His hands shook and his voice cracked, and for the first time ever, this bearded, worship-leading Wisconsinite had a hard time singing the words he had written for me. I knew something was up. When he finally knelt down and pulled out his mother’s diamond, I had begun to match his shakiness with my own. In a matter of seconds, my life took a shift for which I was not prepared.
We excitedly called all of our friends and family, complete with squeals and happy tears. The night was young, and I had already become firmly aware of the pain in my cheeks from the immovable smile. We drove to our pastor’s house where my new fiancé had lots of people waiting to surprise me with an engagement party. As we walked in the door, I immediately realized none of my family or friends were present. It makes sense now that I’m outside of the moment—we were in Indianapolis, not in Georgia where my family lived—but in that instant, I had my first taste of newlywed grief.
Hiding the Real Issue
We don’t often talk about the sense of loss that can occur with this massive life change called marriage, but it is a feeling that plagued my heart for quite some time. Marriage brings a whole lot of new, but there’s also some sacrifice that takes place. As I began to pack up my life, leaving my job and my friends for a man in Indianapolis, I cloaked myself in a martyr mentality, determined to portray Christ’s love through this marriage from the very beginning and sacrifice my life. All you need is love, right? So, we said our “I dos,” and I moved to Indiana with a new name, a new bank account, and a new roommate.1