A picture is worth a thousand words, or so they say. I look back on this picture and remember the events that surrounded this engagement photoshoot. It’s really easy to be in the midst of a busy, stressful season and just constantly try to figure out when it’s going to be over. We make our exit plans, research way too many new places to live, and start dreaming of what would be better than whatever is happening now.
I remember wedding planning was kind of like that. When almost every single conversation you have with anybody you see surrounds “How’s wedding planning!!!???” …it’s really hard to not start to shift weight and all your worth towards that one day. And, when the stress starts to build, the pendulum quickly swings from contentment to restlessness to anxiety.
In hindsight, I see some reasons why I should embrace each season:
- You’re going to miss out on those sacred moments. I see this moment capture in this picture above and my heart swells. I loved this guy when we took this photo, but I did not know what that love would mean in the coming weeks, months, and years. Engagement truly was a sweet time of preparation for marriage, and wedding planning allowed us to hop on our tandem bike using some training wheels. Our wedding was important and provided many joint decisions, but there were not terrible consequences if we got the color of flower wrong. Now, I see how these moments prepared us to make bigger decisions with bigger consequences, especially when it’s hard and especially when neither of us have a clue what is “right.”
- People are mobile. I think I became aware of this as my college days were closing, and I realized that all of the friends that were an arms length away would soon scatter to cities across the state and country. My very first co-worker friend was there for every step of my first years of teaching, he guided me, supported me, and gave me all his lesson plans. He was the first person I went to when a crisis arose, and he was a steadying force as I flailed around trying to figure myself out. Then, BAM, he moved away. People move away, people move on, and life keeps moving with it. And although this is the most cliches of all cliches, I really should treasure the moments that I have with the people around me. We have these specific days, weeks, months, or years together — and these are not guaranteed to be replicated.
- It’s only going to last so long. One of our good family friends mentioned this to me. After adopting her second kid as a baby, she shared with me that she no longer cares about if the house is messy or if everything gets cleaned. She’s keenly aware that these years of motherhood will only last so long, and although it’s all encompassing right now, it’s definitely going to be over.
- And when it’s gone, it’s gone for good. I’m never going to get back these first years of marriage, these first years of teaching, and these years in my 20’s. My twenties are already half gone — sheesh! In the thick of that first year of teaching, I felt everything deeply. Every triumph was as if I had just launched a rocket and successfully landed on the moon. Every disappointment was the feeling of doom as if someone had just snatched my ice cream cone and thrown it to the ground. Yet, now that it’s all over, I look back on it and am thankful for those trials. My friend Sharon walked with me through that first year, and I see so much of her wisdom to be true…even though I didn’t see it clearly at all. This was a year of refining for me. I’m never going to get a year like that again (THANK GOD.) But, in all seriousness, it was here for a season — and for better or for worse — it’s never coming back.
What season do you need to embrace today?