So here we are. It's March 23rd, and yesterday marked the twelfth and final week of our premarrieds course. I can't believe how quickly it flew by! I almost wish we could have twelve MORE weeks, because I feel like we've both gained so much wisdom and insight into married life, and I'm sure there is so much more we have yet to learn. But I'm really excited that we've finally finished it, and I feel like we're ready for this. Ready to be married. Husband and wife. One flesh. Man, it's such an invigorating thought! It keeps becoming more real as days pass, plans come together, and I practice (in my head) calling myself Mrs. Carnes. I'm so looking forward to taking his name...not because mine is bad or anything, but because of all that it signifies. A new family. A life together. An adventure.
At the end of the premarrieds course, one of the elder couples who had taught a session, Wayne and Althea, got together with us to give us some final words of wisdom, and to pray over us. I am so glad that they were the couple we got paired up with, because God spoke through both of them in a powerful way. Althea reminded us (me, especially) that it's so much better to leave things in God's hands and let Him bring about the changes, ideas and actions, rather than try to force it. She was referring to my career, but I feel like it applies all over. Too often I forget to let God be the provider and I struggle to make things work out for myself. And whenever I do manage to open my hands, give up my weak-sauce attempt at doing it on my own, and let Him move, amazing things happen. Kind of like when I took a job in Santa Barbara and just trusted that if it was the right thing, it would all fall into place -- as unlikely as it seemed at the time. How could I find an affordable place to live in such an expensive area? How would I be able to start paying my student loans? What kind of reaction would I get from the people close to me, who thought I was crazy to be moving to a new place primarily because of a guy? And a guy I'd only known a few months? How would I react to being so close to him? Would I find a church I felt at home in? Could I make new friends, and could I keep the ones I was leaving behind? All these questions could have easily hindered my decision, altered it even. But I chose to trust, and to let it go. Leave it in God's hands.
Wayne also said something that felt really good: he remarked that I was mature, and that he could see that both Joe and I are ready to take on this commitment, and the challenge of marriage. I mean, I've been feeling that way, too, but it was so awesome to hear it from an elder couple who know what marriage is really like, and they know how hard it is, and they know how often young people get married who aren't ready or equipped to succeed in marriage.
Anyway, it's March 23rd, and I'm anxiously awaiting a little something that will make this whole thing even MORE real: a proposal. If you read my blog at all, you've already heard the explanation about why we're NOT engaged yet, despite having a date set, a dress bought, a venue booked, and now a twelve-week premarital course under our belts. The short version is: we wanted to go through the whole course first.
So NOW...it's all about patience. I know (because I'm a jerk and practically beat it out of Joe) that it's going to happen before my birthday. Which is thirteen days from now. Ack! I'm going to be a fiancee in THIRTEEN DAYS OR LESS! And not only that -- I'm going to be JOE'S fiancee. I cannot even begin to tell you how happy it makes me to think of that. He is my world. He's the funniest person I've ever met. He's also the most loving, and the sweetest, and the goofiest. He knows me better than anyone -- even people I've known my whole life. He knows all of me, and still he loves me! THAT is spectacular. And I love that I can say it with confidence: Joe loves me, ALL of me, and I have no fear or worry that that will ever change. He is fresh air. He is comfort. He is laughter. He is safety.
And very soon, he is not going to be my boyfriend anymore; he'll be my fiance. Ack! How awesome is that?
Anyway, just wanted to finally write my first post here at Carbonated Jeans. Stay tuned for more as the excitement unfolds! I'll try to keep you apprised of wedding plans as they unfold, and maybe share some fun stories about how we met, things we like to do, and all that cheesy lovey-dovey stuff. Who needs romantic comedies when you've got Carbonated Jeans, right?
138 days and counting! Woohoo!