Lessons Learned from a Canceled Wedding
"With a sorrowful heart and deep pain, I must announce that my wedding has been canceled."
Those were the shocking words I read on my soon-to-be-married friend's Facebook status. What was going on?! I went to her wedding shower less than a week before I read this post... and her actual wedding day was scheduled to take place in three weeks! How could this be possible? Was this a joke? I immediately called her. She informed me that the message was true and that her fiancé had called off the wedding and the engagement. Everything was over. She was in extreme pain. Her dream wedding wasn't going to happen. This is a true story.
I immediately felt ashamed and embarrassed for all of the little complaints I had made during the past week. My problems were nothing compared to the pain she was enduring. As I talked with her and observed her over the next couple of weeks, I was extremely impressed by her attitude. Her desire to trust in the Lord and find comfort and peace in Jesus alone was very evident. Although her heart was in deep anguish, she never lashed out in anger toward God. Instead she ran to God knowing that He was the only one who could offer her any peace during this tragic time.
It has been a month and a half since this heartbreaking day for my friend. Her focus still remains on Christ. She continually fills her mind with Scripture and constantly pours out her heart to God asking for peace and comfort. She even thanks God for being a loving God and for His purpose in this trial, even though she doesn't understand. She knows God can redeem this trial, and she is choosing to trust in Him despite what she is feeling. Her sadness is still very deep. But with the daily help of the Holy Spirit and her constant intake of Scripture, she has improved and matured spiritually every single day. She isn't bitter toward God at all. Not even a bit. She is trusting that God will use this circumstance to grow and change her in ways nothing else could. Who knows what kind of ministry opportunity she will have in the future with other girls facing similar heartbreaks?
Proverbs 3:5–6 says, "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."
That verse seems easy when life is going smooth, but when faced with difficult circumstances trusting God can be tough. What would you have done if you were in her shoes? Would you have chosen to trust in the Lord with all your heart? Or would you reject Him with bitterness?
First Thessalonians 5:16–18 says, "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
Not only are we told to trust in the Lord with all our heart, we are commanded to rejoice, give thanks, and pray. This is a huge challenge for me, especially when I am going through a hard time. The thing that encourages me the most is this—God created us and knows what will deeply satisfy us. He also knows exactly what we need and when we need it. We may not understand the "why" behind things, but we have to be willing to trust Him no matter what.
I have watched my friend go through one of the hardest times of her life, and yet she came out stronger because of it. It wasn't easy to go through this trial, but she has found a peace in God and a trust in Him that has helped her through this like nothing else could. No amount of shopping, eating, medication, or anything else could help her make it through. She had to turn to her Creator and trust in Him when she had no answers.
What would you do if your wedding was canceled? How would you have responded toward God? Would you trust in Him and praise Him or would you grow bitter and angry?
What will you do the next time you are going through a hard time?
Contributed by Bethany Baird