Is it harder for older sisters to get married? Yes, I think it is. Birth order does matter; older children just have different pressures and experiences than their younger siblings, and this can influence their love lives. Especially this holiday season I’ve seen more Google searches that lead older sisters to my article “My Younger Sister is Getting Married, and I’m Still Single” that I wrote two and a half years ago; now it is time to follow up that piece. What has happened with my love life? What have I learned since then?
Wow, it used to be 230 days; now we have only 101 days left until Stephen and I commit ourselves to each other for life! My joy over entering marriage with Stephen is growing, and this engagement season has had its shares of stress, but now is a more tranquil time. Both of us have waited so long to get married that we are just so thankful to have each other and this season.
A wedding season sort of feels like you have your birthday for months because of the congratulations, the parties, gifts, and all the focused love. I treasure this time and am thankful to each of you who have added to the joy.
What has been happening since we got engaged?
“Mary, I have a question to ask you. Will you be my wife?” Stephen said as he held out the diamond ring. (I had always wondered how the guy would say it: “Mary, will you marry me?” seemed too repetitive; Stephen did it just right!) My smile deepened as I said, “Yes, yes, YES!!!!” as he slipped the solitaire diamond on a simple white gold band onto my finger. The diamond shone in the light, but I focused more on my brand new fiancé. We laughed, cried, and prayed together before going back to the houseboat to share the amazing news. That day, August 13th, 2015, my hands now had three rings distributed between the ten fingers, and there are stories behind each one of them. This is the story of the Celtic knot ring I’ve had for seven years, a ring I wore for two weeks, and the engagement ring I’ll wear the rest of my life.
It all began at the College Avenue train station platform back in January of 2013 at 6am… One dark, cold morning as we waited for the train to come to take us downtown Chicago, Stephen stood next to me, and he started talking. He cheerfully said, “Good morning!” and then talked with me until the train arrived. His friendliness surprised me, and he seemed nice; however, since I had just started dating someone else, I kept things cool. We said “Hi!” to each other after that because we often sat in the same train car.
A couple months later, when I sat there talking on the phone to my long-distance boyfriend, after seeing Stephen looking at me, this thought ran through my head: “Why am I dating someone 1,000 miles away when there’s a perfectly interested guy sitting right over there!?” I shook the thought off and dated the long-distance guy until he broke up with me. I wasn’t ready for Stephen then because he both annoyed and intrigued me… (Early in the morning he talked loudly with his train buddies in the train, and he seemed to me like a boring suburbanite…I didn’t know that he had grown up in vineyard country, loved chopping firewood and the outdoors, loved God…I could sense that he was interested, but I had some growing up to do.) Over the next year and a half I tried going on over a dozen first dates with other guys (that never worked out, but) while running into Stephen a few times at church because his friend Lauren had invited him.
The best guy in my life celebrated his birthday last week and this is a little bit how we celebrated!
On Thursday night when I opened the door of my apartment, this sweetness wafted toward me. My mind calculated, “Did I leave something out? What is that?” Continue reading