When I was 20, I was asked to be a bridesmaid in my first wedding. My precious friend from high school was getting married and I was so excited to be a part of something so great. I remember everything about their wedding day. Whether it was the songs they danced too, the ceremony, or the washing of each other’s feet, I could have exploded from the sweetness and love that they had for one another. I just remember thinking that I couldn’t wait until that was me.
Over the next year, I was in 6 more weddings. I danced and sang and caught countless bouquets. Weddings are a natural environment for me. Fast forward to today, I have been in 11, and each one holds a special place in my heart. I love celebrating my friends and walking with them on such an important day.
As a result, I started to hear a lot of “bridesmaid” jokes. If I had a dollar for every time I have been asked if I’ve seen 27 Dresses, I could pay for half of the dresses I’m storing in my parent’s closet.
Somewhere in the midst of that first batch of weddings, I started to feel a pain. It wasn’t physical and it wasn’t my wallet (although, guys, weddings are expensive). But there was a pain that started to develop in my heart.
At first I didn’t notice it. I was enjoying the fact that I was celebrating friends, but, eventually I started to get anxious. “What about me?” “Did I miss something?” “Was something wrong with me?” “Did God forget me?” “I thought I was doing all of the right things.”
I went from praying for my husband to not trying too hard to not being too desperate to date. I was trying to figure out this equation that everyone told me was necessary if I wanted to meet “the one”.
When “the one” didn’t come in my timeline, I became mad. Bitter. Jealous. My heart was wounded at the thought and sight of all things marriage. My identity suffered because of this.
I was so busy telling God what He should offer me that I missed out on what He was already offering me.
I told God that I would be satisfied with Him only when He would give me the desires of my heart, which completely blinded me to seeing that He needed to be the desire of my heart.
In John 6:35, Jesus is talking to a crowd and refers to Himself as the bread of life. “Whoever comes to Him will not hunger or thirst.” My hungers were never going to be satisfied because I was looking to the wrong thing to be fed. I had idolized this idea of marriage and nothing seemed to satisfy that hunger. I was hungering for what I thought God had for me instead of God alone. My love for Him quickly became conditional in certain seasons.
This went on for almost 6 years. Some seasons I was healthier than others, but I had become addicted to my desire and I wrestled with the idea that God was holding out on me. I had to reckon with the idea of not get married. Can I still serve and love a God who does not have that plan for my life? If not, is He still good?
Today I can confidently say the answer to that is YES. Do I want to get married some day? Of course. Do I truly believe like God has missed me, forgotten me, or failed me in some way? No. I believe that God is at work in my life, with or without a husband. With or without that perfect wedding day. I am complete in Christ, not in man.