An Engaged Man's Thoughts, <2 weeks: Won't You Be Our Neighbor?


It’s just a matter of days before the ceremony.

How am I supposed to feel? Everybody gives me looks like I should be flying a magic carpet with baggy white pants singing about a whole new world. But I’m not Aladdin, and my only wish is for people to stop asking if I’m excited.

You’re probably wondering how I’m feeling. I do, too. I’m everything and nothing at the same time, kind of like the brown you get when you mix every possible color.

I feel excited, and I feel exhausted. I feel anxious, and I feel peaceful. I feel bitter that engagement didn’t go according to our tyrannical expectations, but I feel thankful that I got to be with people that love us. I feel like crying, but I feel like laughing too.

Above it all, Kasey & I feel thrilled to be alive. Life itself is a gift so familiar to us that we forget how truly beautiful it is. We’ve got no idea what we’re entering into, but we’ve got an opportunity to live a beautiful story.

My first post on this blog is still the most widely read post I’ve written, which is unfortunate because it basically just lamented that being engaged sucks. That’s true, but—although it’s actually pretty close to the whole story—it’s not the whole story. The whole story would have to include the people that made us feel like we weren’t alone.

Not too long from now, we’ll get hitched in a little ceremony with just intimate friends & family to witness it. Before we do the kissing thing, everybody’s gonna be given a helium balloon and Sharpie. We’ll write our hopes & prayers on these balloons. Our friend Steve will then ask those circled around us to promise to hold our marriage together. As we’re pronounced husband & wife, we’ll all send our balloons up like we’re trying to poke heaven’s floors open.

I’m telling you that because we don’t just need them. We need you. And if you’re one of those oddball readers from Austin or Seattle, other marriages need you.

Marriages don’t exist in a vacuum. They exist in a community of people vested with the power to either be a neighbor or a nuclear weapon. Marriages fall apart sometimes, but I wonder about all the marriages that fall like dominoes simply because they lack a few good neighbors willing to carry two people when they can’t even carry themselves.

We might not need you to untangle the knots in our relationship, but we do need to feel your support. We need your balloons & Sharpies, too, even if it’s a silent breath of hope & prayer for us when you see us. Or a kind, knowing smile. Or an invitation to dinner & laughter. Or the gift of a space where we can feel afraid that everything’s falling apart. The world needs more neighbors.

Won’t you be ours?


photo credit: shout out again to brian petry. find him at

#relationships #family #friends #ordinarylife #journey