Camen Design

© copyright

The following was written by my wife Eve and republished here due to Posterous shutting down.

Things Are Clicking Into Place Nicely

It has been a month now that we have been engaged.*
This month has most likely been the busiest and most hectic one of my whole life. My body has been tired, my mind has been tired, my emotions have been running amok at times.... yet it is all worth it. Finally, today, I feel rested. For the first time since the (beautiful and oh-so romantic!) proposal, I can look at myself in the mirror and say ‘you are an engaged woman, soon to be married to your one true soulmate’ and not laugh hysterically at the absurdity of that statement. I can look at my left hand, see the ring that is there and actually be able to form a coherent thought in my mind at the same time. Instead of gaping at it in disbelief, I can smile at the notion of this precious time we are having, right now.

Because as my Man told me, and rightly so, these are exciting times for us. There will never again in our life be such time as this — being together but not quite just yet, planning the wedding and our marriage together. Yes, we will be married, and we will become closer and more intimate, but there will (hopefully and God-willing) be only one wedding. While neither of us want to blow the wedding out of proportion to take away the importance of the marriage itself, we also don’t want to rob it of its own importance. Once we sign the paper, I will be able to look at my Man and not unlike the seagulls in Finding Nemo, call him MINE. And what’s more, forever mine.

I always thought it would be ‘kinda nice’ to get married, although improbable, if not impossible in real life. In moments of foolish, unreigned daydreaming, I saw myself dressed in white, saying my ‘I do’ to a faceless man (faceless because I never could quite imagine any of my disappointing liaisons of the past being The One). I felt the rush of the romance, the excitement and the infatuation as if they were real… until I crashed to the earth with a thud that echoed in my head. My imaginings never went beyond the point of ‘I do’. I never entertained the thought that maybe, one day, I will be married and live a Godly life with the man of my dreams. The originator of marriage is God. He gave it its definition, its purpose and its significance. People nowadays don’t care about what true marriage is supposed to be about. They view it as a disposable union and not as the only earthly contract that is recognised in Heaven. So I would think of marriage in earthly terms of the nations and see the ‘the-bigger-the-better’ diamond ring, the show-off dress that prevents the bride from breathing deeply or moving with ease, the keeping up with the Joneses wedding and the greediness of ‘which uncle gave us the most money as a wedding gift?’ and be repulsed. Me? Get married? How ridiculous! Who would want to marry me? And more importantly, whom would I want to marry?

INTERLUDE:

I always knew men were disappointing creatures. They will say they love you but only rely on their fleeting emotions. Some other girl comes along and they leave you without a goodbye. This is what I had learned at a very young age, from my dad. It doesn’t matter that I came to understand later why he had to leave us — reason doesn’t always consolidate the feelings. I have learned that strong negative experiences create feelings which are very hard to explain and reason with, even harder to work through and be neutralised, and almost impossible to turn around and replace with feelings that are positive or at least accurate perceptions of reality.

I say ‘almost’ because in my experience, when you live through the same type of situation again with a different result, it changes how you feel — even if you have felt a certain way for a long time. It is sometimes how God changes and shapes you when He enters your life. The more you learn about Him and how He wants you to behave, the more you will experience old situations in a new light. It is rather like God speaking to you personally through placing you into the old, familiar, types of situations and helping you come out of them with brand new results. I am sure there is some psychobabble name for this phenomenon but I don’t care. Some things you have to live through to understand, rather than learn about them from clever books.

This is what is happening in my life right now. I had grown up with the notion that a woman must not rely on a man to provide for anything — not for her physical needs (food, roof over your head, clothing), nor for her emotional needs; not provide her with money, nor possessions. If I want to guard my heart from constant and never-ending disappointment and hurt, I must never let any man close — because the inevitable result is that he will leave, sooner or later. It doesn’t matter that he says he loves you… or whether or not you are bound together through offspring… if you are linked through common property… he WILL leave. And then you are alone and hurting and abandoned. It doesn’t matter that he is a nice guy — my dad is the nicest, most decent man ever — yet he left mum and me (my brain discarded his reasons for this), which makes him the biggest Scumbag Steve that has ever walked the earth.

I read somewhere that through shutting your heart away, you will avoid disappointments. You will also avoid the thrill of trusting someone and reaping the rewards of that close relationship. I didn’t care — I had been set on avoiding all disappointment at any cost. Or at the very least when it came to men. I had friends, and the few exes who were male — I approached all of them with caution, rather like a bomb disposal unit member approaches a ticking parcel. If any one of them wanted to get close, I would hiss and spit and claw back at what I perceived to be my freedom of which I was being robbed.

And now, suddenly, I have met the one and only man whom I have come to trust implicitly. The Man who was made in heaven, for me, and myself only. The one who would get through my many barriers in such an open and honest way, and yet almost unperceived, and unhalted (!) by me. One day I had hundreds of walls around my heart, and the next day there were ruins only left — out of which beautiful new things had started to grow. And I liked the ruins. I enjoyed watching them and seeing, for the first time in my life, that wonderful new things happen when you let love in. I used to think I had loved my exes — now I see that I cared for them, yes, otherwise I wouldn’t have consented to a relationship, but I didn’t love any of them. How sad for them but completely fantastic for me!

END of INTERLUDE

One day, I asked my Man about why he thinks God placed him in my life. His answer stuck with me and probably will remain with me for a very long time. He said: ‘Because God knew I was the only one able to get through to you.’ Now, we were talking about religion and faith, but this is a statement so profoundly true when applied to other areas that it strikes me as of nearly prophetic proportion. I truly believe we were made for each other. My Man was made to show me that he is worthy of my complete and undivided love. I was made to show and bring this love into his life which had thus far been devoid of the attention and affection and emotion he is being showered with currently. I can see the guiding hand of God clearly in this relationship, and I believe it brings God deep joy to have linked us together. It is my prayer that we continue to bring joy and praise to the Lord through our life as a married couple.

Through God, things are clicking into place. The wedding is planned to be a low-key affair. Through having our friends and family present and having people take photographs and videos, we are recognising it as a special one-off event in our lives, to be celebrated and remembered. Through having a low-key gathering of our closest loved ones, we are hoping to communicate that the wedding is not to take away from the importance of the rest of our life, spent in marriage and unity. We hope that our guests will concentrate on seeing us as a couple who are happily in love and not just the wedding dress or the shine of the occassion. After the wedding, we don’t wish to have a massive reception with gallons of alcohol and a DJ and to party till dawn. I bet we’ll want to be alone to just quietly receive God’s grace at this new stage of our life together (especially me, as I am not used to big family gatherings). But we recognise the importance of looking after the people who gather to celebrate with us and we’ll make sure they are leaving the event being well fed and cared for. After all, Jesus himself did feed the crowds who came to hear him teach. We want to follow the biblical principle from the word go. There will be lots of non-believers present and we want to send out a clear message to them. They will leave thinking this was a very different wedding from what they are used to, and it is my hope and prayer that they will come to see exactly wherein the difference lay — that this couple do not want earthly riches, status, money, or possessions… This couple want their life, their wedding, their whole marriage to point towards the Father, who is the Originator of everything.