I Get it Now

1:00 AM

I still remember it so vividly. I was twenty, and I was sitting with a group of girls who were in their late teens and early twenties. They were struggling with singleness, wondering when Mr. Right would show up. They sounded so desperate, trying to figure out how to get guys to notice in a godly way.

Inwardly, I was laughing.

I might have been only twenty, but I knew that it wasn’t likely that any of them would marry right out high school. I knew that most girls don’t marry before twenty-five. I wasn’t ready to get married myself I always said that I wouldn’t even consider getting married until I was twenty-five. I had too much to do, and too much of life to figure out. However, I was not without compassion for these girls. Their whole focus was on becoming wives and mommies, something they couldn’t do without a guy. I tried to tell them (though I don’t think I did it well) that God created us for a purpose. That purpose didn’t start when I guy came along.

A few years ago, when I was about twenty-four, I got into an online discussion about how hard Valentine’s Day was. Grateful they couldn’t see me, I rolled my eyes. I then, in more compassionate words then I felt, talked about focusing on the good works God has set before us. We could live courageously because we know that God has a wonderful plan for our lives. I didn’t add that I thought these were being a bit dramatic and focusing on the wrong things.

Well, If you don’t remember my age, I’m twenty-seven, almost twenty-eight. My twenty-fifth year is almost three years behind me. In January, I came face to face with some things that until then I had dismissed as being far in the future.

• The ‘what if you don’t get married?’ question was always dismissed so quickly for years. At twenty-seven, approaching twenty-eight, it is harder to dismiss.

• My family won’t stay the same. My siblings will get married, my parents won’t always be around, and everyone continues to grow up.

• The ache to have a family has become very real and strong at times.

I get it now

All those times girls came to me, and I either gave little help or wasn’t as compassionate as I should have been, I’m sorry. I just didn’t get it. I just didn’t understand, but now I do. I’ve felt the ache that watching your close friends marry and start families while your left hand and womb remain empty. In the last three months, I’ve cried those tears of the pain singleness that I had only watched others shed before. I’ve handed a toddler back to their mother, and my arms have physically ached for the emptiness for a child to fill them. I get it now.

Yet, in the midst of my understanding, I also know that I have been reminded of these truths:

• God hasn’t changed. Just because I’m experiencing a new ache, doesn’t mean he has stopped holding the future.

• Jesus sees all my tears, and He is there for me in the midst of my pain. He has wonderful plans for me, even if they aren’t what I hope for.

• It is normal to want and even ache for a family of our own. God built that desire into us. There will be times when that ache is strong. It is okay to feel it, to cry, and even to seek friends to help us stay strong. We should never comprise God’s standards or our own to seek a solution to dull that ache (look at Sarah’s story in the Bible. My namesake went around getting a kid the wrong way).

This is my Valentine’s Day message to each of you:

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 NIV

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  1. I really liked this post! I've actually been both of you ;) I have always assumed I wouldn't marry till I was older, too, because of wanting to do so many things. And because I'm just weird ;p So I was shocked to find myself in a relationship at 20. But something changed, too... before that relationship I had never been completely sure... and there were times I desired to marry younger, to not be so weird. Being in a relationship was interesting... I learned a lot. I learned I was even more lonely at times, during times when I couldn't completely understand the guy, or when we felt distant. Yet... I still liked him a lot to continue bridging that distance. Until it ended, suddenly. This last year I've been learning new lessons, hard ones that were daily, even minute by minute struggles. It's taken a year to get where I am now... but this is the first Valentines day I have ever felt completely content, satisfied, at Peace with where God has me. And that includes the Valentine's day I was in a relationship, excited to see the guy I was getting to know. It's weird... but we don't have to have another person complete us, make us not lonely. It is hard... it takes a lot of work, but God has plans for us and we can be content in that knowledge with time. I'm sure my struggles aren't over, I'm just thankful for the peace I have today :)

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful, beautiful post!


  2. Thank you for this post! My parents always remark on how young my few friends who are already getting married are. But the fact is my parents were married before either of them were 25 and my grandparents were married at 18. So I have to be careful not to expect something from God on my timetable ... or at all. And as crazy as it is, I hear people say over and over again how it was after they surrendered that dream to God that they found contentment in their singleness and soon after got in a relationship with their future spouse. God really does know best and sometimes I think all He's waiting on is us ... for total trust. After all, our relationship with Him should always be first, and that's something I still struggle with! :)