I thought about writing this for some time; in fact, I've spoken the words below to several of my single friends...I feel like I'm the poster child for the girl who thought that unless she "settled" she was going to stay husband-less for forever. Because I refused to settle, I just assumed I'd be the eternal bachelorette.
I LOVE Beyonce. Love! Love! Love! Her song, Single Ladies, came out right at the perfect time for me. I was single (and when I say single I simply mean un-married, not sans a boyfriend. Lord know I had plenty of those-good and bad! Ha!) and living in a world of where it seemed as if EVERYONE was in love and getting married. EVERYONE, except me. I spent the summer of 2007 (the song came out in 08, I think?) attending 13 weddings and even have my own real life 27 Dresses experience one Saturday- running back and forth between two wedding of two dear friends. Seriously friends, this was my life. As much as I wish I could say I loved that time of my life, I didn't always enjoy it. It was hard sometimes. Really hard. It was hard seeing everyone get married and wondering if I would ever have that experience that all of my friends were having. It was scary thinking that maybe I was just supposed to spend the rest of my life "alone." Had he been hit by a truck and I never got to meet him? Maybe. Was I supposed to go live in the African bush and love on orphaned babies for the rest of my life? Maybe. I didn't know; but what I did know was this: I had a huge desire in my heart to be a wife and a mom and I questioned God on several occasions as to why I was 25+ and still finding the "wrong" guys. It's hard being single in your late 20's (especially when living in the South) when you have a desire to be a wife and a mom, or a husband and a dad.
But friends, it's worth the wait and looking back now, I understand and am SO thankful for my single days. I learned so much about myself and life in general, had amazing experiences and met some fabulous people. Being single really is a blessing; one I wish I had realized earlier on in my twenties. Below is a list of my personal favorites and blessings from my "single lady" days.
Note: I didn't meet my fiance until 2 months before I turned 28.
1) Went to Africa and loved on orphans and teachers. I thought maybe this is what God wanted me to do with my life and while I'm so blessed with the experience, the Lord showed me that this little prissy girl is not cut out to live in the African bush. Regardless, this experience was AMAZING and left me forever changed and I never would've gone had I not be searching for what the Lord's plan was for my single girl life.
2) Traveled. A lot. I have SO many wonderful memories of spending my 25th birthday in Vegas, 2 weeks in FL with some dear friends, weekend road trips, mission trips to Jamaica/Haiti, cruise vacays, etc. There's a big ol' world our there, and exploring it is SO fun and was SO fun during my pre-Michael days. Don't get me wrong; It's amazing now experiencing it WITH him, but the memories of my single girls travel days are priceless :)
3) Learning how to take care of myself with typical man jobs. I can change light bulbs, paint a room, take out the trash, check the oil in my car, weed a garden, put together a piece of furniture, etc. All of which I guarantee you I would never have taken the time to learn had I been married in my early twenties.
4) Buying a house. Alone. With no financial help from anyone. Talk about feeling like Miss I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T :) With that comes decorating a house any way you want. Pink and green guest room? Yes, please :) Love my fun little bachelorette pad!
5) Having several years of working "real" jobs with "real" salaries. M and I will be in pretty decent financial shape when we get married and it's all due to the fact that we are getting married 2 months before we turn 30. Had we met and gotten married younger (when I was so desperately wanting to be a wife), we'd definitely not be in as good of shape as we are going to be. I will hopefully be able to stay home when we have babies, and that's all thanks to working big girl and big boy jobs with real salaries for several years before getting married and having kids.
6) Enjoying life sans kiddos. Don't get me wrong, we LOVE kids; M and I want kids, several in fact, and we will probably have them within a year or two of getting married. But, we also know that kids change everything; how our time will be spent, our money, our vacations, etc. And I know good and well, had I been married and already had kids, I wouldn't have gone and done half of the things I've done and that we will do pre-kids in our marriage.
8) Having a deeper and greater relationship with God. Sometimes, the greatest times of growth with God (at least with me) are when you are questioning him. It's through my long prayers and constant asking the Lord what his purpose for my life was, that he truly showed himself to me in many ways. It was also during this time that the Lord really showed me all of the benefits of being single which led to me to really LOVE life and embrace and enjoy my singleness in the year leading up to mine and M's meeting.
So single ladies (and fellas), if that desire is in your heart, the Lord WILL bless it; your perfect mate will show up when you least expect it and it will truly happen at the perfect time:) Don't settle. Don't ever feel like you need to settle. ENJOY life, travel, have fun, do things only single people can do, and have faith that God has it all planned out perfectly for you because, he does. He totally does.
The Bride to Be :)