Let’s see … where do I start? Approximately seven months ago, I thought my heart was going to break, literally, in two. I was not sure if I would ever make it to tomorrow, or the next day, or the next. Because, up until this point, I have had my life completely figured out. I started kindergarten when I was five, junior high when I was 12, high school when I was 15, and college when I was 18. I am 22 now, nearing 23. So, you see, my life has been pretty systematic for about 21 years.
In order to lay the ground-work for the story you are about to read, let me first fill you in on a most critical portion of my life. From as far back as I can remember, I have dreamed, as most little girls do, of growing up, of being beautiful and my favorite, of being in love. Yes, I imagined a knight in shining armor who battled for me, his princess. He vowed to fight to the death, and declared his love for me, if only I would promise to make him my own. And then, once my knight proved his love by defeating his opponent, he did not stand for the crowd to praise and adore him. No, he walked straight to me, and kept his eyes fixed to mine. He bowed on one knee and lowered his head with great respect. His eyes met mine, once again, and he asked for my hand forever. I accepted and we had a “Cinderella” wedding and lived happily ever after.
And then, I’d wake up.
But, you see, being married is something I have longed for and desired from the earliest days of my childhood. And, it just seemed fitting that once I graduated from college, my next step would be marriage. The time after college to the present is what I will relate to you now. I got engaged in December 2002 and my wedding date was set for July 19, 2003. I was wrapped up in college, basketball, my fiancé, and of course, my fairy tale wedding. I did all the normal, wonderful wedding stuff. I made list after list of my colors, flowers, songs, wedding party, gifts … you get the picture. The time passed. I finished my basketball career forever in April. I graduated in May with my Bachelor’s Degree. I moved home, where I would be married in my hometown church, and continued to plan.
My mom and I went dress shopping and found my fairy-tale princess, dream dress: a gorgeous, strapless white dress with an A-line front, accented by patterned silver beads and a white lace-up back. My colors were red and yellow. My cake was extravagant with staircases coming down from the main tier to two smaller tiers, flowers scattered along the stairs, and a water fountain underneath. Practically my entire family would be involved in the wedding one way or another. My cousin would sing and my other cousins would be ushers. My mom would be my matron or mother-of-honor. My sisters-in-law would be two of my seven bridesmaids. My four-year-old cousin would be the ring “bear,” as he called it. One of my brothers would help officiate the wedding, and both of my brothers would be groomsmen. And, of course, my daddy would walk me down the aisle.
As you can tell, I was prepared and oh, how excited I was to put on that perfect dress and veil, with my beautiful jewelry and white flip-flops. Yes, I said flip-flops. I decorated them myself with a white ribbon and white miniature roses. I was definitely prepared for that fairy tale day, or so I thought, and it was fast approaching.
As the day moved closer, a little over two weeks before my wedding to be exact, I realized I was not prepared to be a wife and say ‘I do’ forever. Big decision, I know. But, my fiancé and I had gone through some issues and experienced major life events that put our relationship to the test. We did not see eye to eye where it was vital that we should. I began to question what I was about to do and whether or not it was really what I wanted to do. The closer it got—the worse I felt. I was taking this covenant I was about to enter into, this life-long commitment, very seriously, as I should have been. Something just was not right and I knew I had to deal with it—and soon. I prayed and cried and I worried and rationalized. Finally, I told my fiancé we had to talk.
I drove to his house, praying all the way. In a process that took around four hours, I told him. I told him I wanted to wait, and through my sobbing and streaming tears, I explained that I did not feel we were ready. Things were not in line as they should be, and there was no way I could walk that aisle with full confidence and assurance that this was God’s will and purpose for my or his life. After telling him (he did not take it very well, understandably so) I left. I cried out to my God the whole 45-minute drive home and pled and begged for answers. What would I do now? Why couldn’t I get married? Wouldn’t things work themselves out? Where would I live? I felt completely and utterly lost—like there was an enormous piece of my heart missing; a part of me had died and it felt too much to bear.
When I arrived home, my mom was still up, as she always is when I come in late. She could tell the second she saw my face that something was terribly wrong, yet she knew nothing of my plans to postpone the wedding that night. I threw myself in the floor and told her what I had done. Her heart broke for me and she and my dad would be huge factors in my healing process over the next few months of my life. I truly thank God for my family. It did not matter that we already had the cake, the dress, the flowers, the photographer, the videographer, ten dresses and shoes paid for, the reception area reserved and 400 picture wedding invitations mailed. I still had their full support. They knew I was doing what I felt in my heart was right. They knew I was following God’s plan for my life and that is what they also want for me.