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Friday, December 6, 2013

Wedding Vs Marriage

Dong and Nikka Alejar, April 17, 2004

Dong proposed to me out of the blue in the middle of Mass by bending on one knee and asking for my hand in marriage, right before I was about to line up for Holy Communion. Back then, he did not have any ring with him, so he gave me his scapular instead and put it around my neck. That was on January 27, 2004.

We were together for a little over seven years by the time that happened.

We also underwent an extreme trial previous to that which involved the most intense spiritual warfare I have ever experienced,which almost cost me my life. It was because and in spite of this trial of demonic proportions that Dong realized he wanted to protect me and love me for life, and the only way to do that was to marry me, despite all his fears of providing for me.

I would perhaps write about that extreme trial of demonic proportions (No kidding. It was really a demonic possession on my part.) in the future, but for now, I would want to share about how lovely our wedding turned out to be despite the limited budget and the utter simplicity of it, because we were in the right state of mind, body and soul.

Because of and in spite of that ultimate test in our relationship, we realized the value of keeping things focused and simple, minus all the worldliness or vanity that weddings usually squeeze out from us brides particularly.

- That the bride should have the most PERFECT "bonggga" (lavish) wedding, because it is HER day
- That the couple should splurge and stretch the budget because they want to look good in people's eyes
- That the groom should show to his future in-laws or family members that as early as now, he can really give the best the world can buy to his bride.
-etc. etc.

Of course, none of this is in and by itself a sin. Weddings are wonderful for its mere beauty. A lovely bride is such a sight to behold! A handsome groom makes people gush too. Good food and music in the reception makes the event unforgettable as well.... All of this is good BUT --

and here is the clincher ...

One should really prepare for the MARRIAGE, not just the WEDDING.

- When one goes bankrupt or in deep debt just to impress others or each other, something is wrong.
- When the bride cries sporadically over the littlest of things - from the lack of flowers in the venue to her not so perfect wedding gown, and becomes worried, anxious and irritable, sooo far from the radiant bride she is supposed to be, something is wrong.
- When the groom gets too stressed from buying things that his bride deems a "necessity" that he loses joy in the whole process, something is wrong.
- When in all the hullabaloo, the couple forgets the reason for getting married in the first place and simply focuses on the details of the wedding, something is WRONG.

It was a totally God thing then that previous to getting married, the Lord allowed me and Dong to experience such a GREAT and DIFFICULT trial that we simply lost taste in all the worldly and stressful things that a usual wedding entailed and focused on our spirits instead, to prepare us for the wedding and the upcoming marriage:

On the days and months leading up to the wedding, what we were doing was:

- Going to church on a nearly daily basis.
- I, confessing my sins, to God (every day) and to a priest almost every week
- Handling the wedding preparations ourselves. We did not hire a wedding planner anymore and simply went to Dangwa (for the flowers) ourselves and got our clothes at a discount from  Patis Tesoro (mine) and from Divisoria (his barong.)
- Enjoying each other's company and our last days as single people.
- Making sure our very limited budget would not go overboard and still manage to have a simple but tasteful wedding celebration that our parents would approve of.

Because the Lord directed our steps, we experienced on our wedding day:

- Peace
- Love
- Joy
- Gratitude

Super Joyful Married Couple after the Wedding
* Our priest did not arrive on time and made the guests wait for an hour and a half, but we were composed.

* I forgot to have my gown ironed and had to walk to the nearest ironing/laundry shop nearest the hotel I was at to have it done 30 minutes before I was to go to the church!

* Our reception was super funny and none of the guests were minding us even when we were talking in front of them, but we did not get offended one bit. We were laughing and enjoying the whole crazy event!

                                                      Psalm 37:23The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.
37:23 Ang lakad ng tao ay itinatag ng Panginoon; at siya'y nasasayahan sa kaniyang lakad.

I claim none of this happened because we were GOOD. In fact the opposite was true, especially of me. As I have mentioned above, there were demons of the real kind involved, previous to Dong's proposal and our wedding. I was at the center of that trial. It happened to ME. (More on this at a much later post.)

I claim that all happened because God took Mercy on us, His children, and He directed our steps.

My prayer is that anybody who is about to get married will weigh MARRIAGE heavier over the WEDDING. A WEDDING is something to be treasured and remembered fondly, yes, but a MARRIAGE is forever, till death do you part.

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