I just watched the Runaway Bride again. It is one of my favorite movies and every time I watch it I laugh all over again. It is about this woman who has had three weddings terminated at the alter. You see scenes of her walking down the altar towards her fiance and then, like a klaxon sending a warning signal in her head you see her veer off and run out the door. She is on her fourth wedding attempt when a writer hears about this crazy man-eating woman who leaves wrecked men in her wake.
It comes to light that the reason she can't seem to make it through the ceremony is that she never figured out who she was. She always fashioned herself after whatever man she was with. She adopted his musical tastes, she ate the kind of food he did. She was seemingly never able to be herself with anyone.
I can relate to that. I remember going through many periods of so-called self discovery and trying to fit in with the people in my life. Of experimenting with life styles and ideas of who I could be that would make people like me.
I spent years in school being invisible and just hoping that someone would like me. So I did what I thought would make that happen. I started drinking and going to parties. I used drugs and carelessly gave myself away to men who could have cared less. I tried to fit a mold that wasn't who I was supposed to be. I had no concept of who I was or what I was here on earth for.
So many years wasted and so many opportunities abused. I was like that runaway bride, trying to fit in wherever I could just so someone could tell who I was supposed to be and what I was supposed to do.
It wasn't until I met Jim and he shared his faith with me that I realized there was something more. I was something more.
I was born for a reason and alive for a purpose. I was formed by a God who knew exactly what He was doing and shaped me with love.
The bible says in Jeremiah 1:5, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you". And in Psalms 139:13, "For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb". Here is a picture of an artisan, finely molding a beautiful work of art. Forming and shaping us to exact specifications. Not some cheaply mass produced blob of nothing but a fine piece of craftsmanship.
Psalms 139:14 goes on to say, "I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well." The words that strike me in this verse are not so much that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, but that it is acknowledged that His works are great; that includes me! He doesn't make mistakes. I was not a blunder in the grand scheme of things. Making me was not a misstep or a miscalculation. I am beautiful to Him, inside and out. I was wrought for His good pleasure. I was fashioned for a grand purpose. I was intended for something wonderful.
Yes, I took detours to get to this place. I was that bride who made it to the altar so many times but never spoke her vows. I was that incomplete person. I was that woman who was abused and mistreated and used up and thrown away.
I was all that and more...or should I say less. I was less than I was meant to be. I was not complete. Not until I met the One who called me to be his bride. I met the Groom who already loved me with an everlasting love. The One who cherished me in spite of what I thought of myself. The One who chose me to be His own. When I looked at Him I realized I was never going to be the same again. And I had a decision to make. Was I going to bolt at the altar again or was I going to step into the greatest relationship I could ever have? Was I going to finally realize who I was and what I truly needed?
There is a line in the movie where Richard Gere speaks the proposal that he would say to someone he truly loved. She, then at the end of the movie repeats it back to him. It says, "Look, I guarantee there'll be tough times. I guarantee that at some point, one or both of us is gonna want to get out of this thing. But I also guarantee that if I don't ask you to be mine, I'll regret it for the rest of my life, because I know, in my heart, you're the only one for me".
Yes in this adventure I call my walk with Jesus there have been tough times. And shamefully there have been times when I turned my back on Him. But His love never let me get too far. He was waiting with open arms to welcome me back. He never wanted to 'get out of this thing'. His love never fails, it never falters. And though I have regrets in my past, the one decision that I do not regret is saying yes to Him.
Because I know in my heart, He is the only One for me.