Updated: May 5
This post was originally written in the months that followed my engagement in February 2018.
I never thought it would happen to me.
Ever since I was a little girl I knew I wanted to meet a special guy someday and have a real-life fairytale experience. Getting married certainly wasn’t the only goal I had in life, but I would be lying if I tried to act like it wasn’t important to me. In middle school I had my first crush, in high school I had my first heartbreak. By the time I reached college, my view of love was certainly tainted by my previous experiences, but I still wanted to find that special someone.
I entered into college feeling very optimistic. Even though my past experiences with dating hadn’t worked out, surely things were about to change. After all, I was raised in SDA culture where you weren’t “supposed” to date before college anyways. As usual in life, things didn’t go as planned. College proved to be an even more disappointing experience than my earlier dating endeavors. By the time I had reached my senior semester (still very single) I felt depressed, defeated...and disappointed.
Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest became a toxic trap. With every relationship quote and cute couple photograph I felt more and more discouraged. I started micro-analyzing my life. Maybe if I was prettier guys would notice me. If I was smarter, more outgoing, more fun, more adventurous, had a better relationship with my family, had more financial stability, was less head strong, etc. then perhaps the right guy would finally come along. I felt desperate and hopeless. I would trudge to class knowing there was more to life than dating but not truly believing it. I prayed, I wrote in my journal, I focused on my hobbies and deep love for teaching. Yet with every engagement post and wedding photo from a friend I found myself spending night after night in lonely tears of frustration. My happiness for them was clouded by my bitterness. Surely God had destined me to be single. Marriage just wasn’t in the cards for my life. I was sure it was infinitely hopeless.
As I posted my engagement photos a few nights ago, I spent a good amount of time thinking about every lonely girl out there who is currently feeling what I felt. I wondered how many girls might be feeling pain in response to my joy. Contrary to popular opinion, even the most independent and put together people can struggle with feeling unlovable. I wish I could go back and tell myself it would all work out in God’s timing, and save myself a very considerable amount of grief, but obviously we all live and learn on our own terms.
I can’t go back in time and I certainly can’t tell any of you how to act or feel. Every person’s personal journey is different. But I do want to reach out to my friends, family, and readers and let you know that I’ve been there too. I haven’t forgotten the loneliness even though I am now deliriously happy. I haven’t blocked out how sure I was that I would never reach this point. Even when I was dating Braxton there was a lingering fear that we wouldn’t make it. Through it all though, I’ve learned such priceless lessons. I’ve learned that God is truly 100% in control. I know that is probably one of the most cliche things I could ever say, but it is just such a reality for me in this moment. God knows how you are feeling and even though you might be feeling hopeless and impatient for your special moment, He has not forgotten about you. One of the hardest things a Christian can deal with is the fact that days, months, or years and years of "waiting" is only an instant to God.
To every single girl out there, I know you are enough. You are smart and lovely and there is someone out there for you. I’m praying for all my single friends and I am looking forward to the time when I’ll be scrolling through my newsfeed seeing your happy announcement. It will be so worth it. Enjoy the journey.
Read more here.
Regardless of where you are at in your spiritual or relationship journey, there is something for you in the pages of the Bible. I also want to quickly recommend a corresponding book that my husband and I have been going through together on the topic of romance and God. It is called, "Single, Dating, Engaged, Married" and I will post the link to purchase it here.