We opened the front door, our eyes widening at the dazzling array of ornate French slippers, sparkling hair combs and soft veils, like sheets of spun gossamer, rippling gently from the drafts that plague this ancient house. I’ve been in many and I can tell you, this was no ordinary bridal shop.
I was there to try on- and hopefully purchase- my bridal gown. Experience had taught me not to peruse for this kind of dress alone, so this time I brought my whole entourage: my mother, mother-in-law, her daughter and my aunt. We were shown upstairs to a private boudoir, complete with three-sided mirrors and pedestal for me to model from. Our hostess, an ancient woman herself, seated my mother and I closest to her, and everyone else along the opposite wall. “Let me tell you what kind of bride I see you as…” she began.
My mind started to wander, and panic a little. She should be asking what kind of bride I think I am, I thought. Am I traditional? Modern? Romantic? Earthy? Bossy? She doesn’t know a thing about me!
But what I am most of all is patient, so I hear what she has to say. She gets through her absolutely dead-on synopsis of the “type of bride I am” and skirted away to choose some gowns for me. As I waited, I pondered, “What kind of groom is my fiancé?”
I thought back to when we first started dating. He was kind, he was patient, he lavished me with attention and he loved to talk (still does)! Above all this he is a believer, which reveals so many more wonderful qualities of his character. He’s a brilliant man and I couldn’t have chosen better if he was made-to-order. But that’s only one of the grooms I have.
My other groom is my Savior, Jesus Christ. In a lot of ways, the things I like about my fiancé are mere reflections of Jesus’ character. I think back to when I first met Him. He was kind, he was patient, he lavished me with attention and he loved to talk (admittedly I do most of the talking). I love Him more than I could ever explain. My fiancé knows it, too, and he isn’t threatened. He loves me because I love Jesus.
My hostess brings out an armada of gowns, wrenching me out of my romantic daydream. I try on two gowns amidst the oohs and aahs of my female companions. They all love the first one, hate the second. I’m having a hard time telling them that I really don’t like either one. I’ve been building this dress in my mind for weeks, compiling sleeve styles, necklines, embellishments and bustling type. Now, standing in this fairytale shop surrounded by visions of perfection in lace and tulle, I call on the only thing I know I couldn’t have chosen by myself, and wouldn’t change for all the beauty of the world- my Savior.
I thought about how He brought me out of the life I had before, in which I picked and chose whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. If I didn’t like someone’s comment, they were gone from my life. I didn’t want to do this or that, I walked away from it. The talents I had were wasted, friendships I cherished, destroyed. I thought about how He went over every little detail of my life and compiled His own idea of who I should be. He simplified me, and I can’t thank Him enough.
You need to simplify this whole wedding thing, I told myself. The dress you get married in doesn’t matter; it’s the commitment you’ll be making in that dress that’s important. I recommitted myself to Christ right there in that shop, telling Him I would never let the details of this wedding cloud my vision of Him.And when I opened my eyes I saw my hostess holding the very dress I’ll be wearing on that day, standing at the front of the church with my two grooms.