It’s only valentines day for another hour and 26 minutes so I had to get this post out now. I can’t wait to update you all about how amazing Texas is but I want to talk about love tonight.
This is my 27th consecutive Valentines Day being single so I feel like I’ve got the routine down pretty well. Some years it sucks. Some years it doesn’t . This year it didn’t. And I’m a little surprised because I’m at that place where it seems like everyone is getting married. I’ve watched other women go through this. I’ve been warned about how frustrating it will be. How I will be jealous and bitter and that feeling this way is only natural.
In the last 6 weeks four of the women I love most in this world have gotten engaged. And you know what I feel? JOY. The kind of joy that makes you smile. I’m smiling right now just thinking about it. The kind of joy that makes a rainy day a little less crappy. And I’ve been marveling a little bit at this joy, which was just about the last thing I expected to feel when all of my loves are getting married and I’m sitting here in Texas without a prospect on the horizon.
I started thinking through why I am having this unexpected joy. Because if we’re being honest, plenty of people–“friends” even– have gotten married in the last few years and I have not been joyful. I have smiled, and said all the right things, but my heart was not joyful. So what is different about this? Whats different is that these are amazing women. I can’t believe I have been so blessed to have such incredible friends as these. I love them so much that there isn’t room for jealousy or bitterness because I’m just so freakin excited!! Also I have watched them. I’ve watched them be hurt and feel lost and misunderstood by these men. And I’ve watched these men struggle and work on these relationships. I’ve watched both parties grow individually and together. And I feel blessed to have been able to witness that and to be able to now share in the joy of their engagements.
One of these friends once told me that the women she will have as her bridesmaids at her wedding won’t be the ones she’s known the longest, or the ones who were in her first 5 make believe weddings. She says that the women standing next to her as she makes this promise and enters into a covenant before God and her husband are going to be the ones that will support her in her marriage. When things get hard they will sit with her, witness her hurt, remind her of Truth, and then send her back to fight through the muck with her husband. When she said that to me it was such a revolutionary idea, because I think as women we are really good at solidarity when one of us has been wronged by a man. In fact, I think you could argue that that is one of the only times we are good at solidarity (see paragraph 2). And I think that this sentiment is often blind to the covenant of marriage. And while it might be more fun to be sitting ready with the red wine and the man-bashing comments, loving a friend who is also a wife does not look like that. Loving them will look a little differently now. None of my besties has gotten married before and now a bunch of them are. I don’t know exactly what it will look like but I am so excited to be a part of this journey with them.
Ladies, you know who you are. Congratulations!! I love you. Men, I love you now too. Make sure to take gentle care of these women’s hearts.
PS – I’m not going anywhere….