"My now-fiancé and I travelled to Europe last summer and on a sweaty Roman day, after a four-hour Vatican tour, he got down on one knee in St. Peter’s Square and proposed." Photo courtesy of Janelle Lafantaisie

Speaking out: Reflecting on my engagement

By  Janelle Lafantaisie, Speaking Out
  • August 16, 2018

I was watching a comedy special by Chris D’Elia the other day where he joked about marriage and it really got me thinking. 

He said that the way people look at marriage has changed. “Love is ‘I guess,’ ” he said. “Yeah, let’s get married I guess and then have kids I guess and then feed them I guess, every day I guess. And then take a trip, if we have the money, I guess.” 

As a 20-something, I feel like all I see when I scroll through Facebook these days is that someone else is engaged. Someone else has made that arbitrary promise to be together for the next 50-60 years. It’s a wild thought. This isn’t just a Facebook status or an “I guess” next step. It’s a lifelong commitment.

Like many people around me, I’ve thought marriage is always the next step after all the safe steps have taken place. Post-secondary education is finished, secure job is obtained, you’ve done all the soul searching and world travelling that you want, and I guess the next step is to settle down.

My experience threw my expectations wildly out of the park. My now-fiancé and I travelled to Europe last summer and on a sweaty Roman day, after a four-hour Vatican tour, he got down on one knee in St. Peter’s Square and proposed. I was actually shocked. The first words that came out of my mouth was, “Are you sure?!” Chris still had a year or two of university left, I was still working part-time in a coffee shop and there were so many uncertainties. 

We had chatted about the idea of getting engaged in a couple of years or so. We knew we loved each other and were beyond confident in spending our lives together. Still, I did not think my post-grad trip to Europe would turn me into a fiancée and then into someone’s wife next year! 

So, we’ve spent a lot of the past year preparing ourselves emotionally, mentally and spiritually for our big day in September 2019. This isn’t just our “I guess” next step. It’s been a season of discernment and testing for the rest of our lives. 

A friend once told me that I’m spending a long time in the worst time of my relationship. Being engaged is tough. It’s easy to lose yourself in the planning of one big day. It’s important to remember that we also need to plan for our marriage. There are 50-60 years ahead of us to plan for as well. 

If you don’t take time to see the big picture, to imagine what your life will be like in 30 years when you’re starting to turn grey, to know that your new purpose in life is to help the other obtain Heaven, then marriage does become an “I guess” situation. It can become a next step that you should maybe do because everyone on Facebook is doing it. It sometimes becomes a sign of status for how big your wedding can be. This is everything that we are currently working against.

It’s tricky to be getting married in this time and in our society. Please, readers, keep us and all other engaged couples in your prayers, that we may be ready to help one another obtain Heaven through this beautiful gift that is marriage. 

(Lafantaisie, 24, is a freelance photographer in Winnipeg, Man.)

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