This past week has been a struggle. I’m exactly two weeks into my engagement, and I already feel overwhelmed with wedding planning. Can anyone relate?? I have been so emotional this past week that I’m even starting to get on my own nerves... <rolling eyes emoji> Have you ever been there? Do you know what it’s like to be crying and not know the reason?? I felt like everything was imploding in this terrible nightmare and I couldn't escape. But this morning, I woke up an hour before my alarm, and I felt like God wanted me to spend some time in Psalms. I flipped open to Psalm 143, and to my surprise, DAVID could relate! He wasn’t wedding planning, but his words echoed my heart’s cry.
“For the enemy has made me sit in darkness like those long dead… I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that You have done… Let me hear in the morning Your steadfast love, for in You I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul.” -Psalm 143
When I first started dreaming about our wedding (prior to the proposal – hehe!), my top priority was to not allow wedding planning stress to seep in and steal our joy. I care much more about maintaining peace throughout this busy season than I do about orchids or peonies. Sure, the wedding is important to me, but I refuse to try, and try, and try so hard to make everything perfect at the expense of joyfulness. (I’m sure every bride begins wedding planning with this focus in mind…but then reality hits.) Between trying to nail down a guest list and trying to narrow down the potential venue, I let stress sneak in very quickly. That feeling of overwhelmedness overtook me, and I felt like I would be trapped under it until the moment I say “I do.” But this morning, in my prayer time, I knew God was talking to me. I could relate to David saying, “For the enemy has made me sit in darkness like those long dead.”
That darkness which David describes is the feeling that I’m away from God, as if I can’t talk to Him. My words didn’t say it, but my actions reflected it. The feeling of darkness is believing I have to fix all my own problems: wedding planning, family relations, paying for a huge wedding, etc. Darkness is believing I can’t turn to God. Darkness is thinking I am abandoned. Darkness is believing I’m asking too much from God that He would keep peace and joy present in Russell's & my relationship. Darkness is being bound in fear, unable to take a step of faith and trust God to do the miraculous.
Maybe to you, darkness means something different. In the past I’ve known darkness as a weighty feeling of indebtedness, bitterness, fearfulness, addictions, wild & out of control, given to warring with people, having internal wars.
Darkness is real...I don’t discount that. But what’s greater than reality is truth. Reality changes. Truth never changes. The truth is that darkness doesn’t come from God. Why would God want His children to stress? He doesn’t! But it’s my choice to accept stress or reject it. The truth is that the enemy wants to steal my joy, but it's my choice to REFUSE!The truth is that God wants me to choose a better way to live: love, joy, peace, patience… (Galatians 5).
It’s beautiful the way David gets out of his feeling of darkness. He says, “But I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that You have done.” This morning, while I was reading this Psalm, I frantically wrote all these things God has done for me – all the times He rescued me out of darkness:
- God, You brought me out of a dead-end life even when I had no money, friends, connections, housing, job, etc.
- God, You took my “mustard seed” faith and transformed my life into what it is today.
- God, You brought Russell to me.
- God, You revived my family relationships even after they looked like a dead end.
- God, You cared for my every need at every point in time.
- God, You were always there.
And just like that, the darkness, weightiness, heaviness, and burden disappeared. I no longer felt like I had to try, and try, and try again to be in control. I remembered that God is in control. He leads me, He guides me. And His plan is a thousand times better than what I can even imagine. Who knows, maybe He will have a unicorn or a rainbow at our wedding!
David finishes out the Psalm by saying, “Make me know the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul.” And that’s my prayer this morning. Not a fearful “Help, are you there, God?” but a request that the God who has ALWAYS guided me would guide me again. In my last blog, I wrote that God is my divine director. Now it seems God is my wedding planner!
Whatever darkness you need God to pull you out of, He is there for you. To some, fretting about wedding planning is such a #firstworldproblem, and you're right - it is. But the point is that whether it's a petty first world problem or a life-or-death situation like David's, God will rescue you from darkness. Keep fresh in your memory of what God has done for you, and ask Him for His guidance in your life. His ways are better than ours, and His results are far greater than what we can imagine!
With love, PriskaTabitha