I decided to give up meal plans senior year – partly to improve my cooking skills and partly to get away from the added cost to my yearly tuition. What I didn’t account for, however, was how quickly the cost of buying groceries each week adds up.
Soon enough, I was drowning in worries about when my next paycheck was coming from the Writing Center and how I was going to buy my mother a nice Christmas present when all I could afford was a single Hershey’s kiss.
Now I’m trying to figure out how to afford to pay all my wedding vendors in June and maybe a down payment on a car.
It wasn’t until I had nightmares about checking my bank account that I realized I had a problem.
This was further solidified when attending Mass with my family over spring break. The Sunday reading before Lent was Matthew’s reminder we cannot serve God and Mammon. But what exactly is Mammon?
Everything worldly, including my seemingly justified concerns about the future. Probably one of my favorite pieces of tough love from the Bible is “do not worry about tomorrow … tomorrow will take care of itself.”
Maybe it wasn’t that reading alone that made me think differently, but I think having some time off school helped me reflect on why I needed to put my worrying in check.
Planning a wedding under any circumstances puts enough stress on people to make them question the decision in the first place, not to mention planning it when your fiancé lives 12 hours away.
But what I realized, with realistic clarity, is there’s a difference between a wedding and marriage.
A wedding is one day out of your life to celebrate your lifelong marriage – a sacrament Jason and I chose to receive from the church. Marriage is not about how good you look in your wedding pictures, or the lights used by the DJ or the flowers you carry down the aisle.
Marriage is not about what everyone thought of your reception, or how good the food smelled or how many people tore up the dance floor.
It’s not about having every detail perfectly controlled and in place either, as much as I’d like to see it settle that way.
The Rev. Jason Mitchell, an instructor of theology at Gannon and the priest who will preside over our wedding Mass, said marriage is walking toward heaven with each other.
And while I have a long way to go until I can even hope to reach heaven, I think that’s a beautiful way of understanding the sacrament.
Marriage is about promising to stay committed to the person God called you to be with.
When Jason and I started dating, all I knew is there was something different about him. As sappy as it all is, I think that “gut” feeling was a hint he was the one.
We have approximately three months and a small budget to plan the rest of our wedding, but I am determined to focus more on our lasting relationship than how many candles will light the tables or what color tie the groomsmen wear.
After all, a wedding is just one day. Marriage is forever.