Call Me a Bridesmaid

Over the course of this summer, I will have been in 3 weddings.

And in the entire 2017 calendar, I’m invited to attend roughly 10 to 15 matrimonies. It’s an exciting time for my friends and family — gathering together to celebrate love in its purest, perhaps most natural form.

One of my oldest and closest friends Laura married Michael this weekend. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect going into the weekend. I knew it would be fun and beautiful.

But I didn’t expect an overwhelming range of emotions from complacent, to sad, to joyful, to fear, to elated. I didn’t know I would feel utter peace and eagerness and hopeful anticipation for the next million years of their love and commitment to one another.

I might always be a bridesmaid — and I’m down with that.

I can’t do my hair or makeup well, and I probably crack too many jokes to relieve tension. Sometimes I forget to hem my dress the week of — shoutout to Nana Van, who is my actual hero.

But I make a very good bridesmaid — I like to serve others without recognition, I know when to back away if I’m overcrowding a room, I can talk someone from an anxious state to a peaceful demeanor.

There are moments of comparison and envy and insecurity. I wonder why I have yet to meet that person or fear I already have met him — and just missed him by a minute, a glance, a minor flaw.

But then I check myself: I started a new job, joined a new church and plan to move into a new home, all within half a year. There is so much newness and delight and excitement happening in my own life. There is plenty of change — for better and for worse.

I remember my community.

I never planned to return to Dallas, it’s a daily struggle and longing to return to Nashville or Florence, to flee anywhere but here. It’s an underlying bitterness toward God for sending me back here, where so much hurt happened before Baylor.

But here I am, and God says, “Mae, be.” He says, “Here are wonderful people with wonderful faith and do wonderful things. I will fill you up, pour you out, break you to mend you, bring you to your knees in valleys only to stand you tall up on mountaintops.”

He sends me new friends who feels like old ones, He shows me there are plenty of adventures to be had here in the 214.  He surrounds me with like-minded people and unlike-minded people. He stretches me only to make me better, to make me press deeply into Him. To dig deep into my roots and breathe in His life and live in each moment.

So in the meantime, I am humbled to stand aside close friends who marry their dream persons, their lifetime partners, their very best friends. I’m honored to stand up on before God and men and witness to a covenant between God and man, and man and man.

My name is Mae. But you can call me a bridesmaid.

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