November 4, 1969
One of the major adjustments to marriage is learning to live with someone of the opposite sex. Most people have had roommates, but usually college-style – girls with girls, and guys with guys.
Nate was getting his first dose of the emotional difference between women and men as he watched me fall apart. The crying wasn’t as upsetting to him as the not knowing what to do. Try as he might, he couldn’t figure it out. And I either wouldn’t or maybe couldn’t tell him what was wrong.
Finally I said, “What if we’re making a mistake!”
“What kind of mistake?”
“Getting married I mean! I don’t know! I don’t know!”
There was a long pause, and I realized my crisis had just become Nate’s, too.
I continued sobbing. “The invitations are going out, and I’m not sure anymore!”
Just a few days before this we had talked about neither of us having any second thoughts and how great that was. Over the months God had reassured us again and again that he was in favor of our union. And both families were enthusiastic about our plans. So what was the problem?
Sitting down next to me, Nate put his arm around me and calmly said, “I want you to know there is nothing that can’t be stopped or unwound. The invitations haven’t been sent. And they don’t have to be.”
I’m sure his heart was pounding as he watched me unravel. No doubt he wondered if our relationship was unraveling, too. But if he was panicky, he never let it show.
“All those gifts can be returned,” he said, pulling me close. “Don’t worry about any of that. We can fix it all. And there’s no law that says we have to get married on November 29.”
My only response was whimpering and sniffling. Nate reached in his pocket and gave me the handkerchief he always carried. Twisting that in my hands seemed to bring a measure of calm.
We sat this way for a long time without saying anything more. Nate never stopped holding me firmly, a powerful example of “love is patient.”
He waited for me to say something, and finally I did. “Am I going crazy?”
“Not at all. I think lots of people get nervous about getting married. It’s very natural.”
“Yeah, but…. it’s usually the guy,” I said, giving him a weak smile.
“Not this guy,” he said, kissing me on the forehead.
I buried my face in his chest. “I’m worried that marriage might be harder than we think, and we might be disappointed. You might be disappointed…. in me.”
“Never,” he said. “Each day that goes by, I love you more and more. Whatever comes along, we’ll be able to work it out. I know we will. I’m sure of that.”
The only thing I could think to do was grab onto him and hold on tight.
(…to be continued)
“When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.” (Psalm 94:19)