Dear marriage,

I am scared of you.

Terrified, in fact.

This is the time where it seems necessary to PROCLAIM that THE BOY has given his rubber-stamp approval to this post. Not-so-surprisingly, he knows all of what I’m about to say. Lucky him, he’s been front-seat-center-row for all of the FEARS, DOUBTS and CRAZINESS. You’re welcome, Georgia. (insert smile)

Now. Back to business.

Yup. Marriage SCARES me. And to a degree, I think it should. As a Christian, marriage is forever. UNTIL DEATH. That’s a LONG FRIGGEN TIME!!! The idea of being with anyone forever–even myself!–makes me want to reach for a paper bag. I mean, I’m an introvert. I like ALONE TIME and QUIET. Adding someone else to the mix for ALWAYS, well, that’s just a little overwhelming for the “I-wish-I-were-a-hermit” part of me.

Sure, marriage, there are many moments where I am not in PANIC MODE at the thought of FOREVER. Those are the moments when I realize again how much I love THE BOY or remember that really any two people who are sincerely following God can “MAKE IT WORK” when it comes to marriage. These are also the moments when I remind myself of why I started dating THE BOY (and it wasn’t because he’s so durn cute!). THE BOY loves God, and is funny, kind, affirming, sweet and oh-so-patient. There are no red flags.

So where does this fear come from, then, dear ol’ marriage?

In some ways, I get it. I mean, I’ve always been the “LET ME PONDER THIS UNTIL I DRIVE MYSELF COMPLETELY MAD” type of person. I ABSOLUTELY MUST examine every facet and every SINGLE possible outcome. That is who I have always been. Not so surprisingly, it is who I still am after falling in love with THE BOY.

I think, too, though, that it’s the comparison to the people around me who had NO DOUBTS EVER. You know the types. They spout off phrases like: “YOU JUST KNOW,” and, “EVERYTHING WAS SUNSHINE AND RAINBOWS AND UNICORNS,” and, “I DIDN’T HAVE A MILLISECOND OF DOUBT.” My less-cynical heart believes they’re sincere. But my cynical head, well, that’s another story: “REALLY?!? No doubts? EVER? You do realize this is FOREVER, right?!”

That’s not me, marriage. I do have doubts. I do have fears. Perhaps they’re merely the echo of past disappointments. I think most of what they are, though, is this not-quite-yet-fully-grasped realization that marriage is hard work.

Each day, I realize it would be simpler to be single.

Loving someone is messy and intrusive. You can’t be selfish or self-indulgent. When you choose to marry someone, you’re choosing to let him or her into all the inner madness that is you–and you get all his or her madness, too! There’s no longer any separation. The two are one. There is, of course, immeasurable beauty, life and joy in that fact. But there is also MUCH WORK. And there is not SPACE.

The idea of allowing someone else so deeply into “my space”–even someone I adore–is a TERRIFYING one. This man would have a power in my life that no one else has ever had (and, in fact, a significant other already has quite a bit of that power). True, my joy and worth will always be based on God. But adding a spouse means choosing to ALLOW someone to influence my life on a moment-by-moment basis. The control freak within me, well, FREAKS OUT at that thought.

I mean, I’ve been independent for 28 years. And the echoes of the past have skewed me toward that independence in a FIERCE, UNYIELDING way. I don’t WANT to need anyone. I don’t WANT to allow people to get close enough that they can hurt me. I don’t WANT to give a man the power to wound me–even if it’s a man I trust.

The fear is there, and it has nothing to do with the person in front of me and everything to do with the shadows behind me.

So here’s what I’m going to do, marriage. I’m not going to let this FEAR control me. Because in my heart of hearts, I know it has no basis. And I know choosing to run because I’m scared will leave me running from one situation or another for the rest of my life. That’s not who I want to be, marriage. That’s not who God has called me to be.

To keep from FLEEING, I will continue turning my fear and anxiety over to my God. I will keep listening to the input of others. I will not make any decision out of FEAR or DOUBT. I will walk ahead with THE BOY and the same goal I have always had: To glorify God with my life. And I will trust Him to place everything in its proper place.

Yup, marriage, I’m scared of you. Probably always will be.

But I won’t be scared AWAY from you.

It should be noted that the author is IN NO WAY saying she is engaged or will be engaged soon. Just that she has been thinking about such things. REPEAT: THE AUTHOR IS NOT ENGAGED. JUST THINKING. (insert smile)

One thought on “Dear marriage,

  1. Emily Bucher says:

    I love hearing your thoughts, Bethany! Yup, can’t deny there are scary parts of marriage. Also can’t deny that it’s awesome! 🙂


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