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Coping with that pre-wedding feeling of impending doom

Essay

A couple weeks ago, I dreamed I was standing in a room I had never seen before, crying bitterly. My wedding had just passed, and I had forgotten everything. I had forgotten to wear a veil, paint my toenails, pack for the honeymoon, and go to my own wedding pictures. In my dream, I looked at my mother and demanded, “How could you let this happen to me?”

These kinds of night visions have haunted me for a few months now because I quake beneath the weight of the details I selected myself. Guests? Three hundred, though I keep accidentally inviting more. Food? Pancakes and eggs, because breakfast means a beginning. Attendants? Fourteen, if they can all make their way to the frozen North for the ceremony. Countdown? Fifty-eight days. In my sleep, I feel as though my elephantine wedding chases after me on its clumsy legs, overtakes me, then leaves me to weep in its wake.

I wax dramatic. I am not dying. I am just experiencing the usual dose of modern bridal anxiety. My doctor puts her hand on my shoulder and says, “You need to imagine a beautiful wedding and a wonderful future. And get more exercise.”

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My mother looks at me in puzzlement. “I never worried this much,” she says. “I was too engrossed in the book I was reading.”

So the treadmill has become my dearest friend, and I have slated next week to begin that book, Catherine Marshall’s Julie, which my mother finished in the bathtub the night before her wedding.

But amid the racket of errands and decision-making, I catch a few real moments of wonder. I can’t believe I get to marry such a good man. I can’t believe so many people want to help me make a beautiful wedding.

Most of all, I can’t believe what the Bible said is coming true in my case:

“You shall be called My Delight Is in Her, and your land Married” (Isaiah 62:4).

Over spring break, Jonathan and I chose the Scripture readings for our ceremony. We began with Adam’s song when he first glimpsed Eve: 

“This at last is bone of my bones” (Genesis 2:23).

We moved on to the story of Rebekah: 

“And they called Rebekah and said to her, ‘Will you go with this man?’ She said, ‘I will go’” (Genesis 24:58).

We chose verses from the stories of Rachel, Ruth, and others, and ended with the passages about the wedding at the end of the world between Christ and the church: 

“And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Revelation 21:2).

Somehow, all the boiling anxieties cool when I remember that God has always revealed Himself to people through bridal notions. I trust He will do the same for me. If I can remember that what I want most in the world is to see God, I won’t waste my wedding planning on worry.

Chelsea Kolz Boes
Chelsea Kolz Boes

Chelsea is an editorial assistant for God’s World News. She graduated from Patrick Henry College with a degree in literature. Follow Chelsea on Twitter @chelseakboes.

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