One of the highlights of this crazy year was our daughter Laney’s wedding. Like most of 2020, it didn’t go as planned, but it was the very best in terms of lessons learned and lots of joy.
I learned so much! About myself, doing life, and the people I am blessed to do life with. Let me unpack a few today:
My daughter and her now husband got engaged in December 2018, a full 18 months before their scheduled wedding. As any bride or MOB knows, she and I did a LOT of planning during the 15 months before COVID-19 became a big reality.
We had fully planned something similar to her sister’s 2018 big traditional church wedding with a formal seated dinner and dance celebration, but we realized in May that wasn’t to be, and we needed to pivot.
We moved her wedding home to our backyard and scaled it down to family and their wedding party only.
And it was perfect.
Intimate, romantic, magical.
And it suited them perfectly. Was not anything like they initially said they wanted, but they said afterwards it was the wedding they never knew they wanted, but everything they dreamed of.
Lesson learned: Unexpected changes can lead to something better than you ever dreamed.
It could have gone much differently – they and we could have railed against the changes, resisting the reality of being in a pandemic with restrictions imposed on us.
But because they were open, and everyone pitched in, we were able to put all of our energies into transforming our backyard and creating something incredibly special for them.
I don’t mean to imply it wasn’t a hard decision, it definitely was, or that there wasn’t grieving involved while making it, there definitely was.
Feeling the loss of what was dreamed of and processing that disappointment was important.
But once the decision was made, we decided to accept the situation, to drop the resistance, and lean into looking for how it could be a wonderful thing and create something amazing.
We all still wish all of our friends and family could have been there to celebrate with us, but we are truly so thankful for the special celebration it was.
Lesson learned: Acceptance frees your brain to see the good and creatively problem solve.
Another place we could have gotten stuck, but I’m so thankful we did not, was regretting the many hours planning.
It is so easy to think in situations like this, that it was all for nothing.
I hear this a lot with my career coaching clients who regret hours taken towards a degree they’ve never used, or years stuck in a job they hated.
But I have seen time and time again how God uses ALL of our experiences, all of the knowledge and skills we’ve gained through the years, to get us to where He wants to use us and to grow us into the people we were created to be. And He did so with Laney’s wedding too.
Our 15 months’ planning laid the groundwork, so we could pivot more easily. She knew what she wanted, and we had explored and engaged a lot of different resources, including a terrific wedding planner.
We also had had a LOT of fun through those months – we had created wonderful memories together which I will forever be grateful for.
Lesson learned: All our experiences are worth it and prepare the way for where we truly want to be and who we truly want to be, if we will let them.