Sunday, July 31, 2011

Back in January, I would have never thought this day would come. Sure, I still planned and prepared, however, part of me thought that I would never be here, walking down the aisle to the most amazing man. Little girls often dream about their wedding day. They dream of the dress, the flowers, the colors of the bridesmaids' dresses, and their Prince Charming awaiting them. Most anticipate perfection and bliss. All anticipate the happily ever-after.
Most do not think about cancer.
When I was first diagnosed, I wanted to get married right then and there before all of the treatment happened. Jon was ready too. My parents even gave their blessing. We all thought that undergoing treatment would be somewhat easier if Jon and I were married. I, selfishly, just wanted to look the way I had always dreamed on my wedding day, with hair and all. We made that decision on the night before I was to have my small surgery to insert my port through which I would receive the chemotherapy drugs. The next morning, after the surgery, I woke up to find that the surgery had not worked and they would have to keep me in the hospital to give me my first chemo. When my doctor asked about the wedding decision, I burst into tears. I told her that we had wanted to get married before all of this chemo mess began. She looked at me and said, "Well, we do have a chapel in the downstairs of the hospital." That only made me cry more. It seemed that my wedding was not going to be anything like what I had dreamed of.
My wedding dress hung in my room those six months. My friends came one weekend and asked if I would put it on and show them. I remember putting it on and being disappointed. I did not have my long hair to curl and pull to the side. Instead, I had very little hair and two scars on my neck. I was dreading having to walk down the aisle. I recall praying to God to change my heart from dwelling on the outward appearance. Cancer was doing nothing to bolster my pride about my body; however, God was using it to shape my heart.
Seven months I was on my wedding day. Mom helped me to get in my dress. As I looked in the full length mirror I remarked, "Mom, this is not what I had planned, but this is better." I would walk down the aisle realizing all that I did not deserve but what God was so graciously giving me, a clean bill of health, a chance to move forward, a wonderful husband. My wedding day was not what I had planned. However, it was infinitely better because I realized that this is what God had planned from the beginning of time. Instead of rejoicing at how I had brilliantly pulled off an amazing ceremony and reception, I stood beside Jon at the front of the church, in awe of our God.
The Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.
Jeremiah 31:3