My Good God Who Loves Me

About 3 weeks ago, I was home alone, and I was confronted with my deeply-seated, soul-ingrained desire for a husband. It wasn’t like my heart longed; it was like my soul ached, and I cried out to God with only groans.

For about 3 years, I’ve confronted all the ways and reasons I desire a man. I’ve written post after post after post, and they mostly follow the format: Desire – reason for desire – reason I’m believing a lie – truth – Gospel truth – Yay Jesus.

So on this particular day, I confronted my desire for a husband. I didn’t even know why I wanted one so badly; it took me a few minutes of talking to God to figure it out.

I finally realized, though, that I felt like my life wouldn’t begin until I had a husband.

Obviously, this is a lie. Obviously, I have a life (and a great one). But this lie was different; it refused to be covered up by slapping a few Gospel bumper-stickers on it or rooted up by throwing a couple of Bible verses at it. I deeply, deeply, for years – maybe even decades – had been believing this subtle lie that my life will begin when I’m married. It’s been embedded in the depths of my soul and woven into the fabric of my unconsciousness for as long as I can remember. So it took some major processing, praying, and digging to combat it with the truth. Read More

Just For Fun: Another Wedding Story

Photo credit: Margie Padelford

I coordinated another wedding on Friday, my fifth in less than two years. I love it. I love

  • everything about weddings.
  • being in charge of things.
  • looking pretty while being in charge of things.

Therefore, wedding coordinating gives me warm, happy, fuzzy feelings – and usually incredibly tired feet.

But this wedding – this one touched me, deep in the heart of my soul. (I know that’s cheesy, but stay with me here.)

It also wore me out physically, like way more than I expected. I literally gave blood, sweat, and tears* to this wedding, and I came home aching from the top of my sunburned hair part to the end of the toe that was smashed during dancing. Read More

My Best Friend’s Wedding

Last week, I got to be part of the wedding of one of my best friends in Oregon (I have a few best friends, so don’t get any wrong ideas, other best friends).

Emily and I have known each other for about 10 years, so helping with wedding prep and MC-ing her reception were really fun and special and meaningful. After her wedding to Sam, I had an especially sappy moment and wrote her a letter. Here it is, except for a bit that was meant just for me and her.

Nov 22, 2015

Dear Emily,

Today is the day after your wedding, so I thought I’d finally write your card. (I like that we’re the kind of friends who give gifts and cards randomly, instead of on special days.)

This past week, I’ve been getting kind of nostalgic about our friendship, remembering the dinners we’ve had, the dreams we’ve shared, the weddings we’ve planned. Most of all, I remember getting together every week for a couple of years for Bible study, just the two of us. Bible study, or – as we often called it – “talking about Jesus and boys.”

[paragraph removed]

At the time, you and I were in our mid-to-late 20’s, and we both loved weddings. I remember hours and hours spent planning our weddings, other people’s weddings, and our future relationships. Yes, we planned our relationships – and even sketched out ideas of our ideal men.

But we didn’t just talk about it, Read More

My Roommate’s Wedding

Photo Credit: Noel Walker Photography

On Tuesday, I wasted a lot of time.

On Tuesday, my roommate got married. I was in charge of decorating the reception, and I had every hour of the day sketched out in my head.

None of it was supposed to be wasted.

A lot of it was.

It started with the centerpieces. They were supposed to have wheatgrass growing lusciously in them, but it was clear from a couple of days in advance that the wheatgrass was going to be more straggly than luscious.

On Monday, I went to Home Depot and explored my options, took pictures of different foliage to replace the wheatgrass, priced out ideas, etc. I discussed the centerpieces with the appropriate parties, made sure I had enough cash in my wallet, and checked to see what time Home Depot opened in the morning.

I was up past 10 pm on Monday because of rehearsal and ceremony decorating, and then I got up at 6 am on wedding day to go buy sod.

Neither of my thumbs is green (which is partly why I was in this predicament in the first place, let’s be honest), so I was just sure Read More

My Rainy Day Woes

Photo credit: Love Your Life Photography

When I cry, it’s usually for one of two reasons:

  1. I’ve lost complete control of a situation.
  2. I’ve encountered grace.

On Sunday morning, I cried harder for the first reason than I’ve cried in almost my entire adult life. Nasty, ugly, snotty bawling that probably scared passing drivers.

After months of planning, weeks of coordinating, days of errands, and hours and hours of DIY projects and spreadsheets, I (Charity J Edwards, blithe wedding coordinator) found myself driving in the pouring rain to the bride’s house to tell her that we had to move the ceremony location. After all, no one wants to go to a wedding in a mud puddle instead of a grassy knoll.

I’d lost all control over the wedding I was supposed to be in charge of. And I was big-time disappointed in God for taking away all my control.

Having been told by several people to expect a rainy-day wedding – and not being able to process the idea of losing all my work – I had staunchly ignored the forecasts and prayed for sunshine, dramatic clouds, and a rainbow.

Hey, my God is big. I know He does big things and answers big requests. I had absolute faith in the fact that He would give us sunshine that day – after all, I’m His daughter, and He loves me.

I had gone to sleep on Saturday night, kind of grinning to myself as I listened to the rain outside my door; I was hoping against hope that God would pleasantly “surprise” me with sunshine the next morning, and I knew he would come through.

I woke up to rain. Read More

My Wedding Coordinating

I’m right in the middle of coordinating the wedding of some friends this weekend. Gonna be honest, I’m already looking forward to the part where we pack up all the stuff and go home.

I love wedding coordinating, though. I love the fashion and flowers and food and fun and fabulousness of weddings. I love being so busy I can’t see straight, having to come up with a plan in case it rains, trying to fit in the rest of life when I’d rather it just pause for a while until I get through this.

It’s my happy place.

Unfortunately, my happy place took over my life this week, Read More

My Impossible Standards

“I’m thinking about starting a blog,” I said to Diane. I was painting her nails at her house.

“Oh, what about?” she asked.

“Singleness in the church,” I replied as I opened the next color.

“Oh yeah?” she said, interested. “I was single until I was in my 40’s.”

I pried further and found out much of her story. Diane was born with cerebral palsy, and she assumed she’d never get married. Then in her early 40’s, she met a man who asked her out. He also had never been married. Five years later, when Diane was 46, they shared their first kiss at their wedding.

The part that struck me about her story was not that Read More

My Unfair Assumptions

In the spring of 2009, Melissa was married, my best friend Evie was engaged, and my other friend Noel was about to be engaged any minute. I could have papered my walls with wedding invitations.

It seemed so easy for everyone else. I even asked some of them, “How do you get a boyfriend?” The answer was always something like, “Well, you find a guy you like, you Define The Relationship (DTR), you date, you DTR again, you get engaged, and then you enlist Charity to help with the wedding.”

That answer was infinitely frustrating. At 26, I was SO TIRED of watching everyone else meet their men or women, fall in love, and get to plan their weddings – like it was no big deal to just *poof* find the love of your life and *poof* get married.

I joyfully performed bridesmaidy duties twice that summer, musing over my lack of love life thus far. Read More

My Wedding Woes

I inserted the final bobby pin into Sarah’s hair and began fastening the white rose bud as the finishing touch to my first bridal hairstyle. I smiled big, oohed over how beautiful she was (I really had done a lovely job with her black hair), and kept up the smiling and oohing for the rest of the evening.

I was 19 years old; the bride, 18.

As a pastor’s kid, I’d been to literally dozens of weddings by that time, but Sarah’s still stands out to me for three firsts:

  • First bridal hair I’d styled
  • First time I was friends with the bride AND the groom
  • First wedding where I was older than the bride

Read More