Saturday, October 27, 2012

This is My Confession: Part 3

We quickly had to do some wedding planning. We wanted everything to be as intimate and personal as possible, as well as cost as little as possible. After the bride and the groom, what is the next, most vital player in this marriage game? The officiant; he or she who would make our union legal.
When it came to choosing an officiant, we didn’t think either of our preachers were exactly right. As it goes in the Methodist church, appointments are made by a council and pastors move here, there, and yonder. The pastor at my church at the time was a great, loving man named Bill Leslie, who has since passed away. While I consider him a great Christian, he just wasn’t right for the job because I didn’t know him very well at the time, so we asked him to give us marriage counselling instead. Dillon’s preacher, while perfect for him, was imperfect for me. His church just so happened to be a denomination that I have had some issue with for the past five-or-so years. (I hold grudges. Yep...I said it.) Both of these pastors also hailed from towns that were roughly three hours from our wedding location, and we wanted someone to marry us who had experience with each of us equally. All of these factors lead us to choose Matt Carpenter (aka Carp), the head pastor from Chi Alpha.
(Ok, I can’t contain it. I have to talk religion!)
Although it sounds like a fraternity, it’s not. Chi Alpha is actually a campus ministry that Dillon and I had clung to during freshman year. Here, I found answers to my questions, connections where I had once been void, and friendships that kept me from continuing down the path of sheer destruction I had been on just a year ago.(drugs, danger, bad friendships, bad relationships, and an utter disdain for authority of any kind--especially a spiritual authority). Before Chi Alpha, I hated church and I was unsatisfied with most Christians. God seemed like a scapegoat for people to blame their problems on (This is my cross to bear... You know you’ve heard this, probably even said it a time or two!) or a ‘person’ they expected to fix things when they messed them up. Worship was just a show, sermons were something I critiqued, and my unanswered questions far outweighed my actual beliefs. I was raised Church of Christ (don’t worry, I won’t talk that much religion), then converted Methodist, but I found myself telling people that I really didn’t believe in anything. I wasn’t one of those people who thought “there was nothing and nothing happened to nothing, and then nothing magically exploded for no reason, creating everything and then a bunch of everything magically rearranged itself for no reason what so ever into self-replicating bits which then turned into dinosaurs.” (credits to: Pinterest)


 I just didn’t care to believe in nothings or somethings or whos’ or what’s or when-where-why’s. Dillon knew this from day one, and honestly when he told me he was Church of Christ, I almost bolted, but for some reason I stayed. Must have been those blue eyes.
Dillon took me to Chi Alpha, and shhhh...I liked it! It was cool. Some of the songs were like ten minutes long, which was crazy weird, but overall it was cool. I wanted to come back next week. I wanted to join a d-group! On the outside, though, I casually shrugged.
It was a’ite. Not too bad. And then I stuck my d-group info card in someone’s hand and walked off before I could change my mind. After a few weeks of struggling to find the right d-group, I was introduced to someone whose importance is pretty great. She was one of my d-group leaders then and is my co-leader now. I sat on her couch and listened to her talk about how she had once been like me in nearly every way. I saw straight into her past and thought Holy %$#@. I had to smoke a cigarette in my car just to get the nerve to walk into this girl’s apartment because I was afraid this would be a big bunch of girls I couldn’t get along with, but here’s a girl who has done everything I’ve done and is sitting here admitting it. Woo freaking hoo! I found so many other sisters through Chi Alpha as well, which is a great feat for me as the self-proclaimed girl-hater. Hearing girls say, I will fight for you, means everything to me.
Even though I finally found something worth believing in, and a place where I can worship without being the holy terror of all critics, I’m still not your poster child for perfect Christianity. Dillon and I still got pregnant, and I don’t always cover my curse words with random keyboard symbols--sometimes I just say them, and if I wouldn’t have been pregnant this summer the temptation to slip back into some of those old habits might have won. All of that is ok. Don’t believe me? Try finding the verse that says: Blessed are those who are perfect, for they will go to Heaven while everyone else rots. You won’t find it. Promise.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

This is My Confession : Part 2

I had known for months that I would marry Dillon, I just wasn’t prepared to do so this summer. He confessed to me something so sweet, tears came to my little eyes--he had planned on proposing to me on the beach this summer and marrying me later on in college when we could afford it. That would have been my fantasy--a surprise proposal on the beach at sunset with no one else around (except for the photographer hiding in the sea grass to catch my actual reaction). Instead of my romantic dream, the surprise was gone, the extended engagement was gone, and the reality of it all set in like a bucket of cold water dumped over my head. I wasn’t getting a well planned, down on one knee moment that I would regale forever. We were sitting down with a pen and paper making pro/con lists. We were budgeting. I hadn’t even celebrated! Heck, I didn’t even have a ring!
The fact that the magic was stripped from something I had so long since dreamed of really broke me down on several occasions. I’ll be honest with you, I felt like I had cheated myself out of something. I had traded one dream for another when I had intended to get both. Our plan was a small wedding with our immediate families and a preacher, but as planning progressed, there were friends we just couldn’t turn away, and an actual wedding looked like it was in the works.
To any of you who have also planned an entire wedding in three months, we deserve a huge round of applause for maintaining our sanity. Sure, there are tons of people who contribute to the planning, but when the final say comes down to one person; one bride--YOU--the stress can be ridiculous. I found myself crying at night, wondering whether I had made the right decision. I knew I wanted to stay with Dillon, that was never a question, but for even the loviest of love birds, making the commitment of marriage is trying. I think just about every married couple will tell you that the engagement period brought fights that nearly always escalated from What do you mean you don’t care what color the boutonnieres are? to You don’t even care about this wedding at all! If you are looking for someone to exaggerate everything, randomly have an emotional breakdown, or accuse you of something, call a pregnant woman planning a wedding. I’m sure I could have been featured in my own reality show. True Life: I’m Planning a Wedding in My Second Trimester. Even the mother of all Pinterest boards couldn’t save me from my own crazy hormones while planning this wedding.
Moral of the story here: While we are very much in love and have a desire to be married, the rush was extremely trying. Feel free to leave a comment about your engagement period!