How does the saying go? “Twice a bridesmaid, never a bride.” Maybe “three times.” I hope so. Seeing as I have been the maid of honor in two weddings this past year, I better hope no more of my friends get married any time soon. Otherwise I’m definitely in trouble.
To all you single people out there, I’m just warning you — it’s coming (if it has not already hit you full force!) Well-meaning parents and grandparents will ask, “So… when are you going to settle down and get married?” My usual answer to that is, “Well, if you know an available guy, I’m all for arranged marriages.” That usually stops people dead in their tracks, and a fast subject change is sure to follow. But soon enough, well-meaning friends and even people I’ve just met for the first time will smile sweetly and say, “So, are you dating anyone yet?” I guarantee it will happen to you too. Being single, you answer their question with a simple, “No, not right now.” Cue the awkward moment. Here they were getting all ready to listen to you rave about your current love interest, and you’ve brought the conversation to a complete halt. Suddenly today’s weather is a much more appealing topic. But actually, I love trying to explain to people that I am happily single, and perfectly content. I wasn’t always that way, though.
Sometime after the age of 18, suddenly you go from being a whole person to being half of a blind date just waiting to be set up. Suddenly your best friend knows “this guy who is the son of her ex-boss’ brother-in-law’s friend” and he would be “just perfect” for you! While you’re still trying to figure out the tangle of just how your friend knows this guy, your friends want to know if you think this guy has long-term potential. Right. You haven’t even met the guy! God forbid you are a whole person without a significant other or even (gasp!) enjoying being single.
I did the whole “Woe is me — I’m alone in this world” state for quite a while. About four years to be exact. I was convinced God had forgotten about me. I was also convinced that my life would not truly begin until I had a husband. I watched all my friends have dates all the way through high school, while I hardly ever did. Come to think of it, I had a date to homecoming one year. That was about it. I pasted a fake smile across my face as friend after friend called with the news, “I’m engaged!” Don’t get me wrong — I truly was happy for them! But the pity party I dreaded would hit me later. And I finally hit proverbial rock bottom when I found out that yet another one of my “possibilities” did not “like me like that.” But the good thing about rock bottom is, there is nothing to do but yell at God and yell for God. And yell I did. “That’s it! I can’t do this anymore! God, DO SOMETHING!” I had decided that this was finally the moment God was going to remember me. I thought He would smile benevolently at me and bring my perfect Prince Charming riding up on a white horse, and I would join this man, riding off into the sunset towards a life of perfect bliss. Well, you know the saying, “If you want to make God laugh, just tell Him your plans”? It’s true.
Even after all that yelling, nothing changed for me. Still no Prince Charming. This definitely was not working out how I had planned. But very slowly, God started chipping away at my heart. He turned my heart away from what I did not have (a husband) to what I did have (God, and His plan for my life). Horror of horrors, I started to appreciate being single. I had time to take a full load of classes at school and work full time. I had time to play with my band. I could sit with my friends at Starbucks until two in the morning and not worry about being home with a husband. I could pour myself into my friends and minister to them. I could return from Blockbuster with an armload of chick flicks instead of Terminator 3. In March, I am going to Scotland for the third time to work with local churches. I am writing songs preparing to record an independent solo CD. I am learning more about who God is, and who He wants me to be. I realized that my life will not begin when I get married. My life has already begun!
God has so many plans for me by myself, opportunities that I could not take if I were married. It took me a while to get it, but God has finally taught me to wait well. I still fail sometimes and try to run ahead of God saying, “Come on! Where’s my husband? I want to be married!” It is not always fun to sit at home on Friday nights by myself. But I don’t want to run ahead of God. He has His plans for me that he wants to accomplish before He brings a man alongside me. I don’t want to get married and have regrets about God-given opportunities I missed while I was single. Once I’m married — that’s it. I am married for life. So why not enjoy this time of being single? Plus, I have complete power over the remote control!
[Lynn Renee is currently enjoying her singleness, counting down the days until she can finally go back to Scotland. In the meantime, she can probably be found at Starbucks with her journal and a soy latte.]
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