It was September 24, 2010, a beautiful, crisp summer day. The sun was smiling at us, the birds were chirping a special love song , the heart shaped clouds were graciously dancing across the sky, and Mr. Awesome had just proposed to me in the airport lobby. He knew that I loved public displays of affection and proposed in a way that touched my heart. Our love had been taken to another level and I was on Cloud Eleven, because Cloud Nine could not hold me. After days of smiles that stretched our cheek muscles, it was time to enjoy our engagement and plan the wedding that would celebrate our union. This was a great time, but it was also a time that I was challenged the most. I must say that I was not expecting all of the things that would come during this time of engagement, but I now know that they were necessary in order to truly prepare us to begin our lives together. Here are some of the things that I learned during this special period of our lives.
* Leaving and Cleaving really begins after you are engaged. Genesis 2:24 states "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." I always knew this verse, but never really had to exercise this until after the engagement. Sure, I had left my parents home when I was seventeen to go to college and have lived away from my hometown for over ten years, but I never realized that leaving and cleaving meant more than the physical distance and the financial freedom that I had for those years. It also meant a reprioritizing detachment from my family of origin in order to start my new primary family as well as getting into the family that I was marrying into. I did not know that the process would be as emotional for me as it was, but it was a necessary part of the transition as I turned my allegiance to my hubby-to-be. So many marriages are ruined, because someone did not leave and cleave. During this time, I no longer had as much time to talk to my family on the phone, nor was I as available to hang out with some friends as much as I once did. Some people understood what was happening and some were upset. Although, I value and love my family and friends deeply, my number one priority outside of God is my new family. There is no neglect for my family and friends, but the time and access are more limited.
* Going from "Me" to "We" helps you to prepare for becoming a team. This was definitely a time when my transition to being married took root. After, we courted long distance for the majority of our relationship, I figured it was time to move to the same city (no cohabitation) with Mr. Awesome before our wedding. This really helped us to continue our transition and this was definitely a time where we did things and made major decisions as a team concerning everything from the wedding to what goals we had for our marriage, things that we do even more so now. This was also a bit of a challenge for me, because I was accustomed to doing things according to my own system without consulting others and this was a time of trying to create a new system that would work for both of us. And now that we are married, I see how important it is to be a team as we meld our family together. There are times when it gets challenging, but is still rewarding.
* It is EXTREMELY important to watch who you let near your relationship. This was a tough and big lesson to learn. Not everyone likes to see you happy and will use whatever means that they have to rain on your parade. I experienced a couple of tests concerning this during our engagement, but knew that our union was worth fighting for and protecting. Some access doors needed to be shut to our relationship during the engagement and during our marriage. On the other hand, there were those who poured positivity and blessings into our union and I am so thankful for those people and couples and look to those for further encouragement now that we are married.
Stay Tuned For Part II on Thursday.