace with that. The most important thing was that she would have her groom present. And we were so very happy for her. I was even proud of her, that she had chosen to go ahead and get married, even though her family could not be there. To me it was a picture of her forsaking all else and cleaving to her husband. Their wedding wasn't about us or all the "things" it was bout the union and the covenant they were forming together with God at the center. About them becoming one.
And yet, there I sat with a big baby attitude trying to pick a fight with my husband. After realizing I didn't want to fight all day I told him I was having a hard time with not being at the wedding. His attitude with me melted immediately. He held me in his arms and I had a nice big cry. At the end of my tears, I prayed that God would help me see the joy in the day and not the disappointment. As my husband let go, I also felt the sadness let go. My husbands arms were no longer around me. Now I could feel my Savior's arms covering me with comfort and resolve. I had decided already that we would still have a reception to celebrate the happy couple. We would be watching the wedding over Zoom, so thanks to technology, we would not miss seeing it at least. I went to work making some food to share with my parents and aunt who also lives on the property, and a dear friend who would be joining us. Every one was making something and it was going to be delicious. It was my way of being present and being a part of the day from afar.
I was able to be with her as she got ready through, once again, the gift of technology. I enjoyed watching her precious friends who have so much love for her do her hair and makeup while watching YouTube tutorials. They did a fantastic job and made her beautiful for her day. She had a moment with her dad over the phone right before the ceremony. and before we knew it, the time had come for us all to gather in the youth room of the church to watch her ceremony. I was preparing myself to be sad, but instead I only felt joy. The sadness had left that morning and had not reared its ugly head again all day. The ceremony was beautiful, the setting was beautiful, the bride was gorgeous. Everything was simple and so sweet. It was fun scrolling through and seeing all the other people who were attending virtually as well. It was the first wedding I had gone to in a pair of jeans, and I did not hate that! That was actually one of my favorite parts of the wedding! Her dad was able to give her away virtually which was a precious moment for him. After the ceremony, and watching them cut the cake, the Zoom meeting was over and I put on some background music for us to enjoy while we had our reception. My husband grabbed a hold of me and we had a quick wedding dance and my heart was filled with the joy of knowing that I had the chance that morning to suppress my true emotions and be angry with a man who loves me beyond measure, or voicing my heart and have a beautiful day enjoying the man I love.
I truly believe that God gifted me with grace that entire day. I truly believe that His strength allowed me to be overwhelmed with joy at the happiness of my daughter instead of being burdened with regret at the loss of my own desires.
God is so good, and His mercies endure forever.