You have probably heard the saying: “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” Derived from a wedding custom that reaches back to the Victorian era, this old proverb contains advice not just for marriage, but for life.
Let’s look at the wedding tradition meaning behind something old, new, borrowed and blue and see how we are preparing to be the bride of Christ.
Something Old, Something New
Traditionally, this part of the saying refers to a bride’s remembrance of her family of origin and her past, within the framework of looking forward to the new life ahead.
Paying attention to where you’ve come from plays an important role in how you live your life, but should always be within the context of looking ahead.
When Am I?
Many people seem to get lost in the extremes of time. Some spend so much time looking back that they are never ready to move ahead. Alternately, others fantasize about a future that is always just out of reach, while ignoring the way their past has affected their current reality. Even those who live in the present sometimes wander aimlessly because they cease to realize how their past influences their present, or they fail to connect with who they want to become.
BOTTOM LINE: When we revisit the way our past has shaped us, it should never be as a victim filled with regret, but rather as an overcomer who is ready to forgive, learn, heal, grow and move forward. Utilizing lessons learned from our past enlarges our capacity to be prepared for what’s next.
Who Am I?
As you live in the eternal now, with awareness of where you’ve come from and where you are going, you will have better clarity on the purpose for each “now” moment. If you are intentional, you can be directional. In other words, recognize the purpose in your process. So many people try to escape the very process that heals and frees them because of the discomfort they experience.
BOTTOM LINE: If you are to emerge from cocoon to flight, you must embrace your transformation process with the understanding that your past informs your present but does not dictate your future.
How Will I?
Right in the middle of your past and your future is a present—it is the gift of choice. Choose to take the gold from the old and be willing to partner with the process of the present to attain the treasures you wish to find in your tomorrows.
You can’t change your past, but you can utilize what you’ve learned to influence your future. And it starts today—one choice at a time.
BOTTOM LINE: Choose to be present-future in your focus, for as you think in your heart, so shall you become.
Something Borrowed, Something Blue:
The bride-to-be usually borrows an item from a happily married family member or friend, whose good fortune in marriage is supposed to carry over to the new bride. The borrowed item reminds the bride that she can depend on her family and friends for support.
In the context of weddings, the color blue traditionally symbolizes love, modesty, fidelity, and purity. The color blue, however, reaches as far back as biblical times, the color representing healing, prayer, revelation, knowledge, truth, perfection, the heavenly realm, grace and God revealed, just to name a few.
Who is True Blue For You?
Whether married, engaged or single, the pearl of wisdom here is to find a person or a community that you can count on for love and support and that can offer wise counsel. This could look a variety of ways. You may find love from a family member, support from a friend or church community or wise counsel from your favorite author.
BOTTOM LINE: People, groups, communities and congregations have flaws and will let you down, so be careful not to create false expectations or place your security in human relationships. People can’t give away what they don’t have for themselves, so just remember that it is love that never fails, not people.
Sometimes there are moments or seasons when the support you need just isn’t present. These are the times when I turn to books, audio teachings and the World Wide Web to comb through the plethora of free resources. I’ve benefited greatly from the many wise people who have made their expertise, teaching and revelation available on spoken or written media platforms. God has reached me through media more times than I can count!
BOTTOM LINE: Desire community and build friendships in which there is mutual giving and receiving, but during the seasons in which there is no one to support your needs adequately, don’t be afraid to turn to social media. God is not only actual, but virtual, too. Of course, use discernment when considering virtual support, as not everything on the Internet is true, you know.
Are You Ready for the Blues?
The many blues mentioned throughout this article are symbols of strength and support. Blue means forgiving in order to move forward. Blue means embracing your heritage, even as you discover what makes you uniquely different from those who have come before you. Blue means discovering truth and living from a place of freedom. True freedom is knowing that life is more about who you become along the way than where you’ve come from. It is more about who you are than who you are with.
Blue is God revealed. It is a relationship based on the fidelity of a perfect husband from above, whose greatest desire is to lavish you with His mercy, grace and love. He knows the desires of your heart—after all, He’s the one who gave them to you.
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. Welcome the various shades of blue in the sky of your life’s horizon and discover the “bride-to-be” living in you. Give yourself permission to discover how to live from the place of the “true blue you.” The reward will be relational authenticity in which others get to be themselves and you get to be you.