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My life is the epitome of the old saying “Always the bridesmaid and never the bride.”
I was in my first wedding when I was 9-years-old. At that time, I was so excited. I was eager to get into that special dress that the bride had picked out just for me and walk down the aisle with every eye on me. My next experience in the wedding world started at 21-years-old. From then on I’ve averaged what seems like one wedding per year.
And I’ve noticed something. With each wedding I’m asked to be a part of, the experience gets less and less exciting. Now don’t get me wrong. I am truly honored to be asked to be a part of a friend’s special day. Being asked to stand beside them and support them as they make one of the most important decisions of their life is not lost in my eyes. The hard part comes with getting older. I’m now 33-years-old and still come home to a cat that at best tolerates me.
Like many women, I’m sure, that have walked this same path, I’ve spent many moments of my life praying and asking God what the hold up is. Like Diana Ross sang, “You can’t hurry love. You just have to wait.” But I feel like I’ve done my fair share of waiting. While others younger than me are finding happiness and moving forward with their lives, I feel stuck wondering if I’ll ever get to experience what all of us are looking for: love and companionship.
The world doesn’t make this wait any easier.
Lyrics from a song that’s on the top 10 chart in pop radio tells us “You ain’t nobody ‘til you got somebody” send a terrifying and negative message to those who are single. I feel like screaming at this artist saying, “How dare you! You know how hard this world can treat young girls, and you’re right there supporting it–telling them they are no one of matter unless they have a boyfriend! You’re sick!”
But isn’t that exactly the message we get from everywhere? Married friends are eager to fix us up with anyone considered male and breathing because we must be broken being alone and with no one. TV ads for dating websites keep telling us not to spend the holidays alone; they can help us find meaning.
The truth is, that type of thinking is so dangerous.
In my 33 years, I’ve seen many girls I’ve called friends desperate to meet someone… ANYONE! What they are looking for is acceptance and a sense of belonging. With this need inside, they meet some guy who gives them attention, and they think this is their answer to prayer. They believe the lie that what they are waiting for doesn’t exist. Before they know it, these girls find themselves in destructive relationships that lead to unexpected pregnancies and/or abuse.
I don’t know about you but that’s not what I’ve dreamed of as my fairy tale ending.
I’ve had a lot of time to think about my situation. One thing that God has recently brought to my attention is my wrong way of thinking. By wrong way of thinking I mean I start to believe exactly what this world wants me to.
Thoughts start to pop in my head; things like:
“Something must be wrong with me.”
“I’m not good enough.”
“I’m not pretty enough.”
“I must be a bad Christian since God doesn’t see fit to place anyone in my life.”
This type of thinking QUICKLY takes me down a negative road full of anger, bitterness, resentment, and self pity. It’s not a fun place to stay and take a break. Trust me.
Instead, God is telling me I’ve got to change my way of thinking.
Immediately when one of these negative thoughts pops into my head, I need to stop it right in its tracks. 2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us just this:
We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.
Instead I’m to think on the positive. I’m to keep my thoughts on Christ and His ultimate control of all things. Philippians 4:8 says:
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Like I said, this type of action is new to me so it’ll take some time for me to get it down, but I’m determined to coat my mind in truth: the truth that there is nothing wrong with me. Instead, I’m perfect in God’s eyes. He is all knowing. He’s got a plan for my life, and though I may not see it from where I’m at now, I stand in faith believing it is the best for me. It’s like looking out of an airplane window. While on the ground, we can only see so much, but once we’re above the clouds, we can see so much more! That’s exactly how our sight of a situation is compared to Christ’s.
On those days when I get on social media and see where another 20 something year old got engaged or is having a baby and I start to feel myself taking a turn for that well worn negative road, I’ll know I need to stop and remind myself who I am in Christ.
I’ll admit it, I need daily confirmation that I’m important to Christ. I will unapologetically be that girl that’s needy – needing God to show me in His own special way that I’m always in His thoughts.
And it’s ok to be that way.
God wants us to daily lean on Him for all things. Living in a broken world that tells us God does not exist, and that we are waiting in hope for nothing can leave one feeling hopeless. I need God every moment of every day to stay faithful believing He is all He says He is.
I won’t always have the right way of thinking down. I’ll have my days that are harder than others.
But I hope to stay true to what I believe – that God sees me and knows my heart. No matter if I meet someone or not, I know true happiness and joy can only come from Him and not from another human being. Happiness, joy, and fulfillment can be found now!
My life isn’t stuck, it’s just waiting for me to get a grip and get moving toward God’s plan and not mine.