Happily Ever After

by Joanie Butman

What’s a wedding without the postmortem? A friend once commented during a morning-after review, “You know it's a party when someone falls down. It was that kind of party.” Last weekend was no exception. My mother holds that dubious distinction, and it certainly wasn’t from over indulging or wild dancing. Nor were my husband’s back spasms, which kept us in Boston longer than anticipated. Both happened in the most ordinary and innocent of ways. My mom tripped getting into the elevator after the rehearsal dinner, and Bob simply bent down to tie his shoes – at least that’s the way it began. I’m sure being on your feet all day and dancing into the night contributed to his paralysis the following morning. Yet, despite these two unfortunate events, it was an incredibly joyous weekend. My mom even rallied to attend the service and reception despite two broken vertebrae in her neck.

Life is similar in that it too has its share of simultaneous misfortunes and joy. As Rick Warren describes, “Life is like a set of parallel train tracks, with joy and sorrow running inseparably throughout our days. At all times you have something good and something bad in your life.” And it’s often not the major issues that debilitate us but the ordinary mundane things like a simple misstep or bending the wrong way. Life is riddled with disappointments, crippling health issues, and a smorgasbord of trouble. Yet if we could, wouldn’t many of us choose to do it all over? You bet. Because amidst all the pain, there are precious, memorable moments which make it all worthwhile. It might be the day your daughter gets married or simply a day you shared an ice cream together.

The bride and groom postponed their honeymoon for a few of months due to school and work schedules. However, they went on a minimoon for a couple of days after the wedding to decompress and revel in the afterglow – just a tease before their exotic honeymoon in December. That’s the way I view our time on earth – a minimoon with God. Throughout our life He gifts us with glimpses of the unimaginable joy that awaits us when we begin our eternal honeymoon with Him.

I’ve had a number of minimoon experiences with God, and they’ve always occurred when I was at my worst by worldly standards - when no one would expect joy to be possible. It’s never been the BIG things that bring me to my knees but the subtle uneven surfaces I trip over again and again. In the party of life, I’ve fallen plenty of times and even bounced a few times on the way down. But always – even when I didn’t realize it – God's been there to lift me up.

Whatever you’re going through, and let’s face it, we’re all going through something, choose to remember Jesus’ words, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” Trust me on this, joy from the Lord doesn’t rely on your circumstances, it defies them! It isn’t defined by what you’re going through but who is beside you along the way.  Choose your traveling companion wisely.

Finally, when Christ does our postmortem, it will be through a lens of grace, and we will finally see how He used our falls to transform us and draw us closer to Him. Much like the groom last week, Christ’s face will be beaming with unfathomable love. Only then will we truly live happily ever after.


Dedicated to Cara and Dave. Congratulations!

Let the adventure begin...