“The reason why many are still troubled, still seeking, still making little forward progress is because they haven't yet come to the end of themselves. We're still trying to give orders, and interfering with God's work within us" (A W Tozer).
Why does life have to be so hard? I remember the day I got the letter asking me to be a bridesmaid in my best friend’s wedding; I let out a huge scream of joy after reading those words—that I was to be a bridesmaid for the very first time in my life. I remember planning the special day with my best friend and even starting a secret wedding board to organize all of our ideas, since this is, after all, the happiest day in a woman’s life. I remember sitting in a coffee shop as we discussed the bridesmaid dresses and other wedding details, with the excitement rising. Since the bride was in the middle of her most intense nursing semester and I had taken off due to medical reasons, I helped her the best I could and spent a lot of time on Pinterest, pinning ideas for the special day. I remember meeting the rest of the bridesmaids at Applebee’s for the first time, discussing wedding details and getting to know each other. I volunteered myself to help the maid of honor plan the bridal shower and baccalaureate party, as well as help in any other way possible since I had so much time on my hands due to taking the semester off; as we began to plan, sitting at a corner table in Starbuck’s, watching the rain pour, we instantly became close friends & had the majority of the shower planned within an hour. Pinterest was our saving grace, as we could each see each other’s pins & get neat ideas to throw the bride her dream shower. Many months were spent planning this shower and as each day passed, I grew more excited for the special day. I remember shopping for all the bridal shower decorations and supplies with the maid of honor; I had my organized list of items to purchase, as well as the budget to stick to, and we went up and down every aisle, anxiously searching for each item. For months we gathered decorations and supplies and stored them at the maid of honor’s cute apartment; as the items kept increasing and the budget decreasing, the vision of a beautiful pink, white & grey shower became increasingly more real. I spent many days dreaming about the shower, wondering how I could make it more special for my best friend and everything she’d ever dreamed. After we finally decided on a venue and checked it out, familiarizing ourselves with the layout, all the pieces started to come together. Everything was going smoothly, except for my health; one of my greatest weaknesses is serving so much that I neglect my own needs, and this was certainly no exception. As I spent weeks on end in the hospital, my health only continued to decrease and we finally decided I could no longer fight on my own and decided I’d go to an inpatient facility. Days later I boarded a plane headed across the world—my new home for the next ten weeks, at the least. I was determined, above all things, to reach my goal weight in time for the wedding, which was about 9 weeks away; I told my treatment team my plan & embarked on the hardest journey of my life—weight restoration. I never thought I’d be asking for MORE food, but was desperate to hasten the process and reach my goal; weeks upon weeks of eating thousands of calories and feeling as if my stomach would explode from the entrance of one more calorie let me exhausted but determined to reach my goal. After nine long, miserable weeks, I did reach my goal weight; I told God that if I reached my goal weight the next day, which they thought was impossible, it would be a sign that I should go to the wedding; well, I did indeed reach it the next day and was convinced that God wanted me to go to the wedding, despite the rising concerns around me. I was determined to make the wedding—the day I’d been dreaming of for weeks upon end, and nothing was going to stop me! However, my body didn’t agree with me and the experts advised me to stay longer, since I still hadn’t reached maintenance calories & was dropping weight as they decreased; however, I was still determined to make the wedding, regardless of what the experts said, and told my team I’d be leaving later that week, regardless of what they advised. However, after calling my amazing therapist and listening to the warnings of others, something no longer seemed right and I no longer had a peace about leaving. After many tears, sobbing, anger, and frustration, I decided to give up the wedding—the day I’d been planning and working so hard to reach—in order to restore my health. Some things just don’t seem fair; why would God ask me to give up something so important to me? Maybe it was because the wedding had become my idol and there was no more room for God; I was so determined to make the wedding that nothing else mattered. So, as I gave up my greatest desires, I dethroned my idol and made room for God to abide. Now, as I see pictures of the day I fought so hard to attend, my heart is filled with sadness and grief; sadness I couldn’t be there, at my best friend’s side, as she married the man of her dreams. I know God sometimes calls us to do hard things, but never did I expect it to be this hard. I’m hoping beauty will come out of this pain, because now it hurts more than words.