Do you struggle with balancing the sting of hearing about yet another engagement with genuine excitement? What emotions come into play? What virtues do you enlist to help with it all?
I love a good engagement story. I will ask you how he proposed, I'll sit and listen with rapt attention, oohing and aahing in exactly the right places because I am so happy for you, I'm even trying to figure out what I'm wearing to the wedding but it hurts. I am happy for you, so very happy but after the joy your news sometimes can become about me. What about me? How come it hasn't happened to me as yet? When will it happen for me?
I think one of my biggest emotions is feeling betrayed by God. This does not actually with every engagement announcement. When the girl who changed boyfriends weekly, likely slept with most of them, talks like a sailor and thinks modesty is a bad word gets engaged I feel like God has turned away from me. I tend to reduce my Faith to a checklist of everything I do right versus everything they do wrong. I definitely have the advantage but somehow I come out at the bottom. How can God not see that I deserve it more after all I've done.
Logically I know God hasn't betrayed me and He doesn't work like how my envious mind has worked it out. I just need to seek Him, remind myself of His love for me, that He plans for me, I LOVE Jer 29:11, especially the end "To give you a future with hope".
Stay away from the friends who will commiserate with me in the wrong way. There is nothing wrong with someone who will understand how you're feeling and help you work through it productively. However the friend who will encourage you to wallow in bad feelings and hurt, encourage you to gossip and malign the couple or marriage itself is not who you need to be around.
Prayer. Over the years of friends, acquaintances and neighbourhood "bad" girls getting engaged I have trained my first reaction to be prayer. When all I feel is incredible joy for the upcoming union, pray. When I feel slightly jealous, pray. When I can't believe this is going to happen, pray.
I pray for the couple, the Sacrament of Marriage and I pray for myself.
How do you handle engagement news? Check out Morgan for the link-up and see what everyone else has to say.