I want to spend some time encapsulating my thoughts 10 days before my wedding day. Right now there are a ton of feelings, both good and bad, that I wanted to express. The world is a stressful place, but there is plenty of good I’m seeing as well.

The Bad

Starting off with the bad, the world seems like it’s in a terrible place. I see more violence as civil rights are fought in major cities, racists are becoming more comfortable expressing their opinions, and hate drives division deeper every day. Each day I get closer to cutting out hate filled friends and family members. I can’t imagine exposing my soon to be wife and future children to any of that.

As a Christian, I’m finding it harder and harder to connect on anything with fellow Christians. Since moving we have yet to find a church that wasn’t filled with hatred. I guess those traumatic instances as an atheist proved to be more common than I had thought. I know I couldn’t hurt someone just because they don’t hold the same spiritual beliefs I do (or gender, or sexuality, or… you get the point), but I can’t imagine why any other Christians find this acceptable. I’ll strive to be the exception.

The rising issues with vaccines has hurt to the core. I now hear stories of non-covid patients failing to receive treatment because ER’s and ICU’s are filled with anti-vaxxers. Just today I watched a video of two nurses being let go from their jobs because they refused to be vaccinated. Seems like living through last year taught them nothing. Putting people first is a rare value to hold anymore.

As for personal turmoil, nothing major. I have been trying to learn how to be angry. Seems like an odd thing to type, but it’s true. I’m fairly an implosive person and would hold onto anger for a long time. Addressing this issue has proven to be greatly beneficial as my confidence as skyrocketed. If any of my co-workers read this, know this is why I struggle to get words out sometimes (plus the crushing anxiety). The hardest part has been gauging the correct level of response. I would hate to go overboard. Luckily, I have a few co-workers that have helped me stay in check.

Every week leading up to the wedding has resulted in someone calling me and telling me they can’t make it. I completely understand. While it doesn’t hurt any less, I’m finding that I can really handle the small turnout on my side of the wedding.

The Good

I have no doubt in my mind that the wedding will go off without a hitch. In fact, I’m certain it won’t. At the very least, I will not care what issues come up. At the very minimum there’s a pizza place down the street for any food and I’ll have my Jennifer there to marry.

It’s a good place to be.

While I’m nervous about trying to have children, looking for a new house, learning new habits, and trying my best to keep things together, I couldn’t imagine life being any better. I couldn’t imagine being in a place where I felt this much love. I feel supported. I feel like everything is going to be okay.

In fact, just last year I struggled to articulate my feelings about anything. After taking Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits book to heart, I’ve been doing much better leading a life I want to live. Sure, we are only half way through the book after a year, but we have been taking everything to heart. Our weekly planning is on point and we both live according to our values.

The final icing on the cake is how natural getting married feels. We’ve put the work in and it shows. From our casual courtship to our Gottman’s books, from our premarital counseling to our constant dedication, we have really put in the work. There wasn’t a single time it ever felt like work.

The Takeaway

While the world feels like it’s on fire, I know that we have things together at home. I can, and do, feel confident that what we are doing is fantastic, wonderful even. Once more, I feel as though we can be the poster couple for what it means to have a happy healthy relationship filled with equal parts honesty and vulnerability.

I know we are going to live the rest of our lives together. Neither one of us would allow for any other option. Just staying married is not enough either. We will continue to strive for the best relationship. Not only do we want it, but we need it.

For those of you coming to the wedding, thank you for being a part of our special day. For everyone else, I hope you are able to watch it online. As always, thank you for reading. I hope you found something to add to your everyday rhetoric repertoire.