The Failed Engagement
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it’s the Lord’s purpose that prevails” Proverbs 19:21
It was my 25th birthday that I accepted his marriage proposal. The love of my life got down on one knee in front of our family and friends and asked me to be his forever. We had been together for 3 1⁄2 years where we shared many happy memories, a cozy apartment, a cute puppy, but most importantly, lots of love!
Like most “future brides,” I immediately got busy with the wedding planning. Deciding on a date, wedding colors, venue options, choosing bridesmaids, etc. We even did our marriage counseling which made us feel even more secure in the steps we were taking towards our forever. A future without each other was far from our minds.
After about 7-8 months into the wedding planning, we called off the engagement. You can imagine the progress we had made and the time/money already invested at this point. But all of that becomes irrelevant when you begin to think about the emotional state we both were in. There was a lot of pride, anger, sadness. Calling off the engagement and ending our relationship not only meant not having a wedding but also meant uprooting from what had become so familiar; a life we created with one another, daily routines that we thought were going well but now in retrospect, we know had a lot of flaws!
In this process, I experienced every emotion you could imagine...anger, sadness, humiliation, worry. Imagine having to send out letters to announce a “cancelled wedding” after sending out save the dates and posting proposal and engagement photos on social media! Or having to contact vendors and losing out on money already spent (thank God for my sister helping me with both)... or the hardest one of them all, having to go pick up a “paid off” wedding gown knowing you wouldn’t be wearing it on the date that had become so near and dear to our hearts. I had convinced myself that I was fine and that the sooner we were out of each others space, I would be even better. I handled everything with class, as my mother and sister have always taught me, still with my head held high but deep down I was hurting!
I learned my own strength in this situation. It takes a great deal of courage to walk away from something that you consider comfortable or “life as we know it.” Fitness became my outlet. I was already working out to get in shape for the big day but it turned out to be my stress reliever and positive reinforcement. Outside of exercising, I honestly didn’t take my healing process seriously. I didn’t do anything else to recover from everything that occurred. In my mind “life must go on” so I did just that. If only I knew then what I know now...
Currently I am taking the necessary steps to work on myself. After failing in the dating and relationship area of my life on several occasions I felt like I was the common denominator; I had to be real with myself about not being “READY.” I am practicing SELF CARE...spending more time alone, talking to God, reading, listening to positive podcasts, being conscious of my thoughts, how I feel and how certain situations/people make me feel, journaling, exercising, therapy!
The most important lesson for me in this situation was that God’s plans will ALWAYS win over our own. No matter how much planning, preparation or prayer... if He says No then that’s how the cards will unfold. He saw some areas in the both of us that needed growth before we could take that step. Two halves trying to join as one when we should both be whole as individuals. We could’ve fought for our relationship and revisited the marriage thought at a later time but in that moment there was too much pride, anger, pain... everything was so clouded that we couldn’t see the foundation that we built to hold us together.
There are 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Even though these stages are mostly tied to dealing with the death of a loved one, I believe that it can be applied to other situations as well. It is safe to say that after almost 3 years later, I am in the acceptance stage. I have fully accepted what was; fully accepted what happened and even had conversations with my ex-fiancé about where things went wrong. Everyone’s healing and recovery looks different, however taking the time to do so is VERY important. we
we must remember that our own happiness should always be a priority! Whatever it takes to get to that point, DO JUST THAT!
I am thankful for God’s love and support from family and friends that helped to sustain me through it all!!!
Written by Asia Wiggins, Operations Account Representative