Wednesday, July 30, 2008

27 Dresses - Reality Check!

Preparation for Girls small group has been looming in front of me for several days. Through different circumstances, I am now the only person leading for the summer, so prep is all on me. I began to really dread it, so I just decided that last night was going to be a "Girls Night". I rented 27 Dresses and got Ice Cream and toppings. (You can't have a Girls Night without junk food!)

It was a lot of fun hanging out with my girls and watching the movie. It sparked conversation and brought out the girly side in all of us. A funny thing started to happen at all of the romantic parts - a collective "AWWW!" would erupt throughout my apartment. The "AWWW!" said so much more than, Isn't that sweet!. Each girl has a desire to be pursued like that - but many times how we dream of it happening - and how its portrayed in movies - is perfection. Perfection isn't reality.

"It doesn't happen like this in real life" I yelled out. "Says the girl who got proposed to on the Eiffel Tower" one of my girls said. Sure, that moment was awesome and Matt reminds me often of what a great job he did. But that incredible moment lasted seconds, then back to reality! How do I talk to my girls about this and make sure they hear me? I couldn't come up with anything brilliant (How did my youth pastors' wives do that? They always came up with something brilliant that would challenge me in that moment and stuck with me forever!) but at least the conversation was started.

Matt and I are pretty transparent with our students - we don't fake perfection. Several of our students don't have parents that have healthy relationships - so ours is the only one they're exposed to. We've talked with them about how hard relationships are and that they take a lot of work. It was pretty cool when I heard through the grapevine that one of our students had said she wanted a marriage like ours.

Whether we realize it or not - teenagers are watching and listening! Let's just hope that what they are soaking up isn't perceived perfection - but hard-working-and-rewarding reality.


  1. You're telling me! My proposal was on a kitchen late at night. Nothing major or grand, but it was perfect for us. It's not the stuff that happens before or during the wedding that really counts for a marriage. It's the stuff that happens afterward.

  2. I just had this conversation with my sisters! The 22yr old was going on and on about how a friend had such a glamorous proposal and she hoped that her future husband did this or that and she wants to be completely surprised, etc... I told her not to get too hung up on building it up in her mind because the man that God picks out for her may not be a man that goes all out for a proposal. For that matter, when you're in real relationship, you've probably already discussed marriage enough that it shouldn't be a complete surprise when he asks.
    My sis looked at me and said, "oh, c'mon, you know you dreamed about stuff like that too". And I said, "I know I did, that's why I'm warning you now, it doesn't always happen like you imagine it!".
    I dropped out of college to marry Isaac after six weeks of friendship (we weren't even really dating). My family and friends were freaked out. It was less than ideal - definitely not the beginning I'd imagined as a girl. But God had His hand over us and everything smoothed over eventually. But it was a rocky start!

  3. Anne, you may feel that what you're saying may not be brilliant. But remember God is giving you the right words to reach that certain someone. Just like He did with your mentors. So don't be so hard on yourself and trust in what God is doing through you. You and Matt are awesome and I am so proud of all you do with the teens. Our teens are so blessed to have you in their lives. North Point is blessed to have you in its family. I love you and thank you for your williness to serve and minister to our teens.

  4. Nicole, I completely agree with you! Too often we plan and plan for the wedding but don't put as much energy into the relationship.

    Wani, how awesome that God has sustained you throughout that! Marriage is hard work and I romanticized it in my mind. My poor husband had to deal with that for the first few months. :) It definitely wasn't a surprise that we would be getting married - but he did suprise me with the proposal. I had it in my brain that it would happen when I got home. Props to him!

    Thanks for the encouragement Pam! It won't be too long until Megan is in our group. :)


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