Three weeks ago, the love of my life got down on one knee and asked to me marry him, and since then, as one can imagine, life has truly been quite the whirlwind.
In all honesty, the answer had always been yes with Josh—even before we officially started dating. It was never a single moment that made me realize that he was the one God had in mind for me, he just always was.
But that didn’t stop me from experiencing a whole range of the emotions when I saw my best friend in front of me holding the most beautiful ring in the world. In the days following that life-changing question, my feelings hit extremes.
I was, of course, so elated and overcome with joy the day we got engaged that I specifically remember telling Josh I couldn’t go into the house with his family at that moment because there was no way any physical building could possibly contain my excitement.
Then came the tears. The first tears of joy I had ever cried in my life when I finally saw my family that day and realized that no pinch in the world would wake me up from this dream (nor did I ever want it to!).
The following days were pretty much a blur of surreal. It felt like I was watching and listening and thanking people on behalf of someone else. The ring on my finger still felt strange and the congratulations’ from friends and family felt nearly dreamlike.
Day three following our engagement, however, brought feelings that I hadn’t been expecting and that I felt guilty for even admitting to myself. As I sat at my desk at work, attempting to focus amidst all of the excitement, I could almost physically feel a cloud of anxiety and an oh-so-subtle fear start to seep its way in and form around my thoughts almost out of nowhere.
Let me preface this next part with the fact that I have never, ever handled life changes very well. I developed severe separation anxiety toward my mom when my sister moved out when I was nine-years-old. I clung to high school after graduation, not wanting what I had known for 18 years to ever end and truly hating college for the first few months. So when my brain started to connect the dots that while this ring on my finger symbolized a joyous time of new beginnings and a life of love for Josh and I, it also meant saying goodbye to every familiarity I had ever known. And I don’t care who you are, that is scary stuff.
Marriage means being an adult, and honestly, not only do my Suzie Q curls make me look like a twelve-year-old some days, but my heart still sometimes believes I’m that young as well. Whether it was my car breaking down or a totally foreign situation, my parents had always been my go-to, and while I would always be their daughter, I was going to have a new point person for the next chapter.
Not once was there a doubt in my mind that Josh was whom I was supposed to be with, but as I began to let fear and anxiety build up inside of me, I sat staring blankly at my computer screen, wondering if I knew what I was getting into.
As these thoughts continued to fester, I did what anyone would do in that situation, and I Googled, “engagement anxiety.” (It was about 30 seconds later when I rolled my eyes at myself as I realized that I Google-d before I God-ed, but I’m human, okay?)
Much to my surprise, hundreds of hits came up on the topic, and I began to read through other women’s stories of being thrilled to be starting a life with their significant others, but having the same exact thoughts that I was having, and feeling just as guilty for those thoughts, too. (Which is totally unfair to ourselves, by the way!)
I continued to scroll through page after page of comments, all with similar stories to mine, and after a few increasingly overwhelming pages, I finally stopped myself to take a moment and pray through my emotions. Almost instantly, as I took that moment to be still, the Holy Spirit reminded me of what I had temporarily forgotten amid all of my fear: In the midst of this unpredictable and ever-changing life I can be confident that I have the only true constant on my side, and He has promised to never, ever leave me. The weight off of my heart, and the exhale of relief was nearly instantaneous.
Change will probably always be scary and always be hard. But while it won’t be my last name, my address, or even my phone number of 20 years that I can count on, I have the King of the entire Universe to cling to who will never forsake me. Even through a time of joy and a confusing and bittersweet sense of both loss and new beginnings, I can be confident that as He always has been, He always will be. And it truly can’t get any more comforting than that.
TCM Blog Post Author – Hannah Marsh is currently residing in Des Moines and writing for the online platforms of a few magazines for the Meredith Corporation. Some of her favorite things include, Skippy peanut butter (the bigger the jar, the better), watching endless episodes of Whose Line Is It Anyway, anything health or fitness related, quiet times journaling to the Creator the entire universe, weekends with her fiancee’ and/or niece, and kind-hearted people.