Beating the Bridal Blues…

One of my best friends got married last week! Woo-hoo!

One of my last close friends who is no longer single! Woo-hoo! (sarcasm)

In all seriousness, I am so mega happy for her. God brought her a better man than either of us could have imagined growing up; even better than the guy we saw in 9th grade on the Stetson Cowboy Hat advertisement. She was one of my friends who growing up was very selective (picky) about who she would date and it totally paid off.

While in my happiness for her, though, I did have a few moments of sadness that my own dreams of finding the man of my dreams has not yet come to be. I am not proud of those moments but they are real and I think everyone has them, no matter what your age is. We live in a very marriage-minded culture, ESPECIALLY as Christians in the south! Wow. I have truly felt at times that people view me as less of a person because I am not married. I quip back that if I have already met the man I am supposed to have married, then I am not impressed. Truth yes, but a defensive reaction nonetheless. Believe it or not, the people that ask me this are mostly Christian which is weird to me – aren’t they the ones preaching that you need to wait for the man God has for you yet pressuring you the most to be married?

When I say I am not married yet, I get the occasional “aw, it’s okay” (well it wasn’t but now that I have a STRANGER’s BLESSING, it MUST be so!) or also “oh but you’re so pretty!” (because THAT’s what successful marriages are based on…attraction!) There have been some prospects that I wondered maybe if they were the one at the time but in retrospect I am SO glad that didn’t work out.

The Bible has so much to say about marriage and how God has designed that to be a part of our experience here on earth. Proverbs 18:22 says, “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord” and Proverbs 31:10 said “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.” But there is a whole lot of scripture about other things, too. Here’s my point: you are MORE than who you are married to. You are MORE than who you date. You are MORE than the man you’re with. God has more for you than simply being so-and-so’s wife. I don’t think God created anyone for just one purpose their whole life. Maybe that will be a chapter of your life, but there is more to your story.

And no matter how great that future guy is, you need to always put God first – the Bible is CLEAR about that. “In everything you do put God first and He will direct you and crown your efforts with success” (Proverbs 3:6). It doesn’t say “in everything you do put God first – except when it comes to your future husband, then he becomes the center.” Nope.

Here’s the thing: there is nothing wrong with knowing you have found the one, at whatever age. Some people do get married at age 18 and live happily ever after. Some people get married at 40 and do the same. Your happiness cannot be organized as mine was when I was younger: Graduate college at 22, married at 24, kids at 28, happy forever, yay! Hahaha…if ONLY it was this easy. The problem with doing this is when life doesn’t work out the way you want, you feel defeated and like a failure. Frustration happens when expectations clash with reality. You need to manage your expectations; by all means have goals you want to work toward; think about qualities of your future husband that are important to you; dream about the future. But don’t let them become so rigid that you forget to enjoy and appreciate your life as it happens!

God’s plan for the person next to you is different than yours. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “ ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord; ‘plans to prosper and not harm you; plans to give you a hope and a future.’ ”Sometimes I focus so hard on the things I don’t have, that I forget to remember what I do have. You know what? I have had a pretty stinkin’ cool life. A lot of the memories and experiences I have wouldn’t or may not have happened if I got married young. I got to have a full college education and experience; I got to live in England for two years; I got to live in LA and pursue acting and meet some amazing people and work on shows I myself was a fan of; I got/get to travel all over the United States and meet people, and sing, and make albums about what God is doing in my life. How COOL is that? It’s my story….and I’m sticking to what God has written and I am so grateful for it.

#journaljourney: This week, write down 10 good things in your life every day. Simple. If you’re having trouble thinking of things, think broadly such as “I am thankful for not waking up with a cold this morning” or “I am thankful that I have a mom that will drive me to school” – maybe things you haven’t thought of before. Try to make them different every day. At the end of a week, re-read all these things. You WILL have 70 – AT LEAST – things in your life that you are thankful for. When you read them all at once, you won’t be able to help but see how much God cares for you in how He has blessed you. Stop and pray thanks for another week of your life that is filled with blessings!

Scripture: Hebrews 12:28, Ephesians 1:16, 1 Thessalonians 5:18

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