Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Engaging in Engagement

Remember that meeting with our married friends I mentioned before? Where they filled us up with tons of good advice? In fact, we keep rethinking about all the things they said. But the one thing that keeps ringing through our period of engagement is the tip we were given about the difficulty that we would be facing. For them, their hardest two years as a couple were the year they got engaged and the year they got married. I truly believe this is ringing through in Ray and I.

All of the things Ray and I have went through since getting engaged has me wondering how people are able to enter into marriage so flippantly. We have done nothing except constantly dig deeper into each other, and let me tell you, this is not always fun. Instead, it reveals several hard pains that are embedded deep within us. And, it brings to light the scars held by us that must be tenderly cared to by the other person. It's a lot of work.

That whole glorified Hollywood, We TV, TLC version of love? They have pulled the wool over this girl's eyes for sure. Being engaged has been a hell of a wake up call.

For me, the hardest thing has been the realization that Ray is here. And he has no intention of going anywhere. As a hardheaded, quick to anger, quick to speak girl, I can't tell you how many times I think he is going to leave. I figure he is eventually going to find enough faults that it is inevitable. But instead, he continues to be my rock, and he continues to love me. Faults and all. ...And I am so incredibly in love with him for that and so much more.

I could go so much deeper into that, but instead I think I'll just keep trucking. The next thing that I struggle with is being a domestic woman. It was as if his sliding a ring onto my finger transported me back to 1950. I fret over trying to make sure he has clean clothes, and he eats, and the house is clean. I try to balance our schedule, plan out our days and weeks, and keep our hectic lives straight. ...Let's say, trying often results in failing. I am just not a domestic diva. I am not. I have an empty fridge because I just don't have time to cook, so instead I grab a can of food from the pantry and go. I have a pile of laundry that still needs to be put away. And his house... I decided rather than cleaning it, I am just going to wait until he moves. It will be easier to just do upkeep when he gets to his new place. (Plus I am afraid of catching something from his and his brother's bathroom. Yuck!) How do women do this?

I feel like being engaged not only leaves Ray and I facing the deep issues in our relationship and the daily business, but it leaves me thanking Jesus constantly for His mercy and grace. It's as though every time Ray loves me when I fail I am reminded how Jesus loves me when I make a mistake. Every time I find myself being selfish in our relationship, I think about how selfish I often am in my relationship with Christ. The parallel between marriage and a relationship with Jesus really is spot on. And I am so thankful for this opportunity of an engagement to be growing not only closer to my fiancé, but for the two of us to be growing closer to Jesus.