My life changed fundamentally on June 25th, 2022, when I walked into a church as a single woman and walked out as a wife.
Like many young women, I had saved wedding ideas on Pinterest years ago, dreamed of the details, and been confident in God calling me to marriage.
Well. I graduated college without ever going on a date, which wasn’t a conscious choice, but simply the ways things turned out. A wedding soon after graduation wasn’t to be, but I did connect with my future husband just before graduating.
We met on Catholic Match, a somewhat joking experiment on my part due to the fact of not graduating with a MRS. As a new member, it shows your profile to lots of people, and I found the onslaught of messages from various men to be terribly unimpressive overall. I wanted real conversation, not an emoji from a stranger saying he’d prayed for me. As it turns out, my now-husband was one of those first men I connected with, and one of very few who could hold an interesting conversation. He happened to be the only one who naturally moved the conversation offline, exchanging phone numbers and progressing into real life communication. Things were going well, but I was a bit overwhelmed with my new job and adjusting to its steep learning curve and everything immediate post-college real life holds. Because of that, I told him it wasn’t the right time, and he respected that.
[Side note: do I regret this? Honestly, it’s hard to say. In theory, yes, having a few more years together would have been amazing, but we both grew significantly in the years before we reconnected. I wouldn’t have planned it this way, but God works in mysterious ways.]
In the following few years, he checked back in a couple times. We eventually rekindled our connection starting in fall of 2018. I figured I had nothing to lose by responding and seeing what might happened. We met in person in January 2019, and the rest is history.
Our engagement was 7 months long (minus a day), which I thought was a practically perfect amount of time. It was quick enough that we had to get moving on plans and not dilly dally debating napkin colors. It was just long enough to get the important things done, and get ready for the biggest life change ever.
Our formal marriage prep left lots to be desired, a common occurrence I knew to expect, so we had read books and done what we could to form a solid foundation together. It turns out that I really don’t think a perfect program can exist. Marriage is about embracing your vocation and choosing to love one another in the highs and lows of life, which I think depends far more on your personal character than any tips a program might share. The work of preparing to share your life completely, and growing in character and virtue, should be part of “preparation” in everyone’s life, from childhood, regardless of what vocational path you end up following.
As we approached our wedding day, I felt as if I were wearing blinders like a racing horse. Packing to move states, for a honeymoon, working full time, all the last-minute preparations, and then living out of a suitcase for a while was a lot. But it was all worth it. Family members were so good about helping with the details. I probably delegated too much and forgot about things, but it really didn’t matter in the long run.
Our wedding day was one of the most peaceful days of my life. While many brides end up feeling frazzled and stressed, I cannot recall ever feeling so focused and confident. Every part of my life God had guided me through had prepared me to step into this new chapter. At 28, I know I was still young (and below the average age of brides in the US), but there were years I wondered if the right kind of man would come into my life. He did, and it was the most gloriously surreal day knowing that we never had to say goodbye again.
I wore this necklace with a mustard seed inside, which I chose intentionally because it reminded me of the verse “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” [Matthew 17:20]. Finding a good husband in today’s world did seem to be an impossible feat, at times. But here we are, almost a year after our wedding. Miracles still happen!
Marriage is everything they say it is, and more: the best adventure, sanctifying at times, joyful, hard, unifying. It magnifies everything: the joy we can experience, and the challenges. I think it can be challenging because it forces you to face your own faults in unique ways when you know someone so well (unless you ignore things and live as roommates, but who wants that?). Of course, it adds so much to your life, too. More than I could put into words! Everything is more and deeper when it is shared. There is nothing like it. And as we’ve settled in, I have the utmost confidence that this is exactly what God made me for.
There is so much I could say, that has been mulling around in my mind. I write because it is a good way to process life, and living far from family members now, it might be a fun way to keep people up to date. Plus, I’m working on a garden and think it would be fun to document things like that. I make no promises about writing regularly, but for now, I hope you’ve enjoyed this little update. Until next time!
Okay, last thing: this is an excellent little word from Pope Benedict XVI, which we put on the back of our Nuptial Mass program:
My dear young friends, I want to invite you to “dare to love”. Do not desire anything less for your life than a love that is strong and beautiful and that is capable of making the whole of your existence a joyful undertaking of giving yourselves as a gift to God and your brothers and sisters, in imitation of the One who vanquished hatred and death for ever through love.
Love is the only force capable of changing the heart of the human person and of all humanity, by making fruitful the relations between men and women, between rich and poor, between cultures and civilizations.
. . .
Each one of us, my dear friends, has been given the possibility of reaching this same level of love, but only by having recourse to the indispensable support of divine Grace.
Only the Lord’s help will allow us to keep away from resignation when faced with the enormity of the task to be undertaken. It instills in us the courage to accomplish that which is humanly inconceivable.
Above all, the Eucharist is the great school of love. When we participate regularly and with devotion in Holy Mass, when we spend a sustained time of adoration in the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, it is easier to understand the length, breadth, height and depth of his love that goes beyond all knowledge.
Have any questions about our wedding details you’d like to know? How’s life? Ever been to Idaho? Tell me in the comments!