Among many adjectives which can describe the season of engagement, “transition” most definitely stands out in the forefront of my mind. In the four and a half months I have been engaged, I have often found myself “just wanting to be married already!” Days with busy schedules and nights that result in Clay and I parting ways for that long drive home across town (“the 405 to the 101” now has more meaning than just a funny line from The Californians) have me longing for the time when we’ll get to be together at the end of each day and the start of the next no matter how packed our schedules may be.
There are many things from which and to which we are transitioning: from a life of singleness to that of partnership, from going to bed alone each night to (finally) getting to fall asleep in the arms of the one you love, from having one family to having two families to balance, and so much more. As with any season of transition in life, there are both wonderful and terrible aspects of being engaged.
Throughout my life, I have often found myself “wishing away” certain seasons. When I was fifteen it was, “if I could just drive!” When I was a senior in college it was, “if I could just be done with school!” When I was acting in Dallas it was, “if I could just move out to LA!” and when I was single it was “if I could just find the man I’m going to marry!” And now that I have found that man? Yes, I know, I’ve already said it: it’s “if I could just be married already!”
But if there’s something I’ve realized in my wise old age of thirty (wink), it’s that the phrase “if I could just” is often followed by just another season of “if I could just!”
I don’t want to “wish away” current seasons of struggle for the shiny ones that glimmer in the distance. Similar to the mirage of water as you trudge through a desert, each sandy season will only be replaced by another with… yep, you guessed it – more sand. The sand may be different – a different color, a different temperature, a different altitude or elevation – but it will have sand nonetheless.
We live in a fallen world. Ever since sin entered in, nothing we experience here on this earth will be perfect. No season in our lives will be full of shiny glimmering without also having a few irritating grains of sand. You know how one grain of sand in between your sock and skin as you trudge along in tennis shoes can make the world of a terrible difference? Well, so can the grains of sand that are present in each season of life.
If we let them.
It’s what we do with those grains of sand. It’s how we view those grains of sand. It’s the amount of power we assign to those grains of sand. We have the power to choose joy over letting inconveniences get us down in each and every season of life. And I know that I have that same power in this season of engagement.
It’s like you’re walking through the Alps. And you have a grain of sand in your shoe. You can become so focused on the discomfort of the grain of sand in your shoe that you forget to look up and look around and think, “This is amazing! I’m in the Alps! I’ve literally never seen beauty like this before.” I want to remember to look up. I want to remember to focus on the bigger picture. I want to remember to choose to see the beauty instead of focus on the irritation.
So while yes, this season of engagement is not always easy, it is such a wonderful one that is full of so much beauty and grace and love and light. And I know that marriage will be full of its own set of seasons of transition – full of all their ups and downs. So as I press on into these final six weeks of being engaged, my prayer is that I would not wish away this season, but that I would focus on all the wonderful things God is doing – in both the joy and the struggle.