As of approximately 2pm today, I have been engaged for a whole week. It's starting to sink in ever so slowly, but it certainly doesn't feel completely real yet. The beautiful ring he gave me still feels a little strange on my left hand, while at the same time feeling like it belongs there so perfectly. It's so strange, and so wonderful, to call him my fiance, instead of just my boyfriend.
If you've followed my blog for a while or done any poking around, there is a chance you've read the first part of our love story in "A Tale of Two Roses", something we wrote a few years ago relating how St. Therese worked through her novena to help bring us together.
We've been through a lot since then... plenty of trials, hurting, sadness, all amplified by the long distance between us. We've had our share of tears, and there have been times when I found myself confused and wondering if we were really supposed to be together, or if our paths were only to cross for a short time. It was hard being asked over and over again when I thought the next step might take place, because I honestly didn't know, and I wasn't sure if not knowing was a good thing, or a bad thing. I knew we weren't at the right place in our lives for getting engaged yet, and that every couple's relationship is different. When well meaning family and friends continued to ask if there was something wrong with us, it was hard not to feel like something might be even while deep down in my heart I knew we were at the place we were supposed to be.
What has kept us going through the long months between our visits is the deep love we share for each other. Through that love we have created so many incredible memories together. We've laughed, given each other hope and filled our hearts with joy. Even when we were going through difficult moments, I knew that I could never love anyone else as much as I love him. He understands me in a way no one else does, he is always so patient with me, he knows what to say to make me laugh, to encourage me, how to gently pull me back when I get angry and unreasonable.
He inspires me to be a better person. He disagrees when I tell him this but I really don't deserve someone as wonderful, caring and thoughtful as him. We first started talking and became friends when I was 15 and he was 16 - so long ago! - and I was 19 when we started dating, just finished with my freshman year of college. We have grown up together in many ways, and shaped each other in to the people we are now. He has been there for me through some of the most difficult times in my life, and I have been able to be there for him.
In October we prayed another novena together, and the answer I got from St. Therese this time was "If it delays, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be late" Habakkuk 2:3. It wasn't the exact message I wanted to hear, but that verse (along with the song 'Wait for It' from Hamilton) helped me to find my patience and trust again in God that when the time was right, we would move on to the next step in our relationship.
And now here we are. The love of my life has asked me to be his wife, and I have said yes and we are planning our wedding for next year. It is so surreal and incredible and utterly perfect. It is more perfect than anything I ever imagined or dreamed of, and God shown me multiple times this past week that we are moving forward in the time that He had planned for us. Now, we have only to get through the 502 days until our wedding... not that I'm counting down, oh no, not at all.