What I've learned from Meghan Markle
Did you watch the Royal Wedding? I watched it three times on Saturday!! (Apparently 2 BILLION other people watched it, too!) Anddd I scrolled Instagram for multiple hours goggling at the dresses and fascinators, from Meghan's to Priyanka's to Gina Torres'. Oh my!
But in my scrolling and scrolling, there was one shot that stood out to me. It wasn't glam, and it probably wasn't even edited. It was certainly before Instagram and before filters.
As soon as I saw this, I wondered:
How did she get from posingin front of a palace to residing in a palace?
And then wondered:
How many "no's" did she say to be able to say "yes" to the love of her life and royalty and being positioned to change the world?
I have to admit, my own number of "no's" as a single woman is something I regret. As I look back on my life before Russell, I was wild, temperamental, and out of control. I pretty much went wherever the winds blew and often I was the one pulling people into the party life with me. The few yeses I said were to writing, pursuing a college degree (on the 8-year plan, but who's counting?), and seeking a tight relationship with God.
As I watch the unfolding of Meghan's real life fairy-tale, I wonder:
How many no's did she say to:
Other boyfriends, other dates, other kisses, other typical nights out on the prowl.
The quicker plan of just marrying some old Joe. How many weddings has she attended, wondering when her time would come?
The pressure of having children -- after all, she's 36 years old. How many of her friends have birthed multiple children by now?
An easier career. Instead we see she pursued a career which enabled her to have a platform to change the world.
Responding to gossip. Part of her appeal is how classy she is. She's certainly been the center of media gossip these last few months, but you will not find a single instance of her "defending herself" against the trash talk.
How many yeses did she say to:
Small decisions that breed inner strength. On Saturday, we saw a woman who is able to walk down the aisle unaccompanied (I'm sure it wasn't her first choice, but what strength!)
Standing up + speaking up about women's rights, children's welfare, education, world relief, etc. Meghan is a World Vision Ambassador, which is an outstanding organization that I support as well. Meghan could have easily been another pretty face in Hollywood who speaks out on trendy holidays. Instead, we see her life is a reflection of her inner convictions to changing the status quo.
Fostering compassion in an era of reckless criticism by trashy media and normal people with harsh tweets. And yet, she seems to focus on the positive.
Changing the world. "Aged 11 she successfully campaigned for a company to alter their television advert that had used sexist language to sell washing-up liquid." Source: Kensington Palace
Classiness, even before she was a royal. I think of the words of our own American royalty, Michelle Obama: "When they go low, we go high." And I'm convicted in knowing how often I respond to accusations, gossip, and slander that simply doesn't deserve my attention. But it's so easy!!
Needless to say, I was so inspired by the Royal Wedding, and by Meghan + Harry's global work thus far. I feel in some small way that I relate to her in knowing what it takes to wait to say yes to the right man, and say no to the wrong ones along the way. What it takes to say yes to the right legacy in the making, and say no to the status quo. What it takes to confidently enter royalty (for me, the Kingdom of God!), and say no to the depravity I was born into (sin, guilt and shame).
Is this post entirely romanticized? Yes, as am I! ;) There's just something about weddings and royalty -- and especially Royal Weddings -- that lend inspiration to our aspirations, isn't there?
At the end of the weekend, we were left with this photo, which brought tears to my eyes (againnn):
"Imagine our world when love is the way."
As a future preacher (I'm calling it forth in Jesus' name!), I cannot conclude without saying how stirred I was by the wedding sermon. It was evident that Meghan + Harry's choice in Bishop Michael Curry for the sermon was to stoke the fire of love within each hearer's heart, not just love for each other in that prestigious room, but love for each person in the world and more so passion to better the lives of people globally.
Bishop Curry proclaimed in his wedding address to the couple and congregation:
Imagine our world when love is the way.
No child would go to bed hungry in such a world as that. Poverty would become history in such a world as that. The earth would be as a sanctuary in such a world as that.
We would treat one another as children of God, regardless of differences. We would learn how to lay our swords and shields down by the riverside to study war no more.
There would be a new heaven, a new earth, a new world. A new and beautiful human family, The very dream of God.
For love is strong as death,It’s flashes are flashes of fire.Many waters cannot quench love. (Quoting Song of Solomon 8)
What I learned from Meghan Markle isn't to sit and wait outside the palace I hope to reside in, but to begin making choices that match the life I aspire to live. Meghan's wedding wasn't atypical of her decisions. It entirely matched who she's been becoming her entire life. Their wedding was about love. Love that transcends. Love that transforms. Love that burns in our hearts until the whole world is changed.
Featured photo courtesy of Kensington Palace/Twitter.