Beautiful Bride on the Inside and Out

To me, there is nothing like coming across inspirational articles during the day.  It doesn’t matter where or when I find them, but sometimes I feel like they are placed in front of my face for a reason.  For times when life feels hard, or my biggest issue of the day is that it’s too short and I am running behind, it’s nice to be reminded of everything in my life that makes me thankful.  Yesterday, while trying to decide what I wanted to write about, I found myself blown away by the message of Lainie Schultz, a bride-to-be whose biggest stress in her life is not the wedding planning you might imagine.  When I read the article, I had to take a deep breath.  Here I am feeling overwhelmed, even though I have my health, the weather is gorgeous, and I have amazing family and friends.  Lainie is a true inspiration.  She is battling a rare form of cancer, but Lainie is most certainly not going at this alone.  Her now husband, Joseph Jones, said to her that, “‘The day you were diagnosed was the day I married you. I wasn’t going to leave your side.”

Emily Harris, a wedding photographer from Fort Lauderdale documented the days and moments leading up to Lainie’s wedding.  This included sharing in the moment when Joseph shaved Lainie’s head three weeks before their wedding day.

Image: Joseph Jones shaving Lainie Schultz's hair

Three weeks before their wedding, Lainie Schultz’s fiancé, Joesph Jones, shaves his future bride’s hair.  (Source)

“What I was going through was personal, but it’s something people need to see. A lot of people are scared of cancer, and it’s important for people to see that you shouldn’t be. … I won’t live in fear.” –Lainie Schultz

“I won’t live in fear.”  Five words that we should all try and live by each day.  What a courageous and confident woman.  When I think about how much time I spend doing my hair in my morning, or not liking the way it turns out, it makes me sad. Why am I not as thankful as I should be for the hair I have?  Why instead of being grateful to God for giving me my health, do I instead question the unimportant?  I am only human and sometimes I miss the big picture, and that’s okay as long as eventually I am brought back to reality and what’s real, and what’s important.

Take-Aways from the Article:

  • Lainie is a gracious and appreciative bride, which is a needed reminder in a time when ‘Bridezillas’ and ‘Platinum Weddings’ are representing the behavior of brides-to-be.
    • “I have a lot of friends getting married, and they’re so worried about every little detail,” Schultz said. “Of course I worried about what my wedding would look like, but I didn’t get that stressed. If I showed up and there were no tablecloths, no band, or no flowers, all that matters is that my family is there and I’m marrying the love of my life. Unfortunately, being diagnosed with a life-threatening illness puts life in perspective.”
      • As much as I loved planning my wedding, there were definitely those moments when I didn’t think I could make another decision.  I hate to admit it, but I did worry about choosing the tablecloths, I agonized over the music selection, and I decisively chose my flowers.  The truth is though that on that day and in that moment, I never even noticed when something went wrong.  In fact, I forgot to wear all of my jewelry I had chosen and did not even realize that I walked down the aisle without a single piece of jewelry on until I got to the hotel after the wedding.  It is true that the little things you believe are so important don’t really matters in the grand scheme of things.
  • Lainie does outreach work with the American Cancer Society to help get the word out for early detection and regular checkups.
  • Love is more than a feeling.  It is an action too, like when Joseph stood by her when she had a hysterectomy in 2010 due to a mass on one of her ovaries.
    • “He said, ‘I would rather have you here,’” Schultz recalled. “‘We can always adopt a child, and you’re more important.’”
      • This is such a reminder about what love is and how I should love others in my life:  unconditionally.  I hope I can love, and be loved, half as much as Joseph loves Lainie.  That is a true connection that starts in the soul and both individuals are whole heartedly devoted to each other.

I encourage all of you to remember this story today and I hope it brings perspective to your life the way it has to mine.  My goal today is to look around and be thankful for all I have been given.  I love inspiring stories like this that remind me in times of hurt and need that I am not alone and all I can do is move forward.  The story has touched so many people, and Like Joseph said, “It’s shown them not to run scared if something like this comes up in their lives.”  So. Important.

Questions:

 

If you were a bride, what were the biggest obstacles you faced while planning your wedding?

How can we use Lainie’s message to better our own lives?

What does ‘unconditional’ love mean to you?

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9 thoughts on “Beautiful Bride on the Inside and Out

  1. What a moving story! Thank you for sharing. Honestly, I know that when I was planning my wedding there were plenty of big “obstacles” but when I look back (and it was less than a year ago!) I can’t think of anything. It all came together for the most perfect day, and I think any negative memories have been replaced.

  2. The day of our wedding we told each other no matter what heppens today, if something goes wrong, it will have been a successful wedding if we are married at the end of the day- and we were :) There were lots of obstacles the day of the wedding- the flower lady didn’t show up- 1 of my bridesmaids was super late etc- but I didn’t get upset, I just rolled with it!

    I always love those moments when I find/read something motivational/encouraging that make me take a step back and think how blessed my life really is! Thanks for this today :)

  3. Thank you so much for this post. It’s always great to put things into perspective. I think it’s easy for everyone to get caught up in the little things and think our lives are so difficult until someone comes along and shares their pain/struggles. We are so blessed to have our two arms, two legs, a heart that beats, and lungs to breathe. Even more, God gave us the people around us and we should really cherish those relationships.
    I really appreciate you putting such a deep message out there for me today :)

  4. This is a wonderful story of life. Using a crisis in our own lives to make something positive is a lesson we can all use. Count your blessings for sure.

  5. Wow, Jana.
    Thank you for sharing this beautiful story! I’ve never been married so don’t really know what it’s like to plan a wedding, but hearing stories like this really make me reflect on the true meaning of a wedding. Lainie is such a beautiful person, inside and out.

  6. This is so beautiful, thank you for sharing! I’m getting married in July and I’m trying to focus on our life after the wedding — actually, that’s the part I’m looking forward to the most. Sure, I’m excited about my dress and the music, etc. etc., but I know that the wedding will only last one day, while our love needs to last a lifetime.

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