This is a guest post by Sherry Fahmi. Sherry works as a consultant at one of the nation's premier health care and human services consulting firms. She is also a proud member of St. Timothy and St. Athanasius Church in Arlington, VA. You can follow her on twitter, @SherryFahmi. And if you too are interested in guest posting on my blog, please visit my Guest Post guidelines for more info.
These days, Fr. Anthony is talking about marriage in his series, For Better or For Worse. So that got me thinking… how does all of this sound advice for married people apply to me? I’m not married, but somehow I should be able to apply this to myself spiritually. Right?
As I thought about this more, I started thinking about my wedding day (yes, every girl does) so naturally the first thing that came to mind was the dress. And with that, THE VEIL. Tradition teaches that the veil is worn by the bride as she walks towards her groom and the father of the bride unveils her before giving her away. I’ve also seen it where the groom is the one who unveils his bride. Interesting thought.
To me, that’s a symbol of the oneness the bride and groom share when they are finally married; she walks to him veiled, and then she becomes unveiled before him – like a precious gift. I’m not sure how you feel, but for me, THAT’S A SCARY THOUGHT!
My first reaction to this unveiling business was “NO THANK YOU!”
I don’t want to be unveiled. I like hiding my insecurities and shortcomings behind this invisible “veil.” No one really needs to see what’s behind it. And why remove it? The veil is so pretty, isn’t it? Let’s just admire the veil as is. And when I do choose to remove it, I will be doing the unveiling, not anyone else. And that’s that!
Well, God had other plans for me that evening. As I sat in the quiet thinking about that, I heard a soft whisper, “Come to Me. I will unveil you like a precious gift. Don’t be afraid of what is hiding behind your veil.” It wasn’t something I expected to hear, or a thought I ever wanted to have. But truthfully, it’s what I needed. It’s what we all need, whether married or not. So I went with it. And I sat at the feet of Jesus letting Him do the unveiling.
I started to write some things down: things I was scared of, things I was insecure about, things I hated about myself, things I was thankful for, and the list went on and on. With everything I wrote God removed a veil. As you can imagine, there were a lot. It took a little bit of honesty and a whole lot of time, but the unveiling that comes from approaching God is such a beautiful thing.
No fear. No judgment. No hurt. Just love. At the end of my time with Him, I felt God looking at me like a precious gift – His bride – and for that unveiled moment, there was nothing to hide.
Ok, back to the topic here…marriage! Fr. Anthony gave some good advice to us single people. He said “Seek the One, while waiting for the two.” That was pretty clear to me; pray, read the Bible, don’t sin, try to be holy, all that good stuff. Got it. But this whole unveiling process taught me something so important – something that not only brings me closer to Christ, but also prepares me for marriage.
Unless I am willing to be unveiled by God, I will never be ready to be unveiled to anyone.
It’s a constant challenge for me to be open and honest with God, and allow him to unveil me. It’s easy to hide my fears and insecurities behind a pretty veil. Sometimes the process can be painful and draining, but the extraordinary joy that comes when He has removed the last veil makes the journey worth it to me. Isn’t that what marriage is supposed to be like?
So my challenge and hope for you – whether single or married – is that you will approach Christ, sit at His feet, and allow Him to unveil you. Trust me…it might be hard, but you won’t regret it.
For discussion: what (if anything) has helped you to unveil yourself in front of God?