Cattails, Rabbit Trails, and Thistlefish: April 2018

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Looking Like a Bride Everyday

My wedding day was the most amazing day of my life. It wasn't perfect, and there are things I would change... but it was a day I love to look back on.

Besides marrying my favorite human on the planet, I think my favorite part was my dress. The way I felt in it, the way it moved with me, the way it felt like mine. I never expected to love the way I felt in a dress like that. But I had never felt more beautiful.

It wasn't just the dress though. I had a spray tan, and my cousin did my hair and  make up, I had acrylic nails... things that aren't normal for me. They made me feel special. They made me feel like a bride.

But nothing made me feel more beautiful than the way that Jon looked at me coming down the aisle. The picture of his face is the best. It truly doesn't matter what I was wearing down the aisle... because his face just says it all. He loved me! And I knew it! The feeling you get after seeing so much love on someone's face... indescribable.

I have yet to feel more beautiful as I did on that day.

After the wedding day...

That's not real life, though, and I only had one wedding day. I couldn't waltz around life feeling and looking like that forever. My wedding dress doesn't even fit over my "new and improved" mom bod. 

Today is Tuesday, and it already feels like it's been a long week. I'm feeling defeated. I'm feeling deflated. I'm feeling "less than." I'm feeling like I'm going to be making the same mistakes over and over again for the rest of my life.

And in my moping, the Lord reminded me of this verse:

"I will greatly rejoice in the LORD;
my soul shall exult in my God,
for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation;
He has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels." Is. 61:10

"Like a bride adorns herself..."

So here I am today, feeling "fluffy" and deflated and a little stir-crazy from being home with Jonah so much.

But here's the best part: when Jesus looks at me, He doesn't see the cabin-fevered, hot mess that I am... He sees the most beautiful, perfect version of myself. More beautiful than I felt on my wedding day!
He does not see my flaws.
He does not see the extra pounds.
He does not see my shortcomings.
He sees a bride who is completely decked out, dolled up, and presented in her best dress. 
Not because His love is blind, but because His love is accepting.
Not because He doesn't see the flaws, but because He loves me in spite of them.

I have something more beautiful clothing me than a wedding dress: His incredible, unending love for me. That's my best dress. And I get to wear it all day every day. During the witching hour, the late night feedings, the sleepless nights, the disappointments, the sink full of dishes... 

On the small, messy, mundane days, God doesn't shake His head at me and say, "What a hot mess you've become!" He looks at me with eyes full of love, just like Jon did on our wedding day. 

Years later...

It's almost been 3 years, and I am far from that pretty bride that I was. I'm fluffier around the edges, 20 pounds heavier, and I haven't had a spray tan since. I never ever do my hair, and haven't put on a full face of make up since that day either. But thankfully, the look of love in my husbands eyes hasn't changed. 
Because that's what truly made me feel beautiful in the first place: how much I knew he loved me.

I am sinful and imperfect, and I'm going to make mistakes til the day I die. But what makes me beautiful and desirable and someone worth dying for is how much Jesus loves me. That's my best dress. And I get to wear it all the time.

And so do you. Whether your wedding day was Pinterest-perfect, in a courthouse, or a tragic day you don't want to look back on. Jesus looks at you and sees the most beautiful and perfect bride, and His eyes of love are what clothe you.