Hi, my name is Meg, and I’m a marriageaholic.
It’s true; I’m addicted. Like many girls growing up, I dreamed of a lavish wedding. I dressed up in any oversized white clothes that I could find in my parents’ closet and threw on pairs of my mother’s high-heeled shoes. There always seemed to be a sadness in my step as I pretended to march down the aisle toward my prince charming.
When several of my friends got married after high school, my longing grew. I was tired of being the bridesmaid, tired of being tackled in a crowd of single women hoping to catch the bouquet.
Around Thanksgiving of 2005, I ended a relationship on less than amicable terms, and I was feeling pretty jaded. On a Saturday in December, I attended my brother’s wedding, and to my surprise, I caught the bouquet. Many don’t believe in silly traditions, but I like to believe that God has purpose for everything. Why?
A week earlier I had met someone.
This man was everything I had imagined in my moments as a dressed up five-year-old bride. He caught me by surprise when he proposed only months after we starting dating. Though some argued that it was fast, I felt in my heart that God had led me to the man I was supposed to marry. I immediately started planning. I found great dresses for my bridesmaids, a gorgeous dress for myself and had the church and reception hall lined up for the big day.
Then the bombshell came. He wanted to wait longer; he wasn’t ready to get married on the day we had set aside.
In my heart, all of my dreams came crashing down. I felt the old feeling rising again; the desperation, the deep, inner desire to be married.
Looking back I realize now that my high expectations probably aided in destroying the few past relationships that I had. When the man in my life wasn’t ready, I got disappointed and moved on.
Now, the man in my life, the man I knew God had hand-chosen for me, disappointed me like the rest had. My plans, my future and my dreams were on hold once again.
I wish I could say that I dealt with the situation maturely, and that I told him that I would wait forever if he wanted to. Like a true marriageaholic, I became increasingly impatient with him, begging him to give me a new date. Impatience led to late-night fights, and those squabbles led me, for the first time, to examine myself.
Around midnight on a cold night in December, I asked myself the question that no marriageaholic wants to face.
Am I ready for marriage?
The question was like a punch in the face, and the second blow came with the answer.
Within seconds I found myself flipping through my Bible to the familiar words of 1 Corinthians 13. As I read the first three words of verse four, the hits kept coming.
Love is patient.
Patience? I had none. I pressured the person I loved the most out of my own selfish need.
Love is kind.
I had been so wrong to treat him as I had been. I had been lacking in understanding. I said things I didn’t mean.
I moved down to verse five. I took in the words, and they resonated in my heart, maybe for the first time.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered.
Not only had I been rude in my selfish attempts to coerce him to marry me in my timing, I had spoken to him in harsh tones and grown angry with him for not setting a date.
It keeps no record of wrongs.
I held on to the hurts of my past, remembering the disappointments in my past relationships. Unbeknownst to me, I had started to place him into the same category as those men. I had never forgiven them, and I was developing an unforgiving spirit toward him. As I moved on to verse seven and the beginning of verse eight, new resolutions sprang up in my heart.
Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
In those moments I vowed to protect my relationship with my future husband. I realized that I never fought before. I gave in to disappointment and my own impatience, to move on to the next thing.
I have come into a place of new knowledge; that God knew what He is doing in bringing me through past hurts, into a relationship with Him. Surely He knows what He is doing now.
He is teaching me to love without selfishness, to protect my relationship at all costs, to trust without reservation, to hope in the promises that God has made and to persevere, because in my trials, I find wisdom.
I’m still a marriageaholic; I always will be. But I’m progressing. I no longer dress up, but sometimes I reach into the back of my closet and pull out the dress I bought for my wedding day. Instead of sadness, I feel a joy. The wedding is no longer my focus. Right now, I am learning how to love.