Sometimes you just need to know that others have gone before you-- and survived.
Even though I outwardly played it down, privately a thousand questions that kept me up at night, they haunted the back of my mind. I didn't want to ask them out loud because what if the answers were too scary? What if I couldn't handle the truth? I feared I didn't have what it takes.
But sometimes you need to ask others for help, so you can do it too. Sometimes you need a friend who's been down the path before you, who has faced all your fears.
So I whispered my questions to friends on the journey. I offered up my fears with trembling hands, because I just needed to know.
And they took my hands in theirs. They gripped me by the shoulders and faced me down the path.
They didn't say it would all be easy and okay, they didn't tell me I had nothing to fear. They did something better, they told me the truth. And by doing so, they equipped me with what I needed to start the journey. Yes, the truth will set you free.
Because the right choice is often a hard choice. And nothing good and worth having comes without a fight. But sometimes it's hard and sometimes your fears come true. And when they do, you didn't make the wrong choice, you stayed and fought for the right one.
There will always be things to be scared of, mountains that look dark and jagged. Real friends don't pretend they don't exist. Real friends don't hide the truth, they walk through it with you. Real friends give you hope, courage, and companionship through life. Because the way is never always smooth.
But when you get there, just know this, the reward is rich and the joy is great. It comes from a true place and lasts for a life time.
This is the choice you made. The choice to do something brave, and to receive all the joy that comes with it.
For the women in my life who helped this fear-ridden, timid, commitment-phobe start to see the beauty, trials and immense joy of marriage. And for my husband, who is the best and scariest choice I've ever made.