I realized last Thursday I was expecting more than six packages from book review programs soon, a few of which were overdue. On Friday one came, but not one of the overdue ones. Saturday brought none, and unsurprisingy neither did Sunday.
On Monday I woke up to this welcome sight:
I was so curious as to what was in that big, white one! I've never gotten a package like that before from any publisher...
It was my wedding planner!
One of those big binders they sell. It is a book about wedding planning for Christian brides, which also includes lists and organizational tools.
When I had signed up to review All Things Are Ready, as it said "planner" I thought it'd be like a book with some space to write in. I didn't realize it'd be so nice and... bride-like. And I felt my heart swell with gratitude...
I'd wanted a planner like this before, but never could afford it. And now not only did I get one for free, but it was specifically for Christian brides. I've already read quite a bit in it, and it matches up with me very well.
I felt loved by God. I am a huge wedding fanatic. I know I can get obsessed with it. So last summer, when Ryan and I were discussing our marriage, I prayed to God to be my wedding planner. I was looking at the time frame, the money, and the distance. The impossibility of it all and the disordered desires of my own heart and I knew.. I knew I had to hand the baton to God.
So I gave it to Him. I prayed for Him to be my wedding planner. To take what He knew we'd have in resources (which we still don't know) and the vision and desires He has for me and He knows I have in my heart and reconcile it with the timing that still only He knows. And I asked Him to change my heart to be happy with whatever happens. However it goes, I put it on Him and asked Him for his plan for me...
So when this planner arrived I felt loved and grateful. I've been struggling with so much and this was assurance to me that God is planning this day that does mean a lot to me.
Then I got online and saw how God had come through for another of my brethren.... and I instantly got sibling rivalry. My heart deflated in ingratitude because I still had needs that were unmet and God hadn't come through with those and...
I caught myself and berated myself. I prayed to God to forgive me my wicked heart and that I was grateful and to help my ingratitude...
A few hours later I was given clearer vision of God's provision with the planner He gave me... because I'd been emailing Lydia, who will be my maid of honor, regarding times to go wedding gown shopping with me.
And she said it's either today or you have to wait until after March 27th. I've been trying to get a trip together since January, so I didn't want to delay more.
So when the planner arrived, I was just delighted in God's provision of it... now I am awed at God's timing, since I hadn't known when I opened the picture what God had, that'd I'd be taking this trip the next day and would get to take it with me.
My mother was going to come and we were going to boutiques in Spartanburg. But she wasn't feeling well the next day and Lydia revealed she had to be in Greenville in the early evening/late afternoon. So instead, Lydia and I just decided to go to David's Bridal in Greenville, which I figured was a good idea because I am plus sized and it didn't seem that the smaller boutiques would have much I could try on anyway.
The trip was wonderful. I tried on seven dresses and then stopped because... I fell in love with the seventh one. It's way out of my price range. But God filled me with peace about it, not mourning. That surprised me. With a lot of the things I've wanted for my wedding which I conceivably can't have, I have been filled with mourning. But in this, God instead gave em peace. This assures me that whatever dress I end up getting will be perfect. Maybe it will be this one.. maybe not. But I am utterly at peae about it.
I don't want to share photos of that one or even some of the ones that were closer winners because Ryan can read this. But I thought it'd be fun to share a photo or two of some that will not be my wedding dress, for sure.
So for me, having dinner and hanging out with this friend of ours was entirely last minute... but not really at all. Because I had prayed to God to get a chance to reconnect with her before I moved to India! So this last minute evening was a divine appointment!
Ryan and I also talked a lot about what we want for our wedding this week, prompted by the wedding planner. And he's in the search for a job still, and is closer. Please keep that in your prayers.