…Or in my case, “always the bridesmaid, always the wedding photographer, or always the guest book attendant.” I have had my fair share of varying roles in my friends’ weddings, but none of those compare to the one role I really want in a wedding.
The constant Facebook relationship changes, the texts with ring pictures, the save the dates and wedding invitations, bridal showers and bachelorette events; these all serve as constant reminders to me of the one thing in life that I long for more than anything in this world that I don’t have – a boyfriend/fiancé/husband.
Don’t get me wrong though, when my friends are getting married, I am incredibly happy for them. I know that they too have longed for this day in their lives to come and are overwhelmed with thankfulness and gratitude for what the Lord has given them. I am honored that they have chosen me to be a part of their special day in whatever capacity I am serving in, but there’s always a little part of me that says, “Lord, when will I be next?”
It always amazes me how happy I can be for my friends, but how sad I can become for myself, thinking that my day will never come.
I catch myself having thoughts that I am ashamed of – “God, they aren’t nearly as obedient to you as I am, why does she get to marry before me?” ”God, she isn’t even a believer, why have you given her such a wonderful husband and now a child?” ”God, she’s always said she never wanted to get married or have children, so why did you give them to her and not to me?” ”God, are you even hearing my prayers for a husband and family? Are you ignoring me? What am I doing wrong?”
I have always prided myself on being the best friend I can be to those God places into my path. I do whatever I can for them, whenever they need it, and honestly, I would lay down my life for them. So when I have these thoughts about their marriages and happiness, it makes me feel awful. Do I not love my friends as much as I should? Why am I so angry that they are getting married before me? Can they tell I feel this way without me saying anything? Am I hiding my feelings well enough so that they won’t know the emotional turmoil this is causing me? Am I less of a Christian and friend because I’m feeling this way?
But at the end of the day, it’s not about my friends. It’s not about the people they are marrying. It’s not their level of obedience to Christ or if they even believe in Him. It’s not about all the good deeds and serving they do or don’t do in ministry. It’s not about whether they’ve planned their entire lives for their wedding or if they never wanted to marry at all.
It’s about me, and trusting God with an unknown (to me) future.
For most of my life, I have held onto the promise of Jeremiah 29:11; “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” When I look back on the 26 years I’ve been on this Earth, I see God’s promise working vibrantly in my life and journey with Him.
But of course, I sometimes find myself thinking, “Ok, God, is a husband and family not part of your promise to me? You’ve fulfilled everything else, why not this?” Granted, God never promises us a spouse anywhere in scripture. We just assume that as we grow older, that we will meet that person God has in mind for us, get married, have children, and live happily ever after. What He does promise us though is to give us hope and a future, whatever that holds.
Confession: I am a control-freak. I admit it and I own it. In certain areas of my life, it serves as a strength that allows me to move forward personally and professionally. But when it comes to my struggles with singleness and marriage, it’s a weakness that breaks my heart daily. I can’t control when/if my spouse comes into my life. I can’t control the timeline of when I’m going to get married, have children, etc. I can’t “make” my dream come to fruition.
That’s all God. He sees the bigger picture. My human side hates that. My spiritual side knows that I have to put it in God’s hands and trust Him. I struggle daily with the fears that God has abandoned me in this area of my life – feeling that He is punishing me for some sin I’ve committed along the way. My brain knows that isn’t true, but I can see how Satan uses those lies to keep my heart in constant turmoil about this area of my life and uses all those things I mentioned above to remind me of what I don’t have.
So what can I do? I can’t make my husband magically appear. I can’t make God speed up the process. I can’t hope and pray that God will get so tired of hearing my prayers for a husband that He’ll just give in and give it to me. What I can do though, is trust. Trust that He is faithful, sovereign, loving and has the best in mind for me. I can hold fast to the promises in scripture and believe that He does have a wonderful future in mind for me, whatever that may hold. I can “trust in Him and not lean on my own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5-6). I can choose to focus on all the many blessings God has given me and how He has provided for me.
I can choose to hold onto truth and not onto my feelings and emotions. I can continue to prepare myself to be a wife and mother one day, while also becoming the best person I can be as a single woman.
None of these things are “cures” though and boy, how I wish there was one! I know I will continue to struggle with wondering why I have to wait. I’ll continue to question why I’m “stuck” in this stage of life. Some days I’ll thoroughly enjoy the freedom that singleness brings me and other days, my singleness will feel like a prison I can’t escape from.
But if I continue to trust in Him, I know that my heart will find contentment and purpose in what God does have in store for my future as I move forward, spouse or no spouse…
This article was written by my amazing intern, Brittany Hall. She runs the social media behind-the-scenes here at TrueLoveDates.com, and I’m so grateful for her commitment to God and her dedication to this ministry!! If this article encouraged you, leave her some love in the comment section below.
Want to learn how to pursue relationships in FAITH rather than in FEAR? Check out my program, 21 Days to Jump Start Your Love Life by clicking the photo below!!
Do you feel like God is calling you to pray for your future love-life? Then you’ll love this 21 Days to Pray for Your Love Life Devotional Journal!