How Does It Feel to Have an Engaged Friend?

16 Nov

My friend is engaged. She met her future husband on eharmony a little over one year ago. He is not what she expected (pastor-type and father of two) but everything she hoped for (too much to list).

It’s wonderful to see marriage happening for one of my close friends who is 35-plus. At this point, which is the very beginning of the engagement, it feels pretty much the same as it feels whenever someone close to me marries. Bittersweet. (I’m sure I don’t have to explain.) But a few other things come to mind as well.

First, I feel gratified to be a part of this love story. It makes me only too happy to believe, whether or not it’s completely true, that my crusade in favor of getting myself and the 30-somethings around me married has not been in vain. It is happening. At less than one wedding per year it is happening at a trickle currently, true, but I am hopeful that this trickle will turn into much, much more in the future as I continue to beat my drum.

In the beginning I wanted to sound some kind of an alarm and shout from the rooftops, “This state of marriagelessness all around me is unacceptable! Do something! Anybody!” My friends were in inertia thinking “If I’m a good Christian and I wait patiently my husband will come.” Church leaders were either silent or 25 years behind on the issue.

Like a woman crazed at times I urged whoever I could to take a different point of view. I gave books to read. I talked, and prayed, together with others and alone (I do not minimize the impact of my prayers), and I went outside-the-box and took risks that my friends were as yet not willing to take. “See, you CAN talk to strangers,” my actions said.

And things changed. My friends– nearly every single dateless one–began dating. Some married.

And now this friend is marrying. This friend who was a sounding board for a few of my incubating theories concerning Why We Are Still Single. Her reactions to my more unorthodox points of view still bring a smile to my face. “But we really do want to be married! It is not our fault that we aren’t. It’s circumstances, or God, or men, or all thee!”, insisted this friend. Ultimately, though, it wasn’t circumstances, or God, or men that changed during the time between our discussion and her engagement. She changed. She took steps to intentionally bring about change in her mind and heart. In the course of her transformation she met her Boaz.

So in addition to bittersweet, I feel proud. Satisfied. Like a momma bird whose baby bird is flying from the nest.

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