For a while now I have been prompted by God to write this out… and if I am being honest I have been hesitant. I have been hesitant to write anything lately, and I can’t really tell you why. Maybe it is because blogs are a dime a dozen and everyone on the internet has something to say. Maybe it is because I have felt a lack of creativity in me. If I am really being honest, I have felt mentally and emotionally drained and I let the fear of being an inadequate writer hold me back from doing something that I have loved so much for so very long.
So… after taking a break of almost 6 months from writing anything other than school related material, here I am.
Today I want to talk about my engagement story. I struggled with wanting to share this particular story if I am being truthful with you. The wedding industry is already crowded by beautiful engagements, grandiose rings, and love that is too good to be true; so what would make anyone want to read my blog about my personal story?
As I thought about this more and more, God prompted me to share. It has been two months since I have been engaged and I just thought I would share my heart, and rather than just share the grandeur of the day itself (which was grand if I do say so myself), I want to share more about our story and the engagement process and how it has begun to shape my life and how I am already seeing God work in both my life and in Matt’s life.
Let’s jump right in:
I think I will begin with my freshman year of college. I had just broken up with my high school boyfriend and I was on the chase to find someone new, someone exciting, and someone fresh. There happened to be one problem with this new dating plan of mine, I didn’t exactly seem to care where Godliness fell into this equation. So I forged on and I dated… a lot. There was a lot of embarrassment and a lot of feeling less than. I felt rejection from guys for the first time in my life. I was acting desperate in order to get a date and I was dating men that I knew didn’t know or care about the Lord the way they should have been. I was setting my bar low and in the end it didn’t make me feel great. I have always desired to be married and I knew that being a wife and mother someday would be something that I would be good at, but instead of waiting for the Lord’s hand in my life, I was desperately trying to make something happen on my own.
Fast forward several months later after spending much time in the Word and away from dating, Matt stumbled into my life (with the help of God and our friend Brendan.) From day one there was no denying that Matt was someone that I could see starting a life with. He was kind, he was patient, he was funny, he was handsome, and most importantly, he valued his relationship with God over all things! Our first date lasted 3 hours over a Saturday morning cup of coffee and we have been inseparable since then. We have shared so many moments of laughter since that day, we have also shared many arguments, we have matured with one another, we have dreamed together, and we have pushed one another toward Christ. After dating for a year and a half, we knew it was time to make the next step in our relationship!
July 6, 2019 is the day that we finally got engaged! It was the most beautiful day of my entire life. I had been out to Ohio and Kentucky that week to visit Matt’s friends and family and he had a special date day planned out for us. The plan was to wake up and go for breakfast, drive into Cincinnati and go shopping and walk around, go candle making, have a nice lunch, and then we would cap the evening off with a Red’s game. I was so excited about the date! Little did I know, Matt had a whole extra plan on the side which included asking me to be his wife! We went for breakfast that morning and then drove into the city and parked next to a walking bridge. Matt told me that we would need to walk across the bridge and when we reached the other side, there would be shopping and fun things to do! I, of course, followed him without knowing the wiser and then we reached the end of the bridge. When we got here, Matt began showing me landmarks of the city and the next thing I knew, I heard him start to read me the letter I wrote him when I told him I loved him. If I am being honest, after he started reading I could feel my body go numb and I began to shake… I knew it was happening! After he read my note, he handed me one of my own to read. As I began to read it, the words started blurring together. The only words I could read were at the bottom of the card and they read, “now look at me.” As I looked at my man, he was down on one knee holding up the most beautiful ring I had ever seen! Again, if I can be truthful… I cannot tell you one thing that he said! All I remember doing was shaking my head ‘yes’ and crying! I am so glad he had people there to catch it on camera because it certainly was all a blur! It was the most detailed and thought out day of my life.
I love our story of engagement, and I am happy I get to share it on this platform, but the main reason for this blog is to let you know that while that one day was beautiful and fantastic; real life is hard and engagement is emotional! After getting engaged I imagined I would be basking in the glory of all things wedding planning. I imagined gorgeous flowers, cake tasting, and endless excitement. The reality is this, engagement is deeply emotional and vastly real. The days are busy, the talks about life are deep, and trying to figure out where we are going to go after graduation can be chaotic. There is not this endless stream of butterflies and many times we come to one another with frustration and with heaviness in our hearts. Our lives are changing. No longer will I get to run to my dad when things get tough, and I am in a season of mourning over it. No longer will Matt get to turn to his parents for financial help, and again, this is a season that puts on pressure and stress. There are times when it would be easier to turn around and “go back” to childhood, but this is something we feel very strongly that the Lord has placed in our lives. We are seeing life become reality before our very eyes and sometimes it is overwhelming, but we both are holding onto the hope that is Christ Jesus. We know that he has called us into this season of engagement (that will soon become a marriage) and we know that He has something so great for us waiting on the other side.
So, I write all this to say that engagement is great, but I also want you to know that it is not all bridal showers, diamonds, and Instagram worthy posts. It is raw and it is real. It is more of a season set for the preparation of the heart over anything else. There have been so many days so far in this season where I have seen myself be blatantly selfish and I have to check my heart and remind myself that this man is going to be someone who I will be living with and will be respecting for the rest of my life. When I begin to think of it in that lens, I begin to mold my heart and mind to begin responding with kindness and with a heart ready to love and serve. Again, I say this… it is NOT easy to do that, but it has been a sweet season of learning how to do this! It has been a season of learning to die to myself and learning how to love someone else better. It has also been a season where I am learning on the Lord in a greater way than I ever have before. I am seeing for the first time in my life just how weighty marriage really is and I am praying over my unity with Matt as we take our steps into a life with one another. So maybe engagement doesn’t look the way that Instagram, Pinterest, and Bride Wars always depicted it would, but I would not trade this season for the world!