One week ago, my younger sister’s boyfriend asked her to marry him. She may, perhaps, have been furious with me, even in her ecstatic joy, when I admitted that I knew about it (well) ahead of time. But we couldn’t be happier for her. Taylor and I have been fortunate enough to watch these two grow together in Boston, and watch their relationship progress toward this shining (and very sparkly) moment.

The other night, as Chris drove me home, he told me, “it’s gotten to a point where I feel bad *not* proposing. Like, why keep waiting? We need to move this thing forward.” I agreed. There comes a point in a dating relationship where engagement is the natural next step, and when it comes to it, it is a piece of cake.

And yet, I can’t forget how my sister felt (up until the moment when she realized she was gazing into the eyes of her now-fiancé): helpless, frustrated, angry (just a little), anxious that he hadn’t asked her yet, that he didn’t have the ring yet (when he really did–the sneaky genius). And how she felt he didn’t seem as antsy as she was to get engaged.

I remember feeling that way before Taylor proposed, even on the very night he asked me, until a few moments before he said, “Will you marry me, Anne Michelle Marshall?” I was conflicted and frustrated at having to wait. At having to be on the receiving end of “the right moment.” I had no control over the situation, and I couldn’t do anything to take it.

That weekend, as my sisters and I talked about Chris, I wanted to reassure Viv that he would propose, to be patient, to wait with grace. Little did she know just how long (short) she had to wait. If she only knew, she would have been relieved. I told her to trust, to believe, to keep hoping.

Can you see a theme here? Can you hear the advice of countless friends to me in my longing for parenthood? Believe in the promise of God. Have faith that things will work out. Be patient as you wait for His plans to unfold. How hard the waiting is, when we do not know when it will be over.

I believe that there is someone who knows when I will be a forever-mother. Someone who is counting down the days, even the hours until the moment when I can close my eyes and breathe “Yes” to all the certain Joys and Sorrows of Mothering.

And that someone is smiling gleefully at the surprise and joy and happiness I will feel when the waiting is over. Giggling at the anticipation of the goodness ahead. Breathless with anticipation.

But he can’t tell me, not yet. He can’t reassure me that the waiting will come to an end. But I know he will give me strength to bear the waiting with grace and true patience.

Because, if I knew when reprieve would come, I wouldn’t take time now to breathe the grace surrounding me. I would try to hold my breath, focusing only on that certain, approaching future moment. And I would miss so much in the waiting, in the anticipation.

There is a virtue in waiting. There is grace in joyful hope.


  1. Viv wrote:

    amen seester 🙂 and thank you!

  2. kayleen wrote:

    Beautiful ring – congratulations Vivian!

    And wonderful reflections, Anne, as per usual 🙂

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