We set the date for only seven weeks away. Life was happening!
And then things got tough. It didn't get tough because of anything happening between me and Mike. The wedding planning was simple and I don't remember being stressed about that. What made those seven weeks tough was the negativity surrounding us.
Everyone had an opinion.
We were too young.
We didn't know what we were doing.
We were definitely rushing into this thing and should slow down.
It couldn't work with such a short dating and engagement period.
Surely we didn't know each other ENOUGH to get married that soon.
We wouldn't be able to support ourselves.
Everyone was talking. Most people didn't talk about it to me because... well, I'm assuming they knew that they wouldn't get anywhere with those lines of conversation. Or maybe they just believed in me. Who knows.
But Mike... poor Mike was getting it from everyone. Concerned friends and family at every turn. Trying to talk him out of it or at least convince him to put it off for a while. Calling his mom to insist she have a talk with him because surely he didn't know what he was doing. Telling him things like he can do better or he should at least be attracted to the girl he is going to marry. Telling him he didn't need to rescue me.
This has been a source of bitterness for me ever since. I realize I need to deal with it once and for all. Forgive and let it go. It's not exactly easy and I was considering "writing letters" like my counselor suggested but I decided that instead of writing letters to EVERYONE I was just going to make public some facts.
1. I can understand why people were concerned. Mike is not one to make decisions quickly. He's not a fan of change. He moves forward at the pace of a turtle. So when he said he was getting married in seven weeks after only dating me for four... I get it. But to tell him he should at least be attracted to me? That's pretty shallow and I'm pretty sure there was some serious attraction going on. Just because YOU don't find someone attractive doesn't mean that no one else ever could. And that he could do better? Thanks. Thanks a lot.
2. I didn't need rescued. I was coming to the end of college and believe it or not I actually had a well laid out plan. I knew what I was going to do with my life and how I was going to take care of myself. I was actually looking forward to that plan. It would have been a fun, exciting, adventurous and rewarding life. It was my dream. But when Mike came along I gave that dream up to be with him. I did not need rescued. I was not sitting around thinking "Where is my knight in shining armor who will sweep me off my feet and save me from this cruel, hard world and take care of me for the rest of my life and bring home paychecks to pay off my school loans." Yep... that was never me. I had a plan. I liked that plan. But sacrificing that plan was worth it.
3. I did not set the wedding date. Mike did. And I did not force him to set it for "soon". We discussed it together. Mike said he wanted to get married soon. I said something along the lines of "Soon as in a year? Soon as in the summer? Or soon as in a couple of weeks? Because if it's the summer or a year I need to go get a job and I'm just going to go ahead with what my plan was and that will take me to a different state. I'm ok with that but I want you to know my plan." He said probably a couple of weeks from now.
I told him that would be awesome but also let him know that once he chose a date I expected him to stick to it. If he later changed his mind and wanted to move it back I would leave and he would not find me. A man's word needs to be something I can count on. He understood that when HE set the date.
When everyone tried to talk him out of it or convince him to set a later date they had no idea that they were asking him to give it all up. If he had changed his mind on the date he would have lost all this...
So, now that we know that everyone's reasons for trying to talk Mike out of marrying me were shallow, rude, unfounded, and nothing short of asking him to give up a great blessing that God had given him... I'm going to retire this picture...
Because just like I no longer need to prove The Reverend wrong... I no longer need to prove these people wrong either.
Just a final word... be careful with your words. And please don't expect others to live inside the cozy little box you've created for yourself. Not everyone does life the same and that's ok.