The Day I Didn't Say "I Do"

Approximately seven months ago, I thought my
heart was going to break in two. I wasn't sure if I would
ever make it to tomorrow, or the next day, or the next. Because, up
until this point, I have had my life completely figured out. I started
kindergarten when I was five, junior high when I was 12, high school
when I was 15 and college when I was 18. I'm 22 now, nearing 23. So,
you see, my life has been pretty systematic for about 21 years.

From as far
back as I can remember, I have dreamed, as many little girls do, of
growing up, of being beautiful and my favorite, of being in love. Yes,
I imagined a knight in shining armor who battled for me, his princess.
He vowed to fight to the death, and declared his love for me, if only I
would promise to make him my own. And then, once my knight proved his
love by defeating his opponent, he did not stand for the crowd to
praise and adore him. No, he walked straight to me, and kept his eyes
fixed to mine. He bowed on one knee and lowered his head with great
respect. His eyes met mine, once again, and he asked for my hand
forever. I accepted and we had a “Cinderella” wedding and lived happily
ever after.

And then, I’d wake up.

But being
married is something I have longed for and desired from the earliest
days of my childhood. And, it just seemed fitting that once I graduated
from college, my next step would be marriage. I got engaged in December
and my wedding date was set for July 19. I was wrapped up in
college, basketball, my fiancé, and of course, my fairy tale wedding. I
did all the normal, wonderful wedding stuff. I made list after list of
my colors, flowers, songs, wedding party, gifts … you get the picture.
The time passed. I
graduated in May and moved home, where I would
be married in my hometown church, and continued to plan.

My
mom and I went dress shopping and found my dream
dress. My colors were red
and yellow. My cake was extravagant with staircases coming down from
the main tier to two smaller tiers. Practically my entire family would be
involved in the wedding one way or another. My mom would be my matron or
mother-of-honor. My sisters-in-law would be two of my seven
bridesmaids. One of my brothers would help officiate the wedding, and
both of my brothers would be groomsmen. And, of course, my daddy would
walk me down the aisle.

As you can tell, I was prepared and oh,
how excited I was to put on that perfect dress and veil, with my
beautiful jewelry and white flip-flops. Yes, I said flip-flops. I
decorated them myself with a white ribbon and white miniature roses. I
was so prepared for the big day and
it was fast approaching.

As the day moved closer, a little
over two weeks before my wedding to be exact, I realized I was not
prepared to be a wife and say ‘I do’ forever. Big decision, I know.
But, my fiancé and I had gone through some issues and experienced major
life events that put our relationship to the test. We did not see eye-to-eye where it was vital that we should. I began to question what I
was about to do and whether or not it was really what I wanted
to do. The closer it got—the worse I felt. I was taking this covenant I
was about to enter into, this life-long commitment, very seriously, as
I should have been. Something just was not right and I knew I had to
deal with it—and soon. I prayed and cried and I worried and
rationalized. Finally, I told my fiancé we had to talk.

I
drove to his house, praying all the way. In a process that took around
four hours, I told him. I told him I wanted to wait, and through my
sobbing and streaming tears, I explained that I did not feel we were
ready. Things were not in line as they should be, and there was no way
I could walk that aisle with full confidence and assurance that this
was God’s will and purpose for my or his life. After telling him (he
did not take it very well, understandably so) I left. I cried out to my
God the whole 45-minute drive home and pled and begged for answers.
What would I do now? Why couldn’t I get married? Wouldn’t things work
themselves out? Where would I live? I felt completely and utterly
lost—like there was an enormous piece of my heart missing; a part of me
had died and it felt too much to bear.

When I arrived home, my
mom was still up, as she always is when I come in late. She could tell
the second she saw my face that something was terribly wrong, yet she
knew nothing of my plans to postpone the wedding that night. I threw
myself in the floor and told her what I had done. Her heart broke for
me and she and my dad would be huge factors in my healing process over
the next few months of my life. It did
not matter that we already had the cake, the dress, the flowers, the
photographer, the videographer, ten dresses and shoes paid for, the
reception area reserved and 400 picture wedding invitations mailed. I
still had their full support. They knew I was doing what I felt in my
heart was right. They knew I was following God’s plan for my life and
that is what they also want for me.

The day after the decision was made, I did nothing. Well, I did nothing
physically anyway, but the inner-turmoil taking place was enough to
exhaust a person. My stomach hurt, my eyes stayed swollen from crying,
my brain would not take a moment’s rest … and I began to second-guess
my decision. Had I done the right thing? Was this really what God
wanted me to do? Would I ever move on with my life? Would I ever get
married? The next few days would prove to be ones of confusion and
dismay. As I mentioned, my intention was only to wait, so that God
could work things out between my fiancé and I. My fiancé got scared,
however, and could not fathom that I would ever marry him since I
decided not to at the time we originally planned. We split up
completely and have not seen each other since, more than seven months
now, and I am not sure we ever will again.

Once I decided my big
day was really not going to take place, for now anyway, I got in gear.
I had a lot of help from my mom and grandma with the calling and
canceling process. Most everyone was very considerate and understanding
and refunded our money. Because we had already sent out all of the
invitations, we bought postcards and I wrote a short note explaining
that the wedding was off- offering apologies for any inconvenience it
may have caused. All of our wedding shower gifts (yes, we had already
had both of our showers also) were being stored at my grandmother’s
house. We had planned to move them into our own home before the
wedding. I divided the gifts and let him take the ones from his family
to deal with and I dealt with mine. I tell people now that I know how
to plan a wedding and for anyone who needs advice, I know how to cancel
one, too.

That decision to cancel my own wedding was the biggest
decision (after the one to accept Jesus Christ into my heart) that I
have ever made in my life. I thank God for leading me to that decision,
and I know God’s hand was in it the entire time. He knew what He was
doing and He knew that He had bigger and better plans for both my
fiancé and I. And that is the purpose of sharing this story with you. I
want you to know that it is never, and I mean never, too late to back
out no matter how old you are. Even if you are standing at the altar
beside your groom about to say, ‘I do,’ if you have reservation oran
inkling of doubt, you should calmly and quietly express your feelings
to your fiancé. I realize this would not be easy, but what is one small
minute of embarrassment compared to facing a lifetime of unhappiness
and regret for making a huge mistake? You do not have to settle for
less than what God has for you. Set your standards and your goals high
and never look back. God will honor that.

Since the start of
my “new life” as a young, single woman, I have rediscovered myself and
my God. I have learned to open my eyes and listen harder to what God is
saying to me. It’s not that He makes it hard, but it’s that we only
listen to what we want to hear sometimes. When we realize and
understand that our Maker, the one who gave up His life for us so that
we could have eternal life with Him, only wants good things for us and
is deeply moved by us, then maybe we’ll stop compromising and accepting
the things the world has to offer. I have made a decision. I no longer
try to make my life happen. I love my Lord and Savior and I seek His
face. I know He will lead me into all truth. He knows my heart and that
I only want what He wants. He will not allow me to be destroyed. I may
be pressed, but not crushed. I may be persecuted, but I am not
abandoned. I may be struck down, but I am not and will not be
destroyed.

God has brought me to a place of such fulfillment
and contentment. My relationship with Him has become one of pure
simplicity. Too often in the past, I have made it harder than it needs
to be. Now, I come before Him, bare and wounded in my fleshly, human
body, much the way I did when I thought I would die seven months ago,
and I say, “Here I am, Lord. I give you what I have to offer and that
is my heart and my life.” Every single time, without exception, He
sweeps me off my feet and lavishes His love upon me.
He tells me He would fight and did fight to the death just for
me. He is forever mine … and I realize that He, Jesus, really is all I
need.

The Lord has shown me that He is the key ingredient. He
is what it takes to make a marriage happy, successful and one that will
last. A marriage on earth should exemplify the relationship the Lord
desires to have with us. We, His people, are His bride, and He is our
groom. So … I wait. I wait for what my Jesus has prepared for me,
expecting the greatest thing. My Lord has placed a love inside of me
for my earthly husband and family, and when it’s time, I will be ready. I’ll walk down that aisle with complete
assurance, confidence, respect and humility. I will know that this day
was ordained by the Creator of the Universe before the foundation of
the world, and I’ll say … 'I Do!’

5 Comments

Anna

9

Anna commented…

Brittany,
your blog is such a blessing! I can tell you really love the Lord and that you want His best for your life.

I know life may get a little lonely at times without a companion, but you've already figured out the important part--Jesus is all you need. Take it from a woman who has been married for a little over a year.

Even though I thank God every day for my husband, if I am with or without him Jesus is still all I need. Jesus is the only one that can fill that void in your heart that no one else can--including a husband.

So just focus on serving Him for now while you are free to focus all your attention on Him. And when you do that, God will bring the man of your dreams when you least expect it. I can testify to that!

84,834

k.wood commented…

I am so glad to hear that you listened to God! I can say that I ignored Abba when he told me two months prior to my wedding that it wasnt time. The day of my wedding I knew I shouldnt walk that aisle but I honestly thought that God would just step in and make it all right since the covenant was in place. How wrong was I?!?! And so here I sit, 26 years old, married for 3 years (1 year of which was seperate) waiting on divorce paperwork. My life is in limbo and all I can do is throw myself into the love and grace of my God to get me through this hardship.

I didnt trust God for the best so I controlled my life and married nonetheless. My ex-husband is an amazing man and I wish it couldve worked, I dont condone divorce and am still shocked that I am a stereotype. God is above all stereotypes though and his grace never fails so I too wait. I wait for the BEST that I now TRUST God has for me!

Thank you...your last 3 paragraphs really hit home for me. That is exactly where I am in life and although your story just brought many tears to my eyes...it also brought HOPE. May God bless you for your obedience!

Roren

218

Roren commented…

I struggled with a lot of doubt throughout my relationship as I tried to discern whether or not my husband was the one. But through it all God kept making it clear as day, "This is who you're to marry." It amazes me. God knew so much better than I did. I mean, sure, I loved the guy, but the future was so unclear, I didn't have all the answers, I didn't know how my life would turn out with him (and for some reason, I thought I should be able to know these things). But I realized that marriage was a calling on my life - a calling into the great unknown like any other calling, a calling that I obeyed and brought me closer to God in the process. (I even thought, "God, I could be a single missionary for you! If you called, I'd answer!" and God basically said, "Right now, your job is to get married. Focus on that.") About two months before our wedding, my fiance and I had a really hard conversation... there were BIG DOUBTS. But we cried about it, and prayed about it, and talked to trusted friends, and after that weekend from hell, we knew, more sure than ever, that this is what we wanted and this is what God had planned for us.

I offer that story not as a counterargument but as a supporting point. God directs us, in everything, and in ways we never expect, if we humble ourselves to his good, pleasing and perfect will.

calista86

43

calista86 commented…

roren,
Thank you for posting your story. I am engaged right now and we are long-distance, and it has been very hard. We've had times when we wondered if God was not in this, but when we take time to pray and listen to him, we hear him calling us to this and saying that this is the best thing for us and will grow us and challenge us more than we can imagine, in such good ways. I appreciate you giving an account of a situation in which a couple is led by God through the hard times and still marries.

84,834

Lindey commented…

Over 2 years ago I called off my wedding. The night I placed the ring in my fiancs hand I knew God was the only one who could heal my pain. But the pain wasn't just from the decision I had made, the pain was from not living for Christ and living for myself. I wanted marriage. I wanted it so badly I ignored the obvious. God stirred my heart during that entire relationship. I knew deep down something was off but pressed forward based on what I wanted. Even the night he proposed there was a part of me that wanted to say "No" but didn't know why. My heart was screaming "This is what you've always wanted." I said yes then, but 2 months before the wedding said YES to Christ. Saying yes meant laying down my desires and seeking Him. His love. His healing. His will.

I never looked backed on that decision. There were times I doubted myself but ultimately God's will prevailed and I am eternally blessed.

Sometimes He breaks us. He takes our plans, laid perfectly out, and completely flips the table upside down. Our plans go up in the air, swirling about. It feels like a storm, but when the storm ends, what's remaining is beauty and something we could never plan.

Jeremiah 33:3Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know. (NIV)

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