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On July 20th, 2022, my boyfriend of 4 years at the time proposed on the boardwalk of Atlantic Beach. White powdery sand beneath my feet sank into my toes as I splashed in the edges of a surrounding sea. I was ecstatic. The photographer captured every moment. It is a memory I never want to forget. A sacred space I pray to always remember.
But a few hours later, as I sank into the arms of the fold-out couch in our family condo, I wept. I looked at my mom and my fiancé, and to and from nearly a dozen times. But the more I saw their smiles, the more I crumbled inside.
Don’t get me wrong. I was happy. It had been a beautiful day, and I was relieved to finally be engaged to my boyfriend, who also happens to be a huge procrastinator. But amid the joy, my soul shook. I’ve always hated change and growing up, and I was about to undergo one of the biggest changes or growing up moments in my life.
“I’m scared,” I whispered to my fiancé, looking for comfort in the crevice of his arms. “It’s like I don’t want to grow up, but I do,” I sobbed to my mom, stroking the matted hair on my back.
“I know,” they both said in unison.
“But there is beauty in every season,” my fiancé gently cooed. “And God will be with us every step of the way.”