It was such a busy fall. I was absorbed with student teaching while living at home and taking a class at my university at night in the midst of fittings and showers and a brief weekend visit from my fiancé.
I remember it well even though the year was 1964.
There were so many plans coming together as my mother worked tirelessly on my wedding dress. She wanted every part of it to be perfect from the silk base to the lace overlay and the detachable Peau De Soie chapel length train. She had always been an excellent seamstress, but she wanted this to be her masterpiece, even making the seed pearl tiara and veil. How many times she asked me try it on to assure it fit perfectly…who knows?
The special education students I had for my student teaching kept me on my toes each day as I sought to apply so much I had learned in previous coursework. Driving 45 minutes one night a week to a class on the university campus was a crunch with lesson plans and other things to handle.
There were wedding showers from each side of the family as well as my student teaching students and my attendants’ needs about their dresses and the head pieces my mother was making. All of it needed my attention. To add to all the usual wedding details, we were also getting married five days before Christmas, so all those traditional details were in the mix as well.
These are the fun details so many of us dream of when we are little girls. We hope for the handsome young man who will win our hearts, the beautiful wedding with the colors and flowers we love, and friends and family in attendance.
For me, the handsome young man had come into my life when we met on our university campus. I was a sophomore when we started dating and fell in love. He was a junior with a commission in the U.S. Marines waiting for him at graduation. Those years on campus together were delightful. I relished all the time we could spend together, but that could not have prepared me for what reality would look like after his graduation.
Following his graduation my handsome fiancé was off to finish Marine Officer Training hundreds of miles away while I moved forward to finish my senior year of college. We managed phone calls and a few rushed short weekend visits when he came to see me over those six months before the wedding, but the wonderful days of leisurely walks across campus were gone and I missed him a great deal.
Following this first six months of training, we knew he would be assigned to a base that might be even farther away so we planned for a wedding at the end of the training when he would have a two-week leave.
For as much fun as all the details were that fall, what I wanted most was time with this man who had won my heart in short weeks after our first meeting.
The last week before the wedding as everything was coming together, everything got busier still. When my fiancé arrived, my only desire was to spend time with him, none of the details mattered to me. Those feelings were what prompted us to sneak away the morning of our wedding day to enjoy breakfast together.
My mother was not at all excited about that choice, but I refused to be deterred and off I went.
There we were (my fiancé and I) eating breakfast, sipping coffee, and enjoying time alone for the first time in months. Do you think we were looking at our watches? Absolutely not! When it did occur to me, I was shocked to see it was already noon and we needed to drop my fiancé’s car off at a friend’s home and then I would take him to the home of a groomsman.
Did I mention I was driving my parent’s car?
Can you imagine my mother trying to get things packed up to take to the church without the family car as she watched the hands on the clock moving toward the time we should be leaving? If you are a mother, you get it and I would now too, but I didn’t back then.
All that mattered was being with my beloved and I was committed to doing anything to make that time happen.
As we have been in the midst of this unusual season closed off from the usual, those months and that experience back then have come to mind more than once.
I see a parallel. Until the pandemic our lives were busy with assorted details and anticipation about events we were looking forward to.
Even though these were good things they still consumed much of our time whether they were job, school, ministry, or family related. When much of them were halted we were given an opportunity not unlike those morning hours of breakfast I shared with my fiancé.
Did we, do we see that?
If we are a part of Christ, the Bible makes clear we are the “bride of Christ” and not unlike me back then, we can get caught up in the details and lose track of the bridegroom. He is the One we really want to spend all our time with and yet we are so often distracted. Some of that might be related to that coming wedding and some may not.
The big difference here is that our Bridegroom has handled all the details, prepared the wedding dress and the feast, invited the guests and planned each part of that glorious day. Our focus can be on Him alone.
That means we can use this time to enjoy thinking about Him, reminding ourselves of our courtship, times spent together journeying through life, and whispering our love to Him.
He is eager for that day.