I bolt up in bed. Not from a nightmare, or indigestion or the dog’s bark. I’m getting MARRIED. . . TODAY!
My to-do list rests on my bedside table. Day of Wedding Checklist:
1. Pack for honeymoon, 2. Bath. . .(Duh, I wrote that? Must be stressed), 3. Call the photographer/change order of pictures, 4. Susan to pick up cake, 5. Mom call florist-add mini roses down aisles, 6. 1:00 Hair appointment, 7. Manicure, 8. Makeup, 9. Honeymoon tickets?,10. Steve- rings?, 11. Flower girl dress, 12. ER wedding kit, 13. 3:30 Church.Yikes!
I start to pack. The red shirt, yes. . .very sexy. . .he’ll like that. And of course, the lingerie. . .Check.
Bath next. I slip into the bubbly tub which feels silky on my skin. Lavender is relaxing, just like the ad said. I lean my head back, close my eyes, and suddenly hear a small voice, “When will you come to me, Liz? I am your first husband.”
Devotions! “Yes, Lord,” I say in my heart, “Right after my bath.” Feeling ashamed-it should have been at the top of my list.
The phone rings. It’s mom, “How are you, honey? We have a little problem with the cake.”
“What?” I try to sound okay.
“Susan called, apparently the order wasn’t right.”
“Oh, Mom!” I shriek.
Too much to do-can’t let this day fall apart. I can always do devotions tomorrow. Surely God will understand.
I must stop reading my journal entry from six years ago. I’m obsessing again. Today is our anniversary. My marriage is like that chaotic wedding day. My kids are three and five, but I still look pregnant from the c-sections. My husband doesn’t touch me. This morning he mumbled something about working late. I think he forgot our anniversary.
I go to the mall after dropping the kids off at daycare. Maybe Victoria's Secret will help. Yea, there’s a sale. I go in. I come out. Depressed-I look terrible. Good thing I got that gym membership and we just bought an elliptical machine. Gymboree, I’ll go in there to buy something for the girls. Cute outfits lift my spirits. I know Steve said to watch our spending but he can work more hours during the holidays. I’ll buy myself a book, and if I don’t have to go to Lane Bryant, I’ll treat myself to a new outfit, too. Oprah says we all need a little “me-time.” This feels good, I think she’s right.
TV’s blare above the food store check-out lanes. Ads for things I don’t need, but want. Distractions. Noise. Yet in the midst I hear a small voice, “Come to me with your burdens. I will comfort you.” It sounds so good-I pause. Then I remember I have to get donuts for church tomorrow.
Steve wants to talk when he gets home. I want him to say he misses me like I miss him-I want him to suggest a romantic dinner. But he says, “Liz, the credit card spending has to stop. If this keeps up we’ll have to file bankruptcy.”
“Please help us Lord,” I silently pray.
The next morning while driving to church a Harry Chapin song plays softly on the radio.
“. . .And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon,
Little boy blue and the man on the moon.
"When you coming home, son?" "I don't know when. . .”
Is God like that song? I’ve neglected him for so long. . . will he?. . .a small voice interrupts my sad thoughts, “I have always loved you. I will never leave you or forsake you.” I shake off the urge to cry.
We walk into church, settle into our seats, and the minister says, “Let us worship our Creator! Our text for today is Romans 1:25: They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.”
The words sting. I bow my head and silently ask forgiveness, “That’s me, Lord, I’m sorry! I have so many changes to make. It’s like I have to dig up a gigantic tree but can’t do it.”
He gently answers, “That gigantic tree began with one small seed. Sow a new seed and it will also grow. Come. . .just as you are. . .come.”
The congregation begins to sing praises. I lift my head and joyously join in.
*Romans 1:25-quoted from NIV.
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