But amid all of this attention (and I knew this would happen eventually) I discovered The Curious Case of Donald Miller.
Donald was the first person to express negative thoughts about my engagement. (Please, no boo-ing. He has a right to his opinions.) His sentiments weren't without some bits of truth, and since that is the case, I've decided to share them, along with my rebuttal, with all of you.
Donald commented: "You guys are making a mistake!!! You are only 19!!! Trust another military member when I say he will move on---and so will you. I wish I could be the flowers and roses everyone else is but I have lived the life for 20 years and the army is hard and harder on relationships. As a famous person said, "If the military wanted you to have a spouse, they would have issued you one!" Good luck anyway."
When I read this particular comment, I was a bit hurt. It wasn't like I hadn't expected to hear the "you're so young" card at some point, but I'd escaped it for a while and I was starting to hope I wouldn't have to defend myself. Alas, that is not the case. Donald has raised the topic, and so I must address it.
So let's look at his argument, shall we? Donald seems to have three points to back up his claim that we are "making a mistake."
1.) As previously stated, our young age. Most people follow this statement up with something to the effect of: "You haven't lived enough to know what you want yet."
2.) He seems to think that we'll "move on." More specifically, that Kyle will move on, and that I will follow suit. Perhaps he thinks us fickle? Or perhaps he thinks Kyle is the type to fall face-first on the sidewalk for any girl in short shorts? Or maybe he writes this one off to our age as well. Either way, he says we'll grow apart.
3.) This part of the argument is the one I find most sound: The Army is hard on relationships. This I know to be true, without doubt, and without dispute. Donald, you are right about this one. It will be hard. However, I don't think that's enough reason for you to say my upcoming marriage is a mistake. You, like so many others, underestimate me.
Mkay. There we have it, clearly divided and defined: the reasons Donald thinks mine and Kyle's relationship is doomed.
In response to saying that we are young: We both realize that. And in fact, I'm not nineteen yet. I won't be nineteen for another two weeks. I know that we have our whole lives ahead of us, and that we will both change in that time. But I also know how much I love Kyle.
I love Kyle more than I thought it was possible to love someone. I love him enough to follow him half-way around the world. I love him enough that I would die for him in a heartbeat. I love him enough that I can't imagine spending the rest of my life without him, no matter what that life holds. If I have a hard life in front of me, I'd want him to be by my side, and if it does turn out to be all sunshine and daisies, there is no one I'd rather share it with.
I may not know what I want in a lot of areas, but Kyle doesn't fall into one of those. He is the one thing I know I will always be sure of. :)
In response to the idea of us growing apart: Why would grow apart when we could grow together? Neither of us make promises lightly. We understand what marriage means, and we intend to honor the commitment that we are giving one another. Kyle is one of the most honorable and loyal people I have ever met. I have no doubt that he will remain faithful to me while he's away.
He has the same faith in me. I'm not the typical college Sophomore. I have a level head on my shoulders that is prepared to be as patient as I need to be. I will wait for him while he is away because I am able to see far enough into the future to know that it is what is best. The pain that I'll deal with now is nothing compared to the happiness we will share in the future. That future is my endpoint. I focus on it every day, through every fit of tears. Our loves keeps me strong when I'd rather be weak, and I believe it is enough to bind us together.
In response to the Army being hard on relationships: This is point where I think Donald has a valid argument. The Army is indeed rough on relationships. How could anyone think it would be easy to have your husband or boyfriend (or wife/girlfriend) taken from you at the whim of the military? It would be foolish to dispute this. I do not pretend to think it will be easy. I am no fool, and I am not blind.
There will be many lonely nights, many mornings spent biting my nails as I watch the news, and many painful afternoons when I'd like nothing better than to hear his voice. ...yet that is not enough to scare me away from Kyle. Had that been enough I would have left him before or during the 5 1/2 months we just spent apart.
I've had a taste of the bitter loneliness I'm facing, and I know I am strong enough to handle it. Kyle, obviously, thinks the same of himself, or he wouldn't have proposed in the first place. He is, as I have stated, one of the most honorable people I know. I trust him to be honest and open with me, and not to toy with my emotions. He's a much better man than that.
And so, Mr. Miller, if you're reading this, I appreciate your warning. I thank you for wishing us luck at the end of that comment. But mostly I hope you will realize that you have underestimated Kyle and I. We are not, by any means, the typical teenage couple. We've both come from circumstances that forced us to realize the magnitude and seriousness of life decisions such as these. We do not make them lightly.
Now, dear readers, I will jump off of my soap box and put it away for another day. :)