September 25, 2013

Confessions of a Bride to Be

p a x

Beautiful.  

That’s a word that’s been bugging me a lot these last few weeks.

So many magazine articles and wedding websites talk about being a beautiful bride.  There’s all sorts of exercise, diet, and beauty regimens out there explaining how to “look your best for the big day!”

The words “beautiful” and “bride” just seem to go together… but for some reason I feel like I’m in a battle for beauty.

Sure, I have the dress… I have the hair extensions, purchased the over priced teeth whitening kit, I’ve been trying to lay off the gummie bears, taken up walking in the mornings with my friend Noelle, and tried to continue Turbo Fire workouts.  Still, there’s a part of me that just doesn’t feel like I’m going to be the bride I’m “supposed” to be.

But what does this mean exactly?
Am I worried that the zipper won’t zip all the way?  Sure.
Am I worried my hair and makeup won’t turn out according to plan? Yeah, a little bit.

But I feel like the desire to be a beautiful bride goes a little bit deeper than those things.

As our wedding day gets closer I’ve felt the need to take this to prayer.  And one day as I was driving around I heard this song for the first time.  It’s the chorus that caught my attention:

Would you let me see beneath your beautiful?
Would you let me see beneath your perfect?
Take it off now girl, take it off now girl, I wanna see inside.
Would you let me see beneath your beautiful, tonight?

While the song might be talking about something totally unrelated to my situation, I really felt like God’s been putting something similar on my heart:

Would you let me see beneath your desire for beauty?
Would you let me into this desire to be perfect?
Cast off what you think you’re supposed to be, and let me enter into your heart.
Let me make you beautiful.  

I’ve listened to this song over and over again, and I still feel God nudging my heart (because let’s face it I am both a little stubborn and a little slow.).

The desire for beauty is a good thing.  But what I’m slowly starting to realize is that my desire isn’t just to look great in my dress, have fabulous hair, flawless makeup, and the glow of a new bride (while all of those things would be nice…), what I really want is to be the woman God created me to be.

I don’t want to just be beautiful for a day… I want to have a beautiful heart.  I want to be the wife and mother God created me to be.  I want to learn gentleness, humility, gracefulness, kindness, and strength.

Come to think of it, I’d like to be a lot like her:

“You are altogether beautiful, my darling, And there is no blemish in you.- Song of Songs 4:7


Our wedding is just 10 days away and I know that no matter what it will be a beautiful and holy celebration.  I also know that the Sacrament of Marriage is just one of the ways God is helping me to become the woman I’m supposed to be.  But the journey doesn’t end there.

The quest for beauty is a quest for God Himself… God who is True, Good, and Beautiful.  

How wonderful would it be if I worried about the state of my soul as much as I worry about the beauty of my wedding day?

“Your adornment should not be an external one: braiding the hair, wearing gold jewelry, or dressing in fine clothes, but rather the hidden character of the heart, expressed in the imperishable beauty of a gentle and calm disposition, which is precious in the sight of God.”- 1 Peter 3: 3-4

Lord would You come into my desire for beauty and show me how this desire will lead me closer to You?  Help me to let go of what I think I’m supposed to be, and help me to allow You to make me who I was created to be.

be at peace
walk on water
be not afraid

d*


Comments

  1. Your heart is so beautiful, and I am so blessed by this post! Thanks for sharing, Deanna!

  2. This is a beautiful post and reflection. I think your interpretation of those lyrics would make Christopher proud ;). On another note, I struggle with beauty and feeling beautiful – I'm awkward in pictures and, well, it's just a constant struggle. Yet, when I look at the photos from my wedding day, I am in awe of what I see. (That sounds horribly boastful, stay with me?) There is just something different about those photos, and I think you've touched on it here. I was so focused on getting married, on becoming Mrs. R. that while I did have my hair done, I picked a dress I loved, and all that, my focus was not on how I looked, but what I was doing.
    You will be beautiful, inside and out, on your wedding day. Your desire for Him will see to it.
    You are in my prayers and I can't wait to hear all about your day!

  3. Amen! So helpful for me as I prepare for the Sacrament of marriage also. I join you in prayer ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I've been pondering beauty too as I approach my own wedding six weeks from now. On the one hand, brides are an image of the Church and should reflect Her beauty. I keep thinking of the line from Revelation that refers to "the New Jerusalem, beautiful as a bride adorned to meet her husband" (I just googled that to find the reference… it's more or less from Revelation 21 but the exact language is from a Liturgy of the Hours antiphon).

    But on the other hand, our culture's definition of beauty may be just a little bit distorted. The dress and hair and so forth is good, but if I'm worrying about the externals to the point that it takes away from the "calm and gentle disposition" that St. Peter speaks of in your last quote, it could detract from my true beauty. Balance is key, of course. I hope to spend some extra time with our Lord (with my future husband at my side at least sometimes) in the weeks leading up to our wedding, to prepare my soul at least as well as I prepare my appearance.

    Came across your blog through Stephanie at Captive the Heart. Nothing like a rather lengthy blog comment by way of introduction… I'm also a fellow deacon's daughter. Thank you for this post!

  5. Annabelle, this is a very late thank you but I wanted to make sure you knew that your comment was very uplifting! Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Super late to respond… but I wanted to thank you for this comment! Even after writing this (especially in the days before the wedding) I was still struggling with this, but on my wedding day I felt *beautiful* because, as you said, the focus turned towards what we were doing. God was just all over that day ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the prayers and encouragement!!

  7. Celeste I will keep you in my prayers!! God bless you always!!

  8. Hi Anna! Thanks SO MUCH for this comment (and I apologize for my tardy response)! I will definitely keep you in my prayers (deacon's daughters gotta stick together ;)). May God bless you and your new husband always!!

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