Blog Waiting: The Journey of an Engaged Couple by Jyllian Hurwitz It started with an invitation, a proposal. An angel didn’t appear, but a very special man got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. So many thoughts were racing through my head as I said “yes.” It was a “yes” to faithfulness, companionship, and life together. This “yes” mirrored Mary’s “yes” as I trusted in God, my heart, and my relationship with my future spouse. It was the beginning of an incredible journey that was about to unfold. Bryan and I have been dating since the end of high school. So to be exact, I have waited 2,555 days for this proposal. That is a LONG time to wait…for anything! But our relationship over the last six years has been so fruitful. We have both grown as individuals and as a couple, discerned our current vocation, and have kept each other accountable. We have challenged one another, prayed together, and prepared our hearts for this next step. What a beautiful, messy, and life-giving adventure it has been! Although our journey does not specifically include a donkey, wise men, or Joseph per se, these three characters of the Christmas story symbolize a critical part of our engagement. Really? A Donkey? A donkey ride is slow and bumpy, or in other words, uncomfortable. Although our engagement has been filled with some many moments of love and joy, feelings of confusion and uncertainty have also crept into the process. It has felt uncomfortable and challenging to make critical transitions in our identities, roles and responsibilities, and relationships. However, this discomfort, this “donkey” on the journey has been so meaningful and purpose-driven. It has brought Bryan and me closer together as it forces us to ask the tougher questions, to remain faithful, and to support one another. When I am feeling overwhelmed by the stress of the wedding planning process, the long hours of ministry, the Christmas season, and all of life’s inconveniences, I know I am in good company. A 15-year-old girl, in her last trimester of pregnancy, riding on a donkey, was probably asking herself, “Really, a donkey? Why Me?” Wise Men and Women In the midst of this wedding process, the many wise men and women who have modeled a healthy and lifelong marriage have blessed Bryan and me. They have encouraged us to find “the star” that points us to something greater, something more purposeful. They have shown us that by keeping our eyes focused on the things that really matter, we will be able to get through anything. They have shared their wisdom and joy with us, and I know that these relationships will continue to be a gift throughout this next chapter! My Joseph Bryan is my Joseph. There is no doubt about it. He is steadfast, committed, faithful, and loving. He continually sacrifices, trusts, and believes in and for us. He is my partner as we navigate this journey together. It is so easy to see Joseph and Christ in Bryan; he is a man of great character who pours his heart into everything he does. He truly has a servant’s heart (he has been driving one and a half hours to every one of my youth nights). He has remained by my side throughout this journey and continually leads me closer to Christ. He highlights all of the “Christmas moments” in my life: all the glimpses of Christ that flood our relationship and our world. As we prepare our hearts for the Sacrament of Marriage and the coming of our Savior during this season of Advent, I am so happy to have Bryan by my side! Advent is a time of waiting, anticipation, and preparation for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Still, have we ever stopped to ask ourselves the question: Could Christ Jesus be waiting for us? Could Jesus be waiting for us to step into the Christmas story and play our part? Is he asking us to push through the long and uncomfortable “donkey” rides? To look to the “wise men and women” in our life who journey with us and who bring us gifts of love and wisdom? To search for a true Joseph or Mary, a partner to lean on and embrace on this journey called life? For me, framing the Advent season in this way allows me to turn this season of “waiting” into a more active “journeying” with Christ. It encourages me to be more intentional about centering my journey and my marriage on Him. Knowing that we’re headed for a new life together as husband and wife, I am overwhelmed by the presence of Christ and need for Christ in my marriage. Allowing Christ to be at the center brings me such peace. In the midst of all of this wedding preparation, I am continually reminded that Christ is calling Bryan and I to himself, to life in Him. I pray that we may continue this journey, striving to follow the star that will lead us to our Savior’s birth.