All my life, I dreamed it in my head. Once, the whole thing unfolded on a beach, the waves lapping at the shore. Another time, the event occurred in a five-star restaurant, while everyone looked on. Slowly as I grew, the location became secluded, quiet, just the two of us. In college, my imagination pictured the moment on a small bridge located off a rough path on my campus. Of course, when the man I fell in love with finally asked me to be his wife, the location could not have been more perfect: in a chapel, in front of God.

As he sank down to his knee and asked me to be his bride, a thousand thoughts crashed in my head at once: “Is this really happening?” combined with, “I’ve waited my whole life for this.” and, finally, “Am I ready for this?” I said yes. My dreams were coming true.

Now that two months have passed, reality has begun to quickly set in. I have a giant list of things to do. Find a dress, decide on flowers, pick the music, the list goes on. I have a great many desires, as well. I want some new clothes for my Honeymoon, I’d like to replace some shoes that are worn. I really want a nice trousseau, complete with items any housewife would love. I yearn to tweak his home, to pick out bedsheets and shams, curtains, and other items a bachelor’s home lacks.

Suddenly, though, I have been overcome by a much different desire. Immaterial and almost inexplicable, this is by far the strongest one I’ve had since he gently placed a ring on my finger. Recently, I have been stunned into silence by this man. As my life takes directions I hadn’t planned, Richard has stood strong. Always affirming and praying, he’s held me as my world spins out of control numerous times. Humble and gentle, he’s full of advice when I want help and exudes patience as I irrationally spout my fears and worries. This man is my hero.

I have a strong and ardent desire to be the best I can for him. More than the spoons and rugs I want for his kitchen, more than the daisies and cake I hope are at my wedding, I want to humble myself before him everyday for the rest of my life. Never have I met a man for whom I’ve wanted to scrub his floors and massage his feet. I wish to be the serving wife, the quiet mother, the constant best friend.

In college, I vowed no man would stand in the way of my hopes and dreams. As I watched girls seemingly put their dreams on the shelf and follow a man, I told my friends that this would not happen to me. I would get my Master’s and I would teach college and live in my own place. When I was ready, I would find a man and settle down. He could wait. Then, appropriately, reality hit me in the face like a train.

Now, I am preparing to spend the rest of my life with this insanely loving and gentle man. Honest, caring, selfless, he puts much of my spiritual life to shame. As it should be. I want to be to him what Mary was to humanity: a selfless, quiet, serving woman who daily martyrs herself for her family’s salvation. I want fervently to use every moment, every word, every action to further Richard on his path to salvation. I must be ready for this immense vocation. I am reading voraciously marriage-prep books, praying for virtue, and cultivating my spiritual life. I want to be his Mary.

I adore this man. I wish that I could be what he is. I am humbled to watch him, honored to know him, and stunned by the vital vocation of aiding him to Heaven. I must be ready. This is my call. I am preparing for our life together. With all the tasks to complete before our wedding, all the household items we could register for, with all the new clothes and accessories I dream of, none of these hold a candle to my burning desire to be the best servant for him possible. Everyday, I pray I can stand up to the challenge, that I can daily die to self for love of him.

Lord, make of me a servant; help me to forget myself for sake of him. Aid me in being the best woman I can be. Guide me in becoming an image of Mary, ever selfless and humble in her service for her family. Please help me in fulfilling my vocation that, when you call us both to your home, we both may enter and praise you forever. Amen.

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