And since I mean everyone (there have been at least seven engagements in the past three weeks), I thought I’d just post it here.
I’m not sure I ever really said congratulations on your news, so I’ll say it now, even though you’re probably ready to tell the next person who says it to you to go jump in a lake. Don’t worry–the well-wishes die down after about a year of marriage. Though they’ll probably start again around the time you have your first child or so, though I’m not an expert at THAT phase of life just yet. So anyways, congratulations!
I’m happy for you both as you start this next phase of your life together, and I hope you’ll be able to keep your sanity together as you finish your next semester of school, plan a wedding, and plan a life together. Engagement is a hard time of life (or at least it was for me), since you’re transitioning from one life to another and don’t really belong in either anymore. I think the best word to describe it is tension, because you’re being pulled by your old familiar life as a daughter and a sister and a friend, and you want to keep those relationships, of course. But at the same time, you are starting a new relationship and defining yourself in a new way in relation to a new person, which means you have to grow immensely in ways you never imagined you would.
I don’t know whether you spent much time daydreaming when you were younger about what it would be like to be engaged or married–but it’s not really much like the daydreams. Of course there are those thrilling moments, but then there are a lot more moments of just life, when you have a headache and school to do and you wish he would just go away and let you do it, or when you have to talk, again, about mundane details of your wedding that you really don’t care about but SOMEONE has to think about them.
Sometimes you’ll get tired of kissing and always wanting physical affection–and sometimes you’ll long for it but will be far apart (though not SO far apart for you two as it was for Jared and me!). And always there will be a core of dissonance at the center of your being as the thing which you’re preparing for is not what you are now.
It’s times like these that enable God to show us what his kingdom will be like and what we, here on earth, are supposed to feel as we prepare for heaven. It’s times like these that make “the bride of Christ” such a powerful image, as you, preparing to be an earthly bride, more fully know what the longing for another person, for no longer being single, is. Don’t lose sight of that understanding.
I love you, dear friend, and I’m excited to share in this new season of life with you, even though I’m far away. Stay strong!