your three closest friends from high school are getting married within a few months of each other this year.
Your last relationship ended over a year ago and the recent prospects haven’t been quite what you had in mind...
You have no relationships on the horizon, and feel this tension between wanting to get married ASAP while at the same time feeling like you couldn’t even imagine mentally/physically preparing to get married at a time like this in your life…
But what really gets you… I see it most… When you hop on the internet and spend a bit too much time reading those love posts you see your friends sharing with the world on social media… yep… A few paragraph story of how your friends boyfriend made her day can send you either overcome with feelings of loneliness OR fighting back annoyance with someone who you really care about, a relationship you actually support and hope works out.
And you’re conflicted.
You’re happy for these people, I mean I can tell you’re really excited for them…
But at the same time…
You wonder if it’s really real. Like if this is really how all of those people truly feel… “perfectly in love”… Or are they posting those images, stories, status’, to convince themselves that it is real, that it is actually happening…
… As if it is all just too good to be true?
And sometimes you get scared.
You’re trying to get to sleep, but you have memories floating around in your mind, you start to dwell on the past, the moments where you just weren’t being pursued when you really wanted to be, or when you really wanted him to be the one but he just wasn’t, and it was too good to be true.
And now you’re sitting there. Wondering if it will ever happen for you. Because it seems like it’s supposed to have by now… Either you should have a serious relationship actually going somewhere, be engaged, or married already.
And the posts… They just keep popping up… And they aren’t just people you know from a distance. They’re people you’ve known your whole life… Some of your best friends who you dreamed about for years what it will be like when we’re finally all getting married… And they are… But you’re not.
“But I’m still SO young!!” you think to yourself, “my time will come!!! It will come… won’t it??!!”
And when I see you in this confusion, mixed up in all your emotions, getting too tied up in what was or what could be… All I really want to do is shake you and tell you what you really need to hear.
STOP being insecure.
STOP comparing your life to other lives around you.
STOP feeling less than everyone else who has someone they call their own.
STOP thinking that it could never happen for you.
It’s this dilemma that women your age go through, and dare I say, those that are especially in the Christian communities that you find yourself in.
Youth group has become the place to meet your future spouse, and when you look around the room and see all your friends dating each other you wonder how you got left out of the mix, and why weren’t you picked out of the lot.
You go to college and every guy you have coffee with is a potential spouse, the room is buzzing if you show up to a worship night holding hands with someone and then when you don’t work out there’s the stares, the looks and comments of…
“I’m so sorry…
I never imagined you guys breaking up…
Maybe God will bring you back together….
It’s just a season…singleness...”
I know you get tired of this. I know it has probably stunted a lot of relationships that could have been but instead were abandoned because of too much pressure, too much questioning, indecision, and fear of pain.
You’ve been taught to hold on to relationships lightly until you know they're the one while at the same time make the decision of whether or not you could marry him before you begin to date….
And. It. Just. Gets. Confusing.
And now you find yourself totally free, nothing on the horizon, where you’ve sometimes wanted to be when you weren’t, but you end up feeling less than a lot of girls who have rings on their fingers, and a date picked out and are even, dare I say, expecting.
But, I want to put the ball back in your court and remind you that you have say in the matter.
You have choices to make.
You have thoughts that you need to get under control.
Because just like a guy who struggles with lust fights to remain pure in his mind and heart, you too need to fight for your own purity and fix your eyes on the only one who will ever satisfy the ache that you try and shove away, the deep desires for love, romance, and intimacy that surface in frequent waves.
Your choice to celebrate the love in other’s lives will work out a thankfulness within yourself that will only grow, deepen, and flourish once it is your time to settle down, get married, and begin a family with your future husband.
If you dare to dream, do so hopefully, without fears plaguing possibilities and potentials, the thought that you might have to endure another broken heart before getting to the altar. Stop challenging God, and questioning Him as to why He hasn’t come through on your fixed expectations but instead take in all that He has done for you, the journey He’s taking you on, and the timing that He has over your life that is in line with His heart, His plans. Surrender to them instead of fighting against, and know that purpose is written all over your present.
Your heart is a funny, fickle mess. The bible actually calls it deceived, and when we’re meant to steward it we actually end up giving it over prematurely, into the wrong hands, letting the wrong shepherd lead that which was always meant to be saved, protected, and sought after until the day it joins and becomes one with someone else’s. But until then, give it back over to its Creator, to the King that holds all things dear, the Protector, the one who will keep it safe and pure and will know when to let it go, even when you don’t.
Yes, I know you’ve been hurt so don’t be surprised that when he finally does come along you’ll still want to hide it away... Thinking you’re opening yourself up but really everything has become shielded and shaded by the fog that has been cast over by your past experiences... The moments of vulnerability and pain that have clouded your idea of what loving someone and being loved really means, and really is.
In this time, just keep giving yourself back to Jesus. Convince yourself, preach to your heart, that he (whoever he might be, that future someone...) really isn't the one you’ll be in love with for eternity…
Did you get that??!
Even your friends who are married, engaged, or seriously in love won’t have their mate forever like they might feel, or even think they do. It too, is a season, hopefully lifelong and never separated in the flesh once they say I do, but in heaven they’ll look upon one another with the upmost fondness, only simply as brother and sister... Eternally bonded by their shared Father forever.
Now does that even the playing field, or what?
Our eternal prize is really being the bride to the one who saved us, the one who conquered even death, the one that’s preparing a place for us that He actually left to go to that we might be welcomed by His warm embrace when our time comes to pass from this age to the next. He is fondly waiting our arrival, I believe counting down the days for a union much like the one we long for with a spouse, except much more powerful, and much more permanent.
This is where your hope shall lie, this is a promise that has already been made, a covenant true and withstanding, a love that covers a multitude of sins and brought our very Savior to a very tragic cross to be with us, to be with you, taking you as you are, and asking that you would trust Him.
And oh, what a romantic He is.