|Photo by Elissa Ewald|
Twenty six years. Twenty six years I waited for my love. To say it was easy would be a bold faced lie. To say it was always enjoyable would also be an untruth. But to say it was worth it would be an understatement.
Growing up, I admired many couples from afar. My parents are a couple who fight rarely and love each other. In church I had many mentors who modeled for me the example of Christ-centered marriages that were founded upon the Rock. As a self-proclaimed girly girl through and through, I loved Disney movies, romantic comedies, and heart-wrenching dramas that involved a fight for a love worth having. I imagined what it would be like to be swept off my feet by a prince who would come for me in my darkest hour, ready to save me and make me his for the rest of my days.
In high school, I made a commitment to the Lord to not date, knowing that most likely any relationship begun at that point would most likely not lead to marriage. When I graduated and went off to school at the University of Georgia, I was sure that would be the place where I met "the one." All through college and in my early twenties, I had a series of what I like to call "pseudo-relationships" and unrequited crushes. As my time at UGA came to a close, I found myself still dateless. I watched as friend after friend found their better half and began a covenant of marriage. And still I waited.
In August 2010, I moved to Mexico, not knowing a soul. It was here that I truly began to understand what I believed, as I was completely on my own in a foreign place with not a friend in sight. There were many valleys in which I came to know that Jesus would be the only constant in my life and my first love. I prayed like I had never prayed before and saturated myself in His word. During this time, I began to pray earnestly for my future husband, whoever he might be and wherever he was. I prayed that the Lord would guide him and lead him. I prayed that he would know the goodness of His love and that his heart would be prepared for mine.
There were many seasons of profound loneliness while I was single. While my heart was always to rejoice with my friends, waiting and continuing to wonder when my turn was coming got old quick. "Have you ever seen the movie 27 Dresses? You're just like Jane!" Yes, I know. Always the bridesmaid and never the bride. I cannot tell you how many times people have asked me if I've seen that movie and then likened my life to Jane's. When I returned to the States from Mexico, I attended a gajillion weddings and was in three weddings in just one year. I've been a bridesmaid six times. So yes, I've seen the movie 27 Dresses, and yes, I know I'm just like Jane. Thank you.
I had a running joke with friends that I was going to join eHarmony if I wasn't married by twenty five. I figured it was worth a shot and I couldn't say I hadn't tried it all. Little did I know what would happen when I did...