I’m sitting by the window of a small coffee shop in a very different place than I was last year, with a ring on my finger, a full heart, a lot of joy, and a lot of impatience.
The best way I can describe the first month of engagement is probably this: really, really awesome and really, really hard.
I’ve always been such a visionary – looking ahead to goals and how to achieve those goals in the best way possible while also going as quickly as possible. If there are 2 kinds of people – those who see time as running out or as time dragging by – I am in definitely the latter group. My fiancé looks at the 6 months ahead of us as no time at all – “It’s going to be here so soon!” whereas I see the same 6 months and my response is “This is going to take forever! it’s so far away…”
I just want to be there already. I’ve been engaged for less than 2 months and I feel beyond ready to be married. This is the way I typically live my life. If I see what’s coming, there’s no reason why I have to sit around here and wait when I could just get there now. Except that there is a reason and it’s called time. No matter how much I wish I could take the time that lays between now and being married to my best friend and toss it out the window, I simply can’t. Time is something we have absolutely no control over. We cannot make it speed up.
But here’s the kicker that I and so many others like me often overlook: We cannot make time slow down, either. It’s ticking away right now, at this very moment as you sit and wish it would just hurry up. Guess what – it is. It’s moving. It really is.
When I think about that, I feel less like I’m trudging through molasses to get to where I want, and more like I am floating along a lazy river. Yes, the river may feel as though it’s moving very slowly, but the truth is that it is MOVING, and it’s impossible to turn around in case I miss seeing something I wanted to see.
Right now, February feels like it might as well be 10 years away. 6 months is half a year!
But the truth is that yesterday I looked up on my wall and noticed that my July calendar was obsolete now and I had forgotten to make an August one, and while I had been so frustrated with how slow time seemed to be moving, time had actually snuck away from me!
6 months is only half a year.
“I miss that.” Usually these words convey that an experience or memory is looked upon with joy and longing to experience it again because it is over.
But there’s another “I miss that.” And here it is: “I missed that.”
It may be that while I am counting down the days until I get to marry my best friend, I might accurately say, “One day I’m going to miss this time” and “I don’t want to miss this time.” As in, one day I’ll look back upon this season fondly and my heart will feel joy, but also, maybe regret that I missed the beauty and joy of it while I was in it, because I was so focused on getting to the next part.
I don’t want to miss it. I don’t want to miss the anticipation, the excitement, the planning, the dreaming, the driving 25 minutes back and forth to see each other, the way we just want to kiss each other all the time, and every other lovely thing that is part of being engaged.
But also, I know I AM going to miss it. One day when this season is over, I’m going to look back on it and in retrospect, I will miss the sweetness of this time.
The truth is that every situation in which I find myself is an opportunity to grow in the Fruit of the Spirit. Patience is one of these fruits, and probably the one that I need to grow most in.
Thank you, Jesus for knowing me well enough to know I needed to be 24 before I got my man even though I hoped for 21, and also that I needed to have an 8-month engagement instead of a 3-month one.
Dear girl who can’t wait to marry your boy, and me, and all of us who just have the hardest time waiting for things we know are coming right up around the corner: You can do it. You can keep getting up and going to work and working hard and putting in your hours and planning all the details and working out all the issues and loving Jesus in the midst of it all – with all your heart. You will make it. You will. You will get to there. But right now you’re here, so be here because your heart needs it. Be here because your heart needs to be fully invested for you to truly feel it and let it all soak in and be alive to the season you’re in…otherwise you’ll have missed it all. So open your eyes because there are so many beautiful things around you. Yes, there are beautiful things ahead, but look! while you’re on the way to it all, look out the window and look how amazing the scenery on the way is. Open your eyes because the journey is 90% of the destination.
This all only happens once. And I know it’s still difficult. And that’s ok.
It can be difficult and beautiful at the same time.