Which bride expects to contract chickenpox three days to her wedding?
In my last post, I shared how I contracted chickenpox 3 days to my wedding and today I want to share the specifics of what happened and the three things I took away from that season.
Chickenpox 3 days to my wedding
My nephew swung by my apartment on the week of my wedding.
A few weeks earlier, he had come down with a bout of fever and rash, which later turned out to be chickenpox.
By the time he dropped by for a visit, he was past the most contagious stage which is the first five days.
Or so we thought.
Until this one morning and typical of an absent-minded teenage boy, he grabbed my towel after his shower, used it and then put it back on the hook.
Hours later, I would take a shower and use the same towel. aka my towel.
My fiance-now-husband and I were in the thick of planning and that afternoon we were finalizing the cake order. All over sudden, I started to feel itchy and feverish. Before the evening was over, I had bumps on both sides of my neck.
So what did I learn from this? (besides never trust a virus-carrying teenager around your house!)
1. Feel their pain before you offer a fix
When my wedding rehearsal swung by (a day to the wedding), I was heading to full-blown; weak, nauseous, inconceivably itchy, swollen, lathered in blisters, feverish and in pain.
Needless to say, I was not feeling or looking chirpy.
I thought my day was rough already…until my team, high on wedding-adrenaline, arrived.
Many were gracious and sensitive.
But others, and just like the many phone conversations and texts I had received in the past few days, were full of “encouragement“.
Not a bad thing, I know.
It’s the normal Christian thing actually. Tell someone to be strong, keep praying and believing, have hope and not give up, focus on the good things e.t.c
I will tell you though that at time, I did not need to be told how to think, what to feel or say or pray or fast about, not even how to look!
(One spunky young lady told me “cheer up, why look so sad? This wedding is going to happen anyway!)
Like I needed the reminder!
You see, in our rush to encourage, be strong, fill up awkward silence brought about by pain and things that we do not understand, we say all manner of things, make statements, ask questions, draw conclusions – basically muddle up things we should not be touching in the first place.
Hurting or grieving human hearts are such – sometimes they don’t need a director, just a comforter, a kindred spirit.
I can’t tell you the difference “how are you doing? or “I know this is hard for you” or ” I can’t imagine what you are going through,” would have made.
I know that a hug would made me feel better without loads of solutions attached to it. (Okay, I know I was contagious. Just saying).
As a Christian, balancing spirituality and reality does get tricky sometimes.
We desire to keep a heavenly perspective. We are spiritual creatures. But then we also live in bodies.
And in times of grief and pain, these bodies just need a hug, not a sermon.
2. It is possible to go through situations which feel impossible. And not die.
Well, I know that a virus in a bride-to-be’s body is not a near death experience..but to tell you that truth, it did feel as though my careful beautifully-crafted wedding plans were up in flames!
Yes, a bride’s health, especially the condition of her skin – her face especially – are very important.
But the heat was not just on the plans.
It was quickly spreading to my mind.
I began to wonder what I had done to “attract” the “misfortune”. Maybe I had not prayed enough, believed enough, fasted enough.
I struggled with hopelessness, feelings of unworthiness, fluctuating faith and gloom.
I was in deep self-examination (nothing wrong with that by the way, just make sure you come up for air).
But then the longer I stayed in that state, the deeper I sank, the tighter and darker my situation felt.
I had other things going on, not just a pimply weak body (O did I mention that my beautician canceled last minute, the cake lady decided not to deliver the cake, we didn’t have enough money for the food..and the honeymoon and “other” details?)
So it was crucial that decide where my focus would go.
The main thing for Saturday, August 16th was joining in holy matrimony with my best friend. At the minimum, all I needed was enough strength to walk down the aisle to say “I do”.
Other things were just details, pretty add-ons that had no bearing on the main thing. Yes, they were important (typical Kenyan weddings are big elaborate affairs).
But they were not the main thing.
When life nose-dives or rather circumstances seem to nose down, we can stay sane by keeping a simple perspective.
Instead of focusing on the many tiny details surrounding the major thing, we can instead choose to look at the main thing, keep a determined focus and shake off other weights.
We can decide to stop wasting precious energy keeping all the chips from falling, working hard to please everybody and working circumstances to perfection.
Sometimes, the greatest thing to do, when there are too many balls in the air is to choose to catch the most important ball (the main thing) and and leave the others to drop wherever they may.
Ultimately, this life has this tendency to serve up what we ask.
Maybe not immediately..but eventually it delivers what we believe for.
3. God can do the impossible
I have seen adults go through a full blown case of chickenpox.
I am yet to meet anyone who’s raging illness stopped dead on its tracks.
On its own.
Like mine did.
On the eve of my wedding and three days after the break-out, the existing blisters suddenly began to dry off.
New ones stopped popping (even on existing red spots). The itching reduced. My appetite began to return.
And yes, a new make-up person who had superior kit showed up (did I mention that my face needed a miracle?), a sumptuous meal for the guests was in place, the cake lady did deliver the cake. All other important fussy details fell in to place.
And on Saturday morning (wedding day), and at the exact moment I stepped out of the car, my previously weak body began to hum with energy.
Real joy filled my heart for the first time in days.
I could not stop laughing and dancing the rest of the day. Unless you were in the know, you couldn’t tell I was unwell.
I saw the gift and hand of God.
There are those who will argue that the illness somehow blew its course.
But I know the difference between an illness finishing its course and a miracle of healing. You can’t argue with this personal experience.
God gave me a miracle.
And not because I deserved it.
But because He is so so good.
My dashing groom waited at the end of the alter and breathed a sign of relief and thanksgiving when he saw saw the smile on my face from a distance. Only then did he know that I was all right, that I would be able to go through the day.
This man received a swift introduction to the marriage vows we would take later; to love each other for better or for worse.
God gave me a good man.
Here’s the take away; the things that look like they are about to kill you can be your ticket to an upgrade.
Upgraded faith to be exact.
There’s One who cares, One who heals, One who sees.
Don’t Quit. Just ask of Him. Stay close. Keep walking. The answer you need is down the road.
But you must stay close. And and keep walking.
This is one of the many stories I share in my book The Wedding Night: Embracing Sexual Intimacy as a New Bride. The wedding day was fantastic, but as I recovered, my husband and I would learn new lessons. Learn how God wired you for sexual intimacy in marriage so you can feel close to your husband and enjoy love making! The Wedding Night: Embracing Sexual Intimacy in Marriage is no-fluff, down-to-earth book to help the newly married and engaged woman become sexually confident in marriage. Plus it teaches you how to keep sex fabulous beyond the newlywed years! Buy the book Kindle I Paperback I Nook I PDF
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