Always a guest, never a bride (Guest post)

Thursday, February 11th, 2010 at 8:50 pm

I asked my sister to write a guest post for Love Month because I think her perspective as a single woman is valuable. At first, Anna shied away from the prospect, thinking that she had little to share that I wouldn’t have already shared–but I think you’ll agree that her story adds greatly to this month’s topic.

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It seems like I’ve been attending weddings all my life. It all began with my mother’s siblings. Many of my friends attended their first wedding as a teenager, but I can remember 10 different wedding that I attended before age 16. As a child, weddings were a time to see cousins and eat cake. I was happy to celebrate and occasionally had a role to play: flower girl, punch server, gift receiver. During my teenage years I spent some time dreaming of what my own wedding would be like, who my bridesmaids would be, what colors and songs I would choose. But that wedding never came about. Many of my high school and college friends are married, and half of my Physician Assistant class got married during the time we were in school. Still, there is no relationship for me. Am I destined to be single for the rest of my life? Always a guest, never a bride?

Two weddings stand out to me. The first was that of a close high school friend. She had been dating for several years, but when I heard of the engagement, bitterness filled my heart. I remember driving home from a card party, sobbing, desperately praying the words of a song that “just happened” to be playing.

“All of You is more than enough for all of me
For every thirst and every need
You satisfy me with Your love
And all I have in You is more than enough.” Enough by Chris Tomlin

I didn’t believe at that point that God was all I need. I was envious of my sister in Christ, bitter that “life was passing me by.” Absurd, I know. I was only 19!

The second wedding has not yet occurred. It is that of my brother and his fiancée this summer. Here I am, 26 without a man in sight, ecstatic that my little brother is getting married. When I heard the news, I screamed with joy. I actually woke up one roommate and thoroughly scared the other one with all the racket! There was no thought of myself in that moment, no sorrow that I would be attending another wedding as a single woman. What a difference in my attitude!

Paul admonishes the church to “rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” (Romans 12:15) While this includes outward actions, most of rejoicing with people has to do with the heart. My ability to rejoice with my friends in their marriage depends directly on my trust that God IS all I need.

Contentment in singleness while attending weddings is difficult. I don’t like RSVPing for one, being pushed to the front for the bouquet toss, not having a dance partner. I do wish to be married one day! But if that was my focus, life would be miserable. I could waste time searching for that “perfect someone”, but I would miss out on the purpose God has for me today.

A turning point for me was reading Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye? by Carolyn McCulley. Carolyn encourages women to regard singleness as a gift from God and to find purpose in fulfilling a unique role in the church. I encourage each person, male or female, single or married, to read this book. If it doesn’t apply to you, it will help you in relationship with the single women you know.

Is contentment in singleness easy? No, it is a constant struggle. I doubt I will ever be completely content with my singleness. I am not promised I will ever be married in this life. But I do know one thing. There is coming a day when I will be dressed in white awaiting my Bridegroom. “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” Revelation 19:6-7

Always a guest, one day a Bride!

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Reader Comments (5):

  1. JA Menter 3 says:

    Good thoughts, Anna. I am reminded again of my poems, (and I’m going to saound like a broken record) but also I started writing a story trying to mirror the Love Story of the Cross. Some know this story as the Marcellus story I have told on a few occasions. I started it around Valentine’s day two years ago as I too struggled with that. This is when what I know about bride prices came together in my head with the Greatest Price Ever Paid. The last line still makes my adrenaline flow, “Be watching for Him. One day, He will come back for you.”

  2. Debbie Brunk says:

    I thought this was very interesting! Singleness should definitely be a celebrated time in life! Although I do not have any regrets, I am looking at my life and thinking, I really did not have much time to explore and travel and have the freedom that comes with singleness. Because I had a crush on Dan from the time I was nine, I almost feel like I completely missed out on this gift. The area where I have noticed this the most is in the area of travel.It’s slightly pathetic, but when we went on family vacations I could not enjoy them completely because I could not help missing Dan a little. As our relationship progressed, this intensified. I have “itchie feet” and I always have, but now it becomes a lot more difficult to pack up and leave. There are two work and school schedules to arrange, two people’s expenses and two people’s desires. Suddenly where/when/how and even why gets twice as difficult to figure out. I would have liked to look into studying abroad, but decided I wouldn’t be able to without Dan. I would get too homesick. As I look into my plans for the future, I see myself finishing school, working to help Dan get through school, children…and then my freedom to travel and do what I want WILL be gone to a certain degree. So, my point in all of this rambling is: use the time as a single person to explore what you want to do and what God has for you in this time of your life; it might be the only time you will be able to do it.

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