I am coming to the end of my busy wedding season. A friend recently prayed, "Thank you Lord that seasons don't last." Her words wrapped a breathe of fresh air around my heart. I have been in the middle of a season for a while now, and well, I hate it. If you know me, you know the "h" word is almost considered a bad word in my vocabulary, and I reserve it only for things that truly deserve it. The season I am speaking of has nothing to do with weddings, but everything to do with my heart.
Let me tell you what I love about my job as a wedding director. I get to work at a place that is nothing short of magical. The animals in the garden or the meadow almost speak out loud to me. Something is always in bloom, and I am surrounded by the beauty God has created. Then there are the people. At Mathews Manor we all work together as a team. We are an all-inclusive venue, and we all work very well together to make a bride's dream come true for her wedding day. I love to get inside that dream, and I do my best to make this dream a reality. I listen. I hear her heart. The dream has built itself over years in which the bride has made mental, and written notes on what she wants to happen on this day that is hers and her groom's alone. I am the obstacle remover. I love to find the joy in every situation, and I enjoy keeping her day stress and worry free. As the day approaches, we have a rehearsal to get all the kinks out, and to ease the bride's mind. Wedding day arrives, and everything and everyone is transformed. When I step back and look, it truly is amazing at how magical it all becomes. The bride in her gown, her hair just right, and the look I get to witness when a groom sees his bride for the very first time...mmmmm ummmmm! That's good stuff!
There is always something from each wedding that will speak to my heart. I've been married for 15 years, but I know I can always learn something from a new couple. Tonight's couple touched my heart so deeply, my eyes overflowed a bit. They wrote letters to each other. In them they included what they loved about each other, and their hopes and dreams. A common thread in both was the thought that they would do anything for the other. Working to provide whatever the other needed, facing life beside each other, helping you be all God created you to be - these were just a few of their thoughts. This couple has already thought of the future. I thought of my future, and my past.
On my way home, I listened to a cd that my girls had in the car. I smiled as one of the songs began. A friend told me she had wondered about one of my girls. This one can be quiet at times, which can be confused with insecurity. My friend said, "Then I saw her in the talent show. She was wearing red, and she danced to the song "Red", and she owned that stage. I knew she was just fine." There is so much I could dissect from that statement. You see, this was my friend, Debbie, who has known me since 5th grade. She knows I love the color red. I really think the Lord used those little details to confirm that my girl was confident in who she is. I love that He used that day to show her.
So as I listened to the song, I thought, "Lord, this is my life." I love in red. Sometimes I try not to, but it just comes out red. RED is translated for me as "much" or "everything" or even "all-in". Gray might be half-hearted, blue might be expecting the worst. Red means giving everything you've got, because you just can't love any less. See, Jesus loved me in red. I understand this. How could I love any less, knowing how amazingly red He has loved me? So, He shows me so much through His eyes. I see most people through His eyes. I honestly think it is a gift He has given me. If you are in my life, I love you, and you know it. Jesus has given me gifts, and they have names. People names. I love people, and I love making people feel loved.
Why could loving in red ever be a problem? Well, because we're imperfect. Jesus could do it beautifully, and without flaw - you know, that whole "perfect" thing. I love in red, I also hurt in red, and react in red, and yearn in red. As exhilarating as it is to love in red, all the other feelings in red can be incredibly painful. That's why I hate it. I hate pain. I hate being hurt, and I hate that I probably hurt others because of my hurt. I am in the middle of an almost silent battle, and it's been raging for a long time. I don't show it often, and only those closest to me see it at all. It's there - my red season. You know, if I were to lose an extensive amount of blood, I could die. If I accept the blood Jesus shed for me, I can live forever. Death and life from the same source.
I feel that I have experienced death in areas of my life that need to be resurrected. Death and life from the same source. Some seasons are for growing, getting fuller, bigger, better. Some seasons are for pruning, suffering, yes - even hurting. My heart has this in it tonight. I'm sharing this season, because someone needs to know she or he is not alone. I know joy in red is around the corner! I know I have to persevere in red to get through this as fast as I can. I need to be the obstacle remover from my own race. I do need accountability. I have a responsibility to get through this and come out on the other side. Some days all I can see are the broken pieces. I know my God sees the big picture, and I trust Him. I've been here before with my little eaglette. I remember those days of praying, "Lord, please give me enough faith for this day." My faith is strong right now, but my heart is not. Death and life from the same source.
Jesus died so that we could live. His death is the source of our life. It's Father's Day. My Father says He has made a way for you. Are you struggling through a season right now? You're not alone. Trusting in Jesus does not mean your troubles will be erased or that they will never return. It just means that He will be there right beside us along the way. He'll be there in red! I don't know when my season will end, but I know that it will end. Jesus has never let me down. If you have accepted Him as Lord of you life, can I ask you ...are you closer to Him today than you were a year ago? I hope you can see Him as a person, with whom you can have a relationship. Just as you would talk to a friend and keep her updated on what's going on, He wants to hear from you. Tell Him. If you're like me, and ready to move out of this season, let's keep knocking! "Lord, it's me again. I'm ready to move, can it happen today?" I am confidant that I am learning some hard truths that I will gladly share when I know I've heard correctly, and reacted obediently. (Okay, so this may take a while, still.)
One thing I am determined in is that I will not stop loving in RED! To quote Taylor Swift, "Losing him was blue, like I never knew. Missing him was dark grey all alone. Forgetting him was like trying to know somebody you've never met. But loving him was red." Obviously, she's talking about a silly boy. I think we go through our lives feeling blue, dark grey, and ...um, trying to know somebody you've never met (what color is that, Taylor?). Life is a roller coaster of emotions. The most vibrant color I know is red. That's why I've always loved it. I'm not going to love in dark grey, or even light grey. I know I'll go through some blue days, but y'all...! Loving, and experiencing in RED makes you forget those meaningless grey days, and the big ole' blue days, because RED is worth it - everytime!
Expectant in RED,