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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Goodbye, Dreams

Today was a bit emotionally draining.  Ryan's been having some health concerns, and had some tests done. Everything seems to be normal except his blood pressure is high, and it looks like it's just stress combined with a slight injury.  But there was a chance it was something more, so he wanted to get it checked out, which I understand.
This has made him think about mortality, I think, and he's like, "I want to marry you now." We've been saying that kind of stuff to each other for a while, but he said it with more urgency. So we discussed logistics, again.  It's very difficult being 8,000 miles apart and not having money.  I still won't know if I have a job until tomorrow (perhaps I will by the time most of you are reading this; I'm writing this after 2am on Tuesday night).

The logistics make our heads and hearts hurt. It's difficult no matter how you cut it. We just don't have the money. And I want to make people happy. Maybe this is one of those situations when I should stop caring what other people think, but the truth is, I want them to share in my joy.  And they won't.

I went and talked to one of my best friends, who I want to be in my bridal party. She shared my excitement when I mentioned what attire I want for bridesmaids... but when it came to me saying we're talking about getting engaged long distance (which wouldn't be our first choice) she just shut down on me.  Just like my sister did the other day. 

We just don't have the money to meet up in person to get engaged, even though we'd like that very much. Ryan wants to propose in person so badly, and I want that for us too. But if we want to have a wedding here, (and I do! I do!) I know no one will take me seriously if I try to plan it without "officially" being engaged. I know this because I've actually been trying and all I get is rolled eyes and people willing to hear me out for no more than a minute or two before they change the subject. I don't own a car, so I can't do any of it on my own. I need my family and friends to help me, and they won't unless I'm engaged.  And now some of them are telling me they still won't unless he and I get engaged in person.

But we just can't afford to meet up, get engaged, and then have me plan the wedding. My God may move mountains and give us a way, but I don't know that. I am praying for it, I will praise God to the skies if He does, but God has told me something that I do know. I do know that God is telling Ryan and I both to marry sooner rather than later. Which means I can't wait around for money to drop into my lap.

I was praying about this over a month ago. I was feeling, with major urgency, that Ryan and I should marry sooner rather than later, and I was praying to seek God's will, to see if this was from Him or my own heart. She prayed with me, and discussed it with me. She wasn't there when I got the answer, which came while I was one of the phone with Ryan.  I just knew, and I told him and burst into happy tears and felt peace wash over me. I told her, and she still seemed skeptical, but Ryan and I had faith. Then, a few weeks later, Ryan and I were doing a Bible reading together and I felt drawn to Genesis 24 for some reason.

It was the story of when Abraham's servant came to find a bride for Isaac, and found Rebecca. He's already arrived when God brought me and Ryan to the verse. Indeed, it'd pretty much been decided. But Rebecca's family wanted her to stay for ten more days with them. Abraham's servant says, "Do not hinder me, since the LORD has prospered my way; send me away so that I may go to my master." He'd sent out to find a bride for his master's son, and God achieved this for him and blessed his task.  So now he wants to go back home with Rebecca.  The family only wants Rebecca to stay only another ten days. They don't want her not to marry Isaac, they just want to adjust to the idea and celebrate. But the servant doesn't think that's what he should do, he wants to finish the task assigned him.

So they call in Rebecca to be the tie breaker. And she declares, "I will go."


It was a very clear confirmation of the "sooner" rather than later. 

It seems like everyone close to me (aside from Ryan) is just saying "Sorry. I can't be happy for you unless your relationship unfolds exactly like I think it should. Yeah, I understand because of money and distance that's impossible, but sorry you should have thought of that before you fell in love with a man in India."  My parents especially keep bringing up, "Why couldn't you have found a man nearby?"  Well, I don't know why. But I didn't. I didn't do it to slight them. I am 100% confident this is the man for me, the man God intended for me.

It's very frustrating when they question Ryan when they don't even know him.  He's not hiding from anyone. Truth is, I am so sure that if they would all just meet him, they'd love him. He's a great, amazing, wonderful guy!  But because they've not met him, and they won't invest the time and energy to get to know him over the phone, they are nervous about him.  And question my judgment. And it hurts. It hurts so much.

It hurts to see everyone rally around my sister, who is engaged, but when I tell them Ryan and I are very close to engagement, you can see walls come up inside them.

I am the kind of girl who has always dreamed about her wedding, but it's not because I want a day that's all about me. I've dreamed of a thousand little ways to show everyone how much they mean to me and I love them. A Christian couple once wrote that they saw their wedding as their first act of hospitality as husband and wife, and I want to extend that. I want to show love to everyone. I want to take my joy and pass it around so it bubbles up and multiplies in us all. I want to show off my God, who is amazing, and to all the glory should always go. 

And since that is what really matters about the wedding, the joy and the love and guests, maybe I should just chuck my dream.  I mean, I might have to anyway (feels like a knife in my chest when I even think that) and because of that, I've thought "God will come through and I'll get to have it, maybe." But then I read that passage in Genesis again and I think...

Since no one is sharing my joy, maybe that's because God does want me to set this aside. Maybe I should just say, "I will go" and go to India. It's crushing a real part of me, that part of me that has dreamed for years about her wedding. But that part of me has dreamed alone. And she's been aching, and aching, and aching for the day when people will dream with her, and be happy for her, and share her joy. When her family and friends will come together and help her and show her they care.

And instead, they're basically saying, "No, I am unwilling to do that for you. I'm sorry if that hurts, but too bad. Because I am not entirely comfortable with everything in your life, I am unwilling to be joyful. Be joyful alone or not. I don't care. I just don't care."

So... if they don't care, why should I?

Ryan's family in India is happy and joyful at my coming. Ryan is telling me he wants to give me the wedding of my dreams...

But right now, he can't. Because the dress and the food and the flowers are beautiful and I love them... but every important aspect of my dream directly has to do with who it involves. So if my family and friends won't be involved, my dream wedding is impossible.

So even though my wedding dreams are possibly being dashed, God will be there, and Ryan will be there. And even if it only happens in India, then my new family will be there, and my new friends who I'll have the privilege to get to know.

Months ago, I prayed. I asked God to be my wedding planner. Right now he's not telling me what's going to happen.  So I'm trying to purge my heart and remain open.

But it hurts.

2 comments:

  1. In earth tying the knot just a symbol of beginning, vowing together that we will be together no matter where, no matter how, no matter why because we love each other and we will always grow towards our Lord Jesus Christ. And most important thing I am very sure Ryan is the perfect person for you no matter how far he is by distance but in Christ we all are near, more we love Christ the more near we are. And we are also eagerly waiting for Ryan's marriage and trust me if you come here soon I will be seeing the first Christian marriage

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  2. Pam, hurt & disappointment are difficult aspects of our journey in Christ. God knows your heart. I appreciate your words, "So I'm trying to purge my heart and remain open." There are many examples like Issac & Rebecca where the Holy Spirit has brought two people to each other. My husband & I never had a wedding ceremony to speak of, but we have been on this amazing journey together for 37 years. The ceremony is only a symbol. Love is the bond. God is Love. You are loved and prayed for. Take heart, dear sister in Christ & friend.

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Thanks so much for comments, they delight me! Please keep your comments civil and while I read every comment, I reserve the right to delete ones that are especially negative. Thanks!

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