TRUTH #1- YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE
The day I graduated from college should have felt like the most accomplished day of my life. It did not. In fact, I felt more like a failure. Although I held a shiny diploma affirming that I now held my B.A. degree…I had blundered in my attempts to earn the coveted “MRS.” degree.
Yes. I had flunked out of the classic, conservative American dream: Fall in love ( I had actually done that several times but in order for that to work out, the other person has to love you back), get married the week after graduation, and settle down with my husband to support his career/start my own/ begin producing beautiful offspring.
I was actually embarrassed to return home both ringless and manless.
Though I was able to laugh it off, inwardly, I was crushed by the well meaning comments of family and friends such as, “So, when are you going to get a boyfriend?” or “When are you going to introduce us to a special someone?”
Outside I am chuckling. Inside I am a raging storm. “You think I don’t WANT a boyfriend?!…You think I would choose this?!”
I began constantly comparing myself to those girls who had successfully managed to double-major in school and in love. What did they have that I didn’t? What magical quality did they possess which enabled them to woo the man of their dreams?
I tried to mimic their style, their posture, their cute, little laughs. Maybe the secret was in their hair?!?!?….
Worst of all, I started to believe the lie that something must be horribly wrong with me. I would carefully examine myself in the mirror, certain that I must bear some unsightly feature that would repel all eligible young men from pursuing me.
If this is you, STOP. You will find your answer only when you put down the mirror and pick up the Word, the ONLY place where you can find an accurate reflection of yourself.
There, in God’s own words, you will discover that you are beautiful, and that you are adored, and that you were created with a very specific purpose in mind. That God-given purpose, just like your face, doesn’t look like anyone else’s.
In her book, “The List,” author and motivational speaker Marian Jordan explains that women tend to create “lists” for their lives, detailing when and where they will reach certain critical milestones of womanhood. Ex., “Marriage, age 21, First child, age 25…” When we fail to achieve these goals within our allotted timeframes, we feel like failures.
This is not how God sees us. When we cling to our own life lists, (like I was doing), we fail to remember that GOD is the Author of our story, and that He is not limited by cultural and social norms, or the narrowness of our perspective. He sees the WHOLE PICTURE, and He knows just what we need, and WHEN we need it.
Looking back, if I had accomplished all of the points on my self-written agenda within my own time frame, I would missed out on SO many amazing adventures…and literally may have ruined my life. If my husband and I had met each other even a few months earlier than we did, I am not certain that the outcome would have been the same.
Just because His “list” for your life doesn’t include marriage before age 25, 30, 40…whenever…doesn’t mean you that have failed, or that His plans for you are any better or any worse than anyone else’s.
It simply means that God’s plans for your life are BIGGER than the ones you that have laid for yourself.
Take courage single woman of God…
There is nothing wrong with you.
God is not panicked that you are still single, and He is not disappointed in you.
The time of life in which you meet your soulmate does not make you any more or any less of a woman.
You can stop comparing yourself to other people! You are not other people. You are you!
God has never felt the pressure to “fit in.” Neither should you.
Some resources for staying strong and navigating the single season with grace:
1) “The List” by Marian Jordan
2) “Single for a Season, or Single for a Reason” by Marian Jordan