The first time I witnessed a kissing couple at a wedding, I scrunched up my nose and vowed, “Ew, I’m never getting married.”
I was five.
The first time I caught the bouquet at a wedding, I didn’t get why the ladies around me were so annoyed by a girl getting flowers (or why their dates were so relieved).
I was eight.
The first time I doodled “Cheryl loves ?” in my notebook, I was twelve. Many romantic sunsets later, I still doodle the same question. I’ve come to terms with the fact that if you catch a bouquet at a wedding, it’s not likely you will be the next bride. Also, I’ve prayed that my five-year old declaration, “I’m never getting married,” is not prophetic.
Instead of getting married, I write love stories for books and movies. Instead of walking down the aisle of a church in a white dress, I walk down the aisle of books at the store (in jeans), choosing a romance novel through which to live vicariously.
But at least I found out the real reason I’m in my mid-thirties and still single. (I’ve been given this privileged gem of information because the world likes to offer its unsolicited diagnosis.) Did you hear I’m still single because God hasn’t finished preparing me yet? Yes, in all these years, I haven’t managed to become mature enough for marriage. Apparently, there’s something wrong with me that God needs to fix. So it seems.
If you are anything like me, your self-esteem has been battered by the question, “Why aren’t you married yet?” It hurts—whether you ask or someone else does. It’s hard to remain in this “not chosen” state and not have our self-worth take hits. We have to fight the belief that we are somehow defective because we’re not married yet. In truth, our marital status is not an indicator of our worth or lovability, even though it feels like it is. Have you been where I am? I’m here to tell you:
There is nothing wrong with you!
Again, I repeat:
There is nothing wrong with you!
Keep reading that phrase until you believe me. Sometimes, I need to hear it too. We all face similar insecurities when we’ve been single much longer than we ever wanted to be. We’re often unsatisfied with our weight, our hair color, our thighs, our wrinkles, our body fat percentage. We blame superficial attributes for why—on that new apartment application or that high school reunion survey—we still have to check the box that says “single.”
If you think your marital status has anything to do with your worth as a woman, you don’t see yourself the way God the Father sees you. Let God heal you of this, or you will always feel “less than”—less than the beautiful girl at work who seems to turn the head of the guy you like, less than supermodels who’ve been airbrushed to perfection on magazine covers.
I encourage you to learn who you are in Christ. Study Psalms 139, a beautiful chapter about how God formed us exactly right. Have you ever stopped to think about how your destiny is tied to who you were crafted to be—by the God of the universe Himself?
Quite honestly, if guys reject us for superficial reasons, why would we want to spend the rest of our lives with them? Instead, let’s trust God to bring us real men who are submitted enough to ask, “God, who is my wife? Who should I invite to share my life with me?” Don’t we want men who will obey God when it comes to this all-important question, men who will listen to God’s voice, men who will care about the attributes God desires for them?
Just think: There is a man out there who needs you to step into the door of his life with confidence and be who you are. (He’s waiting for you too!)
I encourage you to actively choose to trust God with this area of your life. Trust Him with the pen to write your love story. He’s the only Writer who can be trusted to scribe the right character traits, jot down the perfect introduction, the best story twists and turns to bring the two of you together. God is also the only Director who can cast the right man for the role.
Trust that if you are still waiting, it most likely means it’s simply not time yet. Meanwhile, as you wait, ask God to show you who you are in Him.
Cheryl McKay is the award-winning screenwriter for the film The Ultimate Gift and the co-author of the novel, Never the Bride (WaterBrook Press, 2009), in which she penned the story about her adventures as a single woman. Cheryl is originally from Boston and currently lives in Los Angeles. For more information about Never the Bride, visit www.randomhouse.com/waterbrook.
Photo credit: David Edmonson