Last week ate dirt. It really did. My head was awash with negativity and feeling not good enough and fearful and stubborn. All the while realising how foolish it is and worrying over not enjoying being engaged more. Friday, finally I chose life in my thoughts and found breakthrough… I’m not going into that now, but it made me realise that I needed to focus on the gift I have right now. That is not to say obsess over it but to remind myself of its beauty and therefore to practice being grateful instead of getting bogged down on the practical distractions of moving and changing jobs and organising a wedding.

So, some quick context to help you make sense of my rambling: A dear friend, who is also a phenomenal designer, is making and gifting my dress, and she has been spending selfless hours with me on fittings, fabric excursions, design ideas and sugar-free coffee. We were housemates a few years ago and share a lot of common history. Really, she is more like an older sister than just a friend.

Back to me musing on gratitude: I imagined a wedding dress. Looking over the details on the dress in my minds eye, I recalled how meticulously my friend used to place the rouging with literally pin-sized pleats. I imagined her spending hours hand-sewing the beads on the bodice, and then I remembered how easy it was for me to dismiss all the dresses I’ve seen with a cacophony of embellishments in an over-stimulated blur of apparently “non”white wedding gowns, bling and tulle.

This jadedness made me imagine myself somewhere in the past where buying a dress off the rail/hanger didn’t exist. When there was no wedding industry. When a wedding was a simple, but lavish celebration put together by the bride’s family. Some aunties and gran would have ended up doing the cooking, the whole town was probably in attendance and I’m convinced a talented cousin or mom or auntie would have spent hours hand-sewing the most beautiful and significant dress of your life. It exists for the simple reason that you are walking out of an old life into a new one. To adorn the bride as a celebration of herself and a precious gift between families.

Now imagine the morning the bride prepares herself. How her mother lovingly sends her into her new identity as a wife. Clothing her daughter in honour. What a venerable moment. That dress is not hidden among thousands of others. That dress does not compete or compare.

My friend has also been my accountability partner since I started falling in love with my now fiance, since long before we were together and I count it so precious that she will be the woman to clothe me in this celebratory and precious garment. What a privilege! As I sat daydreaming these things I remember the scripture I read on the morning we started dating:

Isaiah 52:1

Awake, awake!
Put on your strength, O Zion;
Put on your beautiful garments,
O Jerusalem, the holy city!

Not endorsing bible-bingo here, and this is certainly not a theological reading but I thought it significant to the new season I was stepping into. I’m so excited to see how we change in preparation of our new life (though sometimes I struggle). How we help each other recognise the lies we believe and to celebrate, in remembrance of the greatest gift: That we serve a God who wants to be with us.

Song: Kye Kye “Honest Affection”