Why it’s still worth saving sex during engagement.

This is a guest post by Stephanie Calis, the author of Invited: The Ultimate Catholic Wedding Planner (Pauline, 2016) and the Co-Founder and Editor in Chief of Spoken Bride, a ministry and lifestyle blog for Catholic brides and newlyweds.

Something is up with me. Whenever I consciously make a choice in my work, my relationships, or my parenting that’s out of the mainstream, I want to hide it. I avoid talking about it.

Yet a part of me also wants others to find out, so I can talk about it. What is it that makes me a living, breathing contradiction?

To stand for something, to let your voice be heard and in doing so, to reveal who you are, satisfies the part of us that longs to be known, seen, and understood. Name a political or social matter, and you’ll most likely find a contingent speaking out against it.

And rightly so. Freedom is a gift; our voices are a gift, and the desire to make our opinions known is rooted in a good desire that speaks to how we’re created. Yet going against general opinion means something different than it did a generation ago. What was once considered progressive is now perceived as normal, and what was once considered traditional is now perceived as uptight and reactionary, particularly with regard to sexuality.

The miracle.

Sunday I sat silently while the priest read the gospel — John 11:1-45, which I’ve heard a million times. Lazarus dies, Jesus cries, and then, the miracle. But something sticks out now that never had before.

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Jesus had received a message from his friends Mary and Martha. Their brother, Lazarus, was sick.

And Jesus didn’t show up.

He waited two days before he left for Judaea. In the meantime, Lazarus died. His sisters’ souls hurt. And what Jesus said about it to the disciples rocked me.

The funeral.

In a chapel at a Catholic parish on a Friday, I knelt at my seat a few feet in front of the altar, during adoration. I wanted to pray, but got distracted by a casket.

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Through the chapel’s glass wall, I saw a set of pallbearers in dress blues carry it into the commons.

I looked away and tried to pray, again. But I couldn’t, because an inexplicable urge had overcome me — the urge to attend the funeral.

I want to tell you what happened last week.

I am a journalist. Spent about a decade working for the Tampa Bay Times before I quit and moved to Virginia, where I freelance write full-time for Virginia’s largest paper.

Last week, I pursued four or five stories. Conducted interviews. Took pictures. Didn’t sleep enough.

Business as usual.

But multiple times in a few days, the subjects of stories I’d planned to write asked a question that grinds my gears: “Can I read what you write before it prints?”

HECK no.