I already feel like this post needs a disclaimer, so here goes: I love Anthony. I can hardly wait to marry him and I am blessed and honored beyond words that he asked me, of all people on the face of the planet, to be his wife. None of what I’m about to write discredits that, period.
That being said…there are days I feel a little like no one warned me. Maybe people did, but I sure as heck didn’t listen. As a girl who is particularly inclined to a good romance, I thought much like George Banks at the beginning of Father of the Bride,
I used to think a wedding was a simple affair. Boy and girl meet, they fall in love, he buys a ring, she buys a dress, they say I do. I was wrong.
True, Anthony and I met and fell in love, he bought a ring, I bought a dress, and soon we’ll say I do, but people often leave out everything that happens in between the Down On One Knee moment and the I Do moment. And, for the record, what happens in between those two moments is a lot, and I’m not talking at all about planning a wedding.
Dating, while it can be a tiring affair, also affords a certain amount of freedoms. The stakes aren’t raised nearly as high when there are no rings on all-so-important fingers. Of course dating is a time to discern and pray about whether or not you could actually spend the rest of your life with this person, but there is an undeniable difference between dating and engagement. What people didn’t tell me, or perhaps what I never wanted to hear because my head was off in fairytale land, was that engagement can be hard and that, dear friends, is normal. You are going to have times where you won’t agree, whether it is about the centerpieces, the place you’ll live, the names you want for kids, or the way you apply the breaks at a stop light. You may even have times where you irrationally get inordinately upset over any one or more of the above topics. Yes, of course, you will have days that you are so in love and life seems to be picture perfect. But just because not all of the days are like a fairytale doesn’t mean that something is tragically wrong with your relationship.
I wish someone would have told me that what makes the fairytale so enjoyable is working through the days when I feel like Cinderella before the ball. Because the truth of the matter is that if it weren’t for the struggle and the strife, I might never fully appreciate the joy and the triumph of our coming marriage. Raising the stakes of our relationship may seem daunting, but with greater risk and greater vulnerability comes greater reward. What I wish someone would have told me, and what I am therefore telling you, is not to be dismayed when conflict or struggles come. Deep down you both realize the gravity of your commitment and impending marriage. That is good. If all was perfect all the time, then I’d probably tell you to be a little leery. Don’t be afraid to rejoice in the struggle because, speaking from experience, the struggle can and will (if you let it) bring you closer together and dispel every fear you have.
Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer.