Learning To Say I Do
Reflections on Engagement
Sara: If there’s anything I’ve learned since getting engaged, it’s that engagement is not for the faint-hearted. One of our married friends actually told Justin, “If marriage is heaven, then engagement is purgatory.”
After waiting two years to become engaged, I didn’t believe him. Looking back, while the sentiment might be expressed a bit more harshly than the way I feel, I understand it.
Ladies, do you remember the period of time where you didn’t fit into the girls clothing anymore, but you weren’t quite ready for Juniors? In some ways, that’s what engagement is like. At first, it was just so exciting to go from being Justin’s “girlfriend” to being his “fiancée.” Planning the wedding and our lives together was so fun.
Throughout our engagement, I’ve had a lot on my plate – a close family member passed away, another close family member was diagnosed with cancer, and there were several “atypical” stressful situations at work. Throughout it all, Justin has been at my side – at the funeral, after a family member’s surgery, and showing me where I need to grow in both my personal and professional life. I’m very grateful. At the time of our engagement, I was glad I was marrying Justin because he was Justin – but I am learning that money and good looks aren’t nearly as important as sticking with me in a crisis.
Justin: Actually, I have both. OK. Maybe I just have the good looks!
Sara: Through this engagement process, God has worked to make me more mellow (and a lot less high-strung). I’ve been accused of having to have every detail my way – to which there is some truth. As all of these things have been going on, God has shown me I’m not in control. And finally, I’m okay with that.
Hopefully, this will make me a better wife (and God-willing, perhaps someday a better mother).
Justin: I think for me the most difficult part of engagement has been learning to be satisfied with our current state. I was sure I was ready for marriage before I asked Sara to by my wife, and I don’t think it should be any other way. The problem is that even though I am ready to be married I am not. I often find this a struggle. There is no doubt that I have learned a lot and grown closer to Sara throughout this period of waiting, or perhaps better said “preparation.” And that’s how I have tried to look at it.
Each day of engagement I discover something new about Sara, and I think this will be one of the best parts about marriage. She is an inexhaustible source of undiscovered treasures that has only been opened by our commitment to each another. I think this is the difficulty of engagement; I long for a permanent and unbreakable commitment that only marriage can fulfill. What a supernatural gift God has granted us with in the holy gift of marriage.
Sara: The closer we get to marriage, the more Justin and I love each other – and the more we want to express our love for each other in ways we cannot until after we are married. It’s difficult but good, as we both are learning to sacrifice instant gratification for the other’s ultimate happiness. Today we are closer, know each other better, and will make a better husband/wife because of this time.
Thanks for your continued prayers as we soon approach our big day!
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