Real Life Love Stories: Chapter 1- Singleness


AYNGELEA

In high school I was in several short-term relationships, and when I wasn’t in one I was always longing to be with someone. I had dreamt up this perfect movie romance in my head, only to be brought back to reality when my boyfriends at the time would forget to hold open the door or something else equally silly. I want that to be a joke, but it’s really not. *yikes*

I decided to forget that dream and decided to settle instead. As a result I ended up finding someone who made me feel “less than” and like I was always the problem. Yes, I was a Christian and I knew God wanted more for me but I didn’t really care and I didn’t want to embrace singleness. I just wanted to belong to someone.

I allowed myself to forget one ultimate, life-changing truth: I DO BELONG TO SOMEONE!!! I belonged to God. I want to tell you that I recognized that truth and then found the man God intended for me, but that’s just not the case for me. In fact, I had no amazing moment of “embracing my singleness” or “handing it over to God.” Instead, and I fully believe this with all of my heart, God knew how stubborn I was (He created me, of course He knew) and He knew I wouldn’t stop trying to find someone to belong to. So what did God do? He showed me my worth. He sent me my now-husband to help me realize that I belonged to Him. God sent me Michael to show me that I was worth more than what I was allowing myself to experience. He used Michael as a vessel to show me my worth, and oh how I am so thankful that He did! I will never be able to express my adoration for God for sending me Michael at 16 years of age. So what’s my advice to you in your season of singleness? Know your worth and know that you belong to God.

REBEKAH

23 years of Waiting

It was another lonely Valentine’s night, another year full of walking down the aisle only to hear someone else say “I do,” another year of endless relationship status updates, none of which had my name attached to them.

I was on year 23 of being single and I was so over it!

I struggled to understand why God had not sent me my husband, struggled to combat the constant feelings of prideful self righteousness, for didn’t I deserve a Godly man. Struggled to trust in God’s timing. Struggled to not roll my eyes at all the singleness advice invading my ears at every turn. You know the ones...

You’re still young, you got time- well thank you for reminding me of the ticking time bomb that is my single state.

Or you watch, once you’re content being single, your man will show up out of nowhere- I want to make this very clear, there was never one moment in my entire singleness season I was ever content with being single. Content with God? Yes! Content with being alone? Never!

And lastly the Don’t you know, you’re worth waiting for- this one always made me feel like an unripened fruit not good enough to be picked.

It was in the midst of all my struggling and all the unwanted advice God spoke a truth in me that changed everything.

Daughter, you are worth the wait, but he is too!

In all my pining and whining I had forgotten my husband was a person with a story too. In all my heartache I had forgotten God’s intentions for my life were good and more than I could ever ask or think. Whoever God had for me was worth the wait.

And Patrick was so worth waiting for!

All of my firsts belong to my husband. He was my first relationship, my first boyfriend, my first kiss and my first I love you. This is usually where people chime in with a big awwwwww how sweet, and sure it’s cute, but it wasn’t the plan I had in mind. Which is why I am thankful our God knows far better than we, what is best.

Patrick was what was best for me and we weren’t ready for each other at 20, 21, or 22. God was working in our hearts and preparing us for when our stories would collide.

Waiting for him was hard, but I would do it over and over again to be able to call him my husband.

STACIE

As someone who married her high school sweetheart at 21 after 5 ½ years together, I was never really single when most of my friends were navigating husband prospects. So often when I’m about my story of singleness, I feel a little naive or like I don’t have much of a place to talk about it. And, well, as someone who married her high school sweetheart at 21 after 5 ½ years together, that kind of comes with the territory! But as a daughter of God with a story He designed on purpose and with great purpose, I know I can always share how He’s worked in my life, even if the stories make me giggle.

While my “single” years fell throughout elementary school and middle school, I had my fair share of playground boyfriends I’d call on the phone and some junior high romances that meant you sat together at lunch and maybe held hands in the hallway after school. And since we’re on that subject: embarrassingly, I was a bit of a hopeless romantic when it came to those junior high flings. I’m talking I had one of those eighth grade romances I mentioned that lasted exactly one month and seven days (yes, I know - you can laugh), and when it ended, I was truly devastated.

When he broke things off that fateful September 22nd, I had to deal with my new reality.

So of course, as I listened to “Behind These Hazel Eyes” on repeat, I worked through it: Well, I might have to change my future kids’ names now. What would my new last name be? Or could I hold out hope that maybe he’d come back around some time throughout high school and love me again? Who knew. But anyway, I didn’t deal with said new reality very well, and I dramatically stayed a little heartbroken and a lot smitten over him for another solid year and a half. It was at the end of my freshman year in high school that it finally dawned on me: as a 14-year-old, it could happen, but I really didn’t need to worry about finding the perfect husband then, and it didn’t have to be him. Especially since the beginning of my freshman year had been marked by a huge transformation in my Christian walk, this idea became a lot easier to swallow. It was around this same time that, one Sunday, my high school teachers at my church talked to us about praying for our future husband and family, and I committed to doing that with a new perspective. And disclaimer: this won’t always happen, so don’t think I’m promising anything crazy, but by God’s beautiful grace and timing, it was within the next several months of truly surrendering my “singleness” and praying for my future husband (instead of trying to manipulate who it might be) that I would actually start dating mine.

KATIE H.

Never Been Kissed

When I was in 7th grade, the word “square” was a death sentence. If you’d never kissed anyone, you were… a square. Being called out as a square at one of the monthly (and angsty) middle school YMCA dances was a looming threat. Torture!

Thanks to an awkward 8th grade kiss at the mall, the fear of being called out at a YMCA dance no longer threatened to ruin my life, but wow. If I only knew what was to come, I’d have savored the low-level drama for what it was: low-level drama.

Or would I? Looking back, my single years were so very, very short-lived. I was married at 24, and though I felt 100, I was still only 24. I couldn’t even rent a car! What a waste I spent the majority of my single years in complete fear.

I only graduated from the fear of being called a square at a 7th grade dance to the fear of being called a goody-two-shoes in high school to the fear of being called the opposite of a goody-two-shoes in college to the fear of dating someone bad for me to the fear of never finding anyone good for me to the fear of… do you get my point?

Fear defined my single years. Again: what a waste!

Instead of defining my single years by fear, I never realized I had a choice: I could choose freedom over fear. I could choose to embrace my circumstances and enjoy the freedom that come with them…or I could fret over what my future may or may not look like.

Don’t live your single years in fear. I did, and it was a mistake. Even if I didn’t get married at 24, it would still be a mistake. I had the opportunity to embrace the freedom of youth--studying abroad, going on mission trips, road-tripping across the United States with a group of friends--and I missed it. I never studied abroad, I’ve never been on a mission trip, and my road trips now? They are now A LOT of work.

And it’s okay. It’s better than okay because I don’t live in fear anymore. I’m learning my lesson. Embracing my season. And while studying abroad as a college student is an opportunity missed at 22, I can still travel today. I can travel today because I’m not limited by the fear of being called out by someone else.

The fear of being called a name is just as real at 38 as it is at 13. No mom I know wants to be called a bad mother, but what I’m learning is to frame the world through the lens of opportunity. To frame the world through freedom over fear. And so can you.

What could you do differently today if you had nothing to fear? Because through faith, you have nothing but freedom. Enjoy it. No matter your season of life.

KATIE S.

Singleness, what does that word really mean? By definition it means the quality or state of being single or separate from all others.

I was working one summer my Sophomore year of college for a catering company. At one of the events I was speaking with a guest who happened to be a palm reader. I didn’t approach her for that but she grabbed my hand and began telling me my future. Honestly, at first I was entranced. But even as I write this my heart knew it wasn’t right or true. She told me I would never get married and a million other things that are just plain silly. But fear filled my heart.

What if I never found someone? What if I was going to never have children? How in the world would all my dreams come true without this one key component? Was I going to die alone? Even among all this doubt. God had a very special plan. And looking back on it even if...He’s still so good.

Within a year of that conversation, I met my now-husband of over ten years, Trae.

Now, hear me out, when Trae and I met I was only 20, and a year later we were married...my single years were short. I was young but my heart was so relieved the day we said ‘I DO.’ It’s crazy how the enemy can creep in even when you have the solid foundation and evidence to show God’s truth and plan.

From the time I have a cognitive memory all I wanted was to be a wife and a mom.

I tried hard to make sure that would happen...I dated guys and truly wanted to find Mister right. While looking in all the wrong places, God was the MISTER RIGHT. Right in front of my face for all that time. But I would be lying if I said I even recognized His presence. I knew of God, I knew the stories, but there was no relationship or knowledge of the hole He could fill. You know that phrase?? A God-sized hole? Well, I had one.. A BIG one.

Singleness means being separated from all others, but I was never separated and neither are you. Look for His face to fill the hole and run straight to Him. He has a plan and will show you the truth.

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