Engagement Season

It’s beautiful, that some boy wants this girl and only this girl for the rest of his life. He wants her forever, for her to be his always, for their lives to be intertwined. He loves her so; he agonizes over the exact right ring, thinks of how to ask, gathers up his courage, and proposes.

Radiant love spills across faces as mouths say yes.

Champagne is uncorked.

It seems like everyone and their brother is getting  engaged.

The reality and magnitude of such a commitment didn’t really hit me until the girl who was my best friend back in high school  got a rock a few days ago. My heart swelled up with happiness for her. She found someone who thinks the world of her and wants her by his side forever.

While I can’t wait to dance at her wedding and see her in a white dress, it all seems a bit surreal.

How can we be old enough to promise to hitch our star to someone else’s for the rest of our lives?

There was a time not so very long ago when I would have told you with certainty that I would have been one of these girls watching a man get down on one knee, holding out a ring in the very near future.

We had built a relationship out of sand, no foundation. It was beautiful sandcastle, and low tide had me enchanted into thinking we could live there for… ever.

God shook His head no and sent in the tide to wash me clean, wash away the sandcastle I had built to house my heart. Said He had better things in store for me. Said I only had to trust Him.

I was heartbroken.

I was angry.

I was crying.

I was hurt.

Then, I wasn’t.

For such a long time, I was fighting against the tides. I was trying so desperately not to drown, I forgot that I could just stand up and walk. Those were some miserable hours, struggling so hard against the inevitable. I plotted and planned and schemed and railed against anything that wasn’t going exactly my way in my life. I was trying so hard to control everything I forgot about the one thing that has always been in my control.

Me.

While this is nothing like what I imagined my life would be right now, I’m learning to love who I am and this wondrous life swirling around me, sweeping me along. As it turns out, faith is believing in a plan greater than the plans I make for myself.

I’m nowhere near ready to be married. Yet while my heart is overwhelmed for the love those guys are professing to those beauties, I can’t help but be a little jealous. I start thinking about that sandcastle.

Then I remember:

You can’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.

It’s been a bittersweet reminder, looking back on the sandcastle. Then I look at the path I get to walk down now. I’m happy. I’m whole. I’m filled with lightness. I am responsible for myself and only myself (well, and the black dog). I’ve found these incredibly beautiful friends. I am starting on a thesis project I’m really excited about. I’ve become a runner again and am signed up for my first half-marathon. I met God right where He was waiting for me. I’ve discovered faith and positivity and a thin cord of steel inside of me.

God knows what He’s doing, writing my love story.

So instead of a big ol’ diamond on my left hand, I’m quietly beginning again with someone new.

Before I had the courage to enter into any kind of relationship with anybody, I started to fall into the old sandcastle trap. Only this time, it was me, single and free living there. I wasn’t seeking a relationship, didn’t think I was ready to be that brave again.  I’ve got a stubborn streak a mile wide. I was fighting against the tide again, and it was making me miserable.

I questioned: I’m supposed to be obedient even when it comes to relationships? Don’t I know what’s best for my heart?

What it sounded like God said: ESPECIALLY IN RELATIONSHIPS. Who knows your heart better than I, who knows ALL THINGS about you?

The harder I fight against God’s plans for me, the more inner turmoil I create for myself. This was the first time I recognized that and made a conscious effort to just trust Him. The minute I gave in, the uncertainty and fear and analyzing quit.

I’m trying to trust God on this one. The only thing that was holding me back was a deep seated fear of brokenness.

Fear is never a good reason not to do something.

 

 

So I said yes.

Not to a man on his knee, not to a future of forevers, not to white picket fences, not to a ring.

I said yes.  To first kisses. To staying up too late. To meeting brothers. To letting someone come alongside me on this adventure I’m on.

In a conversation we had about relationships, something stuck with me:

“You can’t ever completely devote yourself to someone else. You must devote yourself first to God. Otherwise, what’s the point?”

Whatever happens, I always belong to God.

That’s how I know my heart will be okay.

Even if it gets broken.

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