When You’re Not The One Getting Married

I’m a Christian.

Christians get married. Young.

Younger than I am now.

Lately, everyone seems to be getting engaged, married, in the baby-making phase of life.

And I’m over here lucky if I remember to eat dinner.

One of my biggest shames has been my dating life, speckled with commitment-phobia and just ongoing cases of dating the wrong guy. I have often said that this is where I am most like the world.

I’ve known sexting and drunken dials to boys who broke my heart. I have looked the least like Jesus when I’ve dated.

And two years ago, I told God I was done. I surrendered my dating life. I told God that I wanted the right guy to ask me out. We were done with dating for the sake of dating.

Of course, I failed immediately. There was online dating, which was dumb. Such a joy-thief. And then of course, there was the one who got away. The one I told earnestly how deeply I cared for him and he responded with a “God’s not telling me to pursue you” to which I responded with indignation. Surely, he was wrong. But I lost the argument and two years later, I still wish the conversation had gone differently. I still wish he wanted me.

So I surrendered my dating life to God but wrestled Him for control.

This wasn’t about kissing dating goodbye. Surrendering my dating life had everything to do with the condition of my heart while I was dating.

Somehow, God got through to me. I laid down idols I didn’t even know I had. I sobbed in groups over fears of marriage and commitment. And God fought for my heart. He fought for the desire in my heart to know and be known by someone who would honor every messy part of me. Everything in me grace is working to change and grow.

And it’s beautiful, friends. The girl who told her parents at 19 that marriage wouldn’t be a part of her story now desires a God-honoring commitment to another person.

But….it’s hard. The waiting is hard. Each day that goes by, I think that maybe it won’t happen. Maybe 19-year-old me was right. And those social media posts of all the engagements, marriages and baby announcements start to feel like the devil tempting discontentment. Some days, I don’t want to be joyful for the one that has a different story than me.

Maybe I won’t get married. Maybe that wasn’t the point of this two year journey. Some days, it aches in me that possible truth. But the beautiful thing is that more days are coming that I’m not so discontent. That’s just Jesus, embracing me into the woman I’m meant to be.

Tender hearts

When I started blogging 3 years ago, I didn’t know what direction I wanted to go in. All I knew was that I had a lot to say. I had left an tough, emotionally draining environment that was riddled with alcoholism and volatility.

I didn’t know much about God either. Honestly, I didn’t think God was capable of much. I didn’t think he could heal my family, let alone my stepfather.

Bottom line: I didn’t think much of God.

But I was obedient in spite of my doubts. I chose to walk away from my family and follow Christ. And it has been an exhausting three years. It’s been gut-wrenching, walking through counseling and mentors, battling demons I didn’t even know I had.

It got ugly but I began to see more of who God is and what He does. I saw the way that He destroys things in order to restore them to what they were meant to be.

A few weeks ago, I agreed to go see my family for a few days. There had been so much brokenness in the last 3 years that I wasn’t sure what I would see when I got there.

My stepdad was sober. He had been since I left. I saw someone who God pursued, someone who made choices to take care of himself. I saw a man who reminded me to trust God when all I felt was fear.

It was redemption. Not the kind where everything was perfect and easy. It was redemption that was fought and paid for on the cross. Messy and full of unsaid apologies.

We’re trying now, to have a relationship. I notice differences in how my stepdad talks to me that shows he’s changed. He’s growing too, just like I am.

Some days, I still don’t think much of God. I think He doesn’t care or notice all the things that I carry heavy on my heart. But somehow, I’m still growing up. He loves me a lot more than I love Him.

And for that, I’m grateful.