So tonight will be my last night ever as a single woman.
Well, single meaning unmarried, anyway.
See, I’ve been spending the last 6 months planning a wedding where I will become Mrs. Rebecca Lindenbach, and that’s happening tomorrow.
As of tomorrow, I will be the wife of this amazing man:
Isn’t he the most handsome? :)
Here’s the thing though: planning a wedding has shown me that I’m a really horrible bride.
Not in the bridezilla kind of way, though, don’t worry.
See, I’m terrible with three things: having everyone staring at me, being in situations where I have to act like a typical girl, and details. Getting married means that I spent the last 5 months stressing over details about a day where I’m going to be a girly-girl who’s got everyone staring at her, talking about how her dress fits, how her hair looks, and whether or not her makeup makes her look washed out. Pretty much, a wedding is an ENTJ’s nightmare.
For this reason, I have found planning a wedding very stressful.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely excited to get married, and I’m looking forward to having a frilly, puffy white dress and my hair looking great and to get a day where I just feel like a princess. But really, that’s not me. And I’m so happy I only have to do it once in my entire life. And that’s why it stresses me out. I want this so badly, but I’m so worried that I’m going to ruin it because I just don’t know where I fit in all of it.
I feel most myself when I’m plunged into something academic but practical, or when I’m talking about something that excites me. I’m most me when I’m ranting about injustice, or when I’m out having fun with friends. I’m most me when I’m finding a new way to do something, or when I’m creating. I’ve never been the girly, pretty one of the family (my sister takes the cake on that one), so being in the limelight for that kind of thing is actually quite terrifying for me.
I’m going to get real here: I struggle with anxiety, and have since I was 10 years old, although I don’t think it’s at a clinical level. One of my first journal entries I ever wrote was in a devotional book, and it read, “I think I need to pray to God more because I worry about everything.” How many of you at 10 struggled with worry so much that it was your number one prayer concern, over having lots of friends come to your birthday party, or that your little brother would stop bugging you? I remember worrying as young as age 8, and worry had become a part of me by only 10 years old.
Generally, I’m able to handle it, and overcome it when I’m in a situation that I feel comfortable in, or in control, even if it’s not naturally my strong suit. My wedding showers, for instance, were an amazing experience. I loved all of them so much, even though naturally I would never put myself in the spotlight in a social situation and open gifts in front of tons of people. I didn’t freak out the whole time (which I was very proud of), but I did need the rest of the day to just sleep because I was so mentally exhausted from trying to keep track of the 100 things that you’re “supposed” to do at those kinds of things–things that come so easily to most women, but don’t for me.
The funny thing is, I adore public speaking. No qualms there whatsoever (gee, wonder where I get that from). But as soon as you throw “girly” or “pretty” into the mixture, I’m done. I’m a bundle of nerves, since I don’t really feel that any part of my identity truly resonates with either or those words. I don’t particularly see myself as girly or as pretty. Now, it’s not that I see myself as a tomboy or ugly, it’s just that they have such a very insignificant piece to play in my life. What happens, then, is when I find myself in a situation where I have to perform on both ends for a very long time in a very intense setting, I freeze up just thinking about it, since I’m not sure where I, Rebecca, fit in all of it.
Of course, there have been so many wonderful moments–I haven’t found planning a wedding to be a horrible experience by any stretch of the imagination! I have really cherished the experience, I just don’t really want to have to do it again (which is good, considering that’s kind of the point of marriage). Getting my dress was amazing, as was finding the bridesmaids’ dresses. I loved making the jewelry for all of my girls, and getting Connor’s suit. And I know tomorrow is going to be wonderful and unforgettable, I’m just sad that it took me until this last week to let myself get truly excited for the biggest day of our lives. Do I blame myself? No. I think that I needed to have that stress and to work through it, or I would have just been suppressing it. That’s the problem with anxiety–it demands to be felt. People who don’t have anxiety really don’t understand that, but there really is no way to turn it off until it has run its course. So I’m glad that I experienced my anxiety in all its power a week ago, because then I was able to finally just let go and enjoy myself, and this last week has been so good.
I have spent the last week spending time with the five girls who mean the most to me in the world, surrounded by family, and spending time with the man that I’m going to spend the rest of my life with. A man who is patient and gentle with me (even when I am not patient or gentle with him), who is dedicated to becoming the best follower of Christ he can possibly be, and who loves me more than I can ever fathom (because he’s stuck with me this long, even after seeing my worst side over and over and over again).
So has been getting married been the best experience of my life? No. It has not.
But will marriage be the best experience of my life? Yes. 100%. Because although I was never made for a wedding, I know that I was created for a marriage. Specifically, to my marriage with Connor.
Marriage isn’t about frills, curls, or eyeshadows. Marriage doesn’t mean having to please 200 people all at once. Marriage is about life. It is about learning together how to become more and more like Christ–holy, unblemished, and ready to do God’s work here on earth. Marriage is about having a partner to weather the storms of life with, to challenge, and to be challenged by. Marriage isn’t about showing one part of who you are–marriage is about becoming the entirety of who God made you to be together. It’s about true vulnerability, complete trust, and unending devotion. Weddings are easy–marriage is hard.
And I’ve always been one for a challenge.
PSSSST: If you want to follow along with our wedding on Instagram or Twitter, just search for #LindenbachWedding and you’ll be able to keep up! Yep. My wedding has a hashtag. Let’s take a moment and think about what that says about our culture.