What cocktail napkins taught me about God
The countdown is on! Russell and I have a little over one hundred days until our wedding! As we've been wedding planning, we've realized that throwing a big party for 100 of our closest framily can get a little pricey. Actually, we realized that we can't afford everything we want. ACTUALLY, we realized we can't afford everything that I want. If you know me, you know I like fancy, luxe, extravagant anything and everything. (And maybe just for the sake of being fancy. Who knows?!) When I first started realizing our wedding budget wasn't going to cover some of the extra frills, I immediately asked God, "God, give us more money! We NEED it!!!" And do you know what He said to me?! "It isn't about money." (That's real easy for a guy whose streets are paved in gold to say...) But He went further. I found out that not being able to pay for all the excesses isn't about money, and it isn't even about the wedding. It isn't even about our marriage. It is about God.
That was a tough pill to swallow. As any bride knows, EVERYTHING is about the wedding. So much so that I've even seen the marriage to be about the wedding, instead of vice versa. But I digress... It took me a while to grasp that not having enough money for monogrammed cocktail napkins isn't even about money. (When I say a while, I mean an amount of time long enough that I won't embarrass myself by quantifying it on the world wide inter webs.) But how could a wedding budget - and even cocktail napkins - be about God?
As I started to scratch through all of the beautiful but expensively out-of-reach frivolities that were no longer going to be part of our wedding (single tear emoji), I realized that I was making a priority list of what was important to us as a couple. Sparklers - not important. Large family Bible to use as a guest book - important. Cocktail napkins - not important.
And then the revelation hit me: Maybe God doesn't want to give us all a big bucket of money. (Maybe He doesn't want us all to win the Lotto - I'm talking to you, friend who called a prayer meeting over his hundred lottery tickets.) Maybe God wants us to seek Him for how to handle each paycheck and how to prioritize the things in our lives, especially what we give our money and energy toward. Maybe He wants us to have a good attitude with or without the money. Maybe it's not about the money at all. Maybe these little cocktail napkins are a distraction from the permanent marriage I am entering into. And maybe I should be content in knowing that we have an exquisitely beautiful venue for the wedding!
The more I ponder it, the more I realize how extremely blessed I already am. Not in a negligible way. As an American, my life is easier than most other people in the world. As someone who has known remarkable technologies like Internet and cell phones for most of her life, I am BLESSED, because I have better access to knowledge than any generation before me. As a child of God who can talk to her Heavenly Father at any time about anything - even monogrammed cocktail napkins - I am richly BLESSED! But that isn't the point of all of this. The point is that if my lack of endless money points me to the need for God, then that's exactly what I need. If my wealth points me to need God for direction on how to manage it, then that's exactly what I need. Either way, it's all about God.
Quite frankly, even if we couldn't afford to have a wedding at all, we would still be extremely blessed. But the party and the dress, they really don't matter in eternity. They won't even matter for the extent of my lifetime. It reminded me of some wise words that a dear (married) friend of mine gave to me recently. She said, "It doesn't matter if things go as planned. They won't, but it doesn't matter. What matters is that at the end of the day, Russell and you will be joined in a covenant marriage before God." Notice it is still all about God. It's not about roses or peonies, as I mused in a previous blog post. It's about God. It's not about who can or cannot attend the wedding. I would like for everyone invited to attend, but it's just not about that. Every problem I face is about God, and God will use difficult decisions to draw me in to focus on Him.
Let me tell you what our wedding is about. Our wedding is about the faithful God fulfilling His promise of providing a faithful, stable, kind man to be my husband, to lead me, and to father my children. Our wedding is about God's son, Jesus, who is the groom of the Church and shows us how to be good spouses in sacrificing our lives for the betterment of the other. Our wedding is about Russell and I choosing to enter into a covenant marriage, which means that when times are hard, when we fight about the silliest things and about the most consequential matters, when we don't see eye-to-eye, we will remember that we made a promise to each other and to God. Our marriage is about God being glorified in the way we live. Our marriage is about God.
At our wedding, we may not have monogrammed cocktail napkins, but at least they taught me that it's all about God.
With love, PriskaTabitha