my big fat Egyptian wedding

Have you watched my big fat Greek wedding before? Remember how noisy, loud and nosey all the family members were about Toula’s life and especially her marriage arrangement. As the months pass, the wedding planning faces trouble after trouble as Toula’s numerous relatives “supportively” interfere by imposing their ideas into her planning. The situation reaches its peak when her parents invite the entire family to what was meant to be a “quiet” introductory dinner with Ian’s and his private parents. As a Middle Eastern girl I ‘ve always completely related to that movie, and now that I am in Toula’s shoes, it has become ever more close to me. Wedding arrangements around here are loud, big, and pricy; it is everyone’s business in everyone’s business. It usually entails an extravagant wedding dress, a gigantic celebratory banquet hosting a hundreds of relatives and friends you barely know. And it is running a million errands in a country that buzzes with craziness, traffic and chaos. And although I cannot deny that there is beauty in the rituals, and beauty in making a big deal about the day when your ache of being with someone you love is happening. And Despite the unearned attention and pampering the bride receives, that I undeniably enjoy.


I have found that it is beyond difficult to stay graceful about it and in the midst of it. Its difficult to be all spiritual and nice.


It is difficult not to stumble in yourself, when your inadequacy to meet life’s normal progression, normal in the sense that you are not the first to venture into this marriage thing, bombards you.


My humanity overwhelms me.


Hit by the reality of it being an illusion that somehow being a newborn owes me to transcend the materialistic, to be above it.

And instead I find myself beneath it, gulping water instead of breathing

Sinking by the load of my shortcomings, or is it by my humanity, by my below average Christianity.

But then I hear a whisper

Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows, But take heart I have overcome the world.” “ I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. “ My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth, your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.


And I realize, as it is revealed to my heart, that it is ok.

The struggle is real.

You the one who has been taught about the Christian philosophy, living for a bigger cause, for an invisible kingdom

You out of everyone should know better, you shouldn’t be stuck in those little unworthy issues of a fading world.


And while we have been taught a lot about how to sing and pray for the kingdom to come, seldom does anyone prepare you for the mundane.

How to walk those well known paths?


And I find my self burdened by the shame of doing the ordinary, as if I thought I can surely do the conventional journeys in life ‘a propos (by the bye), while I pursue the heavenly mystical realm. You know casually slip into marriage and a 9-5 job, while simultaneously loving on the lord and serving the less fortunate( living a bigger life).


But my feet hit the ground, the moment I realize I need to deal with my humanity

Not despise it but embrace it

For he came in that form

Not escaping it but sanctifying it


I need to learn to deal with my panic attacks and my desire for perfection,

I need to attend to the desire of being loved and accepted fully by another human,

To hurt while learning the lesson of loving someone completely,

To ache while I vulnerably share myself,

To be kind to myself, and to honor my beauty

To endure the painful friction of being so close to another fellow human being, mirroring my imperfections and shortcomings with every quarrel and every fork in the road.

I need to do the humane-the godly way, I need to let the divine intertwine with my own earth.

I need to understand that I am still in the world, but not of the world, but I am still in the world….. and sing it over and over again till he breakthrough and overcomes it in my own dwelling.

I need to learn that the only way to meet god face to face, is to stay in the world and do it well.

Even if staying means sorrow, trials, and stumbling.

Trusting that he has overcome the world, and he will beat every ounce of it from the inside of me.






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One Response to my big fat Egyptian wedding

  1. Nadine says:

    You’ve captured the tension between these two worlds so well. It’s not as neat and orderly as we’d like it to be- separating the spiritual from the material, but it’s awesome that you’re seeing God in the midst of it, or at least training yourself to invite God into all things. It’s taking me a long time to get to that point too! Sending lots of love your way XX


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