I got married at 19. Everybody called me crazy, naive, and unexperienced. ALL TRUE. However, It felt like nobody acknowledged that I was old enough to make my own decisions. Granted, marriage is a huge decision. We live in a world where marriage is becoming a rarity and something more and more difficult to keep together. This is something I took seriously (as i should). So, as a faithful LDS woman, I turned to the Lord for help. When praying many times for an answer to the question “Should I marry Chris?” I never received a firm answer. My prayers weren’t answered in the way I traditionally heard of… I wasn’t reading in my scriptures one day and found a verse that told me what I was supposed to do. I didn’t hear it in a conference talk. In fact I didn’t even get some overwhelming feeling of peace or comfort. I even listened quietly after I prayed by my bedside hoping to hear what my life was meant to be like. I mean I was only 19! In today’s society I was supposed to be living the college life, going to parties and on a study abroad. What I heard from onlookers of my situation went something like this… Janie is crazy, anyone mormon who gets married that young is just wanting to have sex right?… She’s got her whole life to be married why doesn’t she wait a couple years?… Or she doesn’t even know him that well I hope they stay together. Luckily, I knew that I didn’t need to listen to those who really didn’t know anything about my relationship with Chris. Chris as my family can attest has made me a better person spiritually and given me more maturity. I didn’t want Chris to be the one I skipped over because I was too young and not ready.
My answer came from my Grandma Marcia Egan, the person I look up to most. My grandmother helped me realize that heavenly father recognizes strength and a will to do good in every single one of his children. When asking her what she thought about me getting married she responded with such poise that I wondered if the Lord had let her know I was in need of some help. Her reply: “Well Janie, you have to consider a couple things while deciding to get married… 1. Does he love God? 2. Does he plan for the future and want a family? 3. Does he work hard? and 4. Are you attracted to him?” It was put so simply for me that it felt like a NO BRAINER (what my dad would say). I knew that Chris would give me a marriage that would be solidified in the Temple, that our relationship could continue to grow with the help of the Lord through trials and good times, and that we could raise children as a sealed family. YES, Chris loves his Heavenly Father. I also had the surety that Chris and I would be equal partners in our family and that we could pave the path for future together. YES, Chris wants to have a family and share our burdens and triumphs in life. Chris is one of the most determined and dedicated people I know. Chris does his best in every aspect of his life. YES, Chris works hard and will his whole life. Chris is also pretty cute and charming. YES, Chris is DANG attractive. After this discussion with my 92 year old grandma I realized that Heavenly Father left the decision up to me. I didn’t need to wait for a sign nor did I need to pray until it felt completely perfect. My answer from God was “I trust you Janie and I will support and bless you in whatever you decide.” So I took a leap of faith and married Chris who is now my eternal companion. We’ve barely been married three months (you could say we’re seasoned pros). I am happy to say that I am loving being a wife and am excited to be a mother (NOT ANYTIME SOON) and that I have made covenants with the Lord that will strengthen me and my family. No there haven’t been tremendously hard times yet, but I know there will be and I am blessed to have Chris by my side to lighten the load. Who is to say one person may be more ready than another to get married? Honestly, we are all just kids who grew up too fast.