Never the Bride: Becoming an all too reality for me

Several years ago, I bought a book at Barnes and Noble called Never the Bride. As a hopeless romantic Christian who has never had any real success in the dating realm, this book seemed to call to me. It was the kind of book that you had interest in, but didn’t know what kind of an impact it would make on your life till later. You see, I have always loved reading, and as a teenager (when I bought the book) who’s friends seem to thrive in dating it seemed that I would end up as the friend that was “three times a bridesmaid, never a bride.” So I decided to buy this book because I hoped it would help.

There were so many things about Jessie Stone, the main character, that I could relate to in this book: she wasn’t a fan of people with certain hair color (read the book to see what I mean), loved love, loved chocolate, had a younger sister to look out for, could be a little crazy at time, planned the perfect everything for her life, and really wanted to find love.

As I said before, much like Jessie, I have always loved love. I know that might sound weird, but I have. I even love Valentine’s Day. It could be that my mom and dad have always made it special even when there is never a special guy to be present. But I love love stories, I love watching weddings, and I love helping other people find love. It is just something that is beautiful to witness. Sadly, I have never once been in love. Like real love. Sure, I have had a ton of crushes, but I have never fell in love. Still haven’t. There are days like Jessie Stone that I feel like God has given up on me, but I have to remind myself that the time may not just be right.

That’s not the only connection I have with Jessie. You see throughout the book, Jessie tries to convince God that she has found her perfect guy. That God doesn’t need to keep looking. Jessie knows who is right for her. With each guy she can see it working out. Especially, when it comes to her best guy friend Blake. You see, I have had my share of best guy friends. Still do, and I know that there are days where I look to heaven and say, “God don’t you see how great of a match we would make?” Yet, nothing happens and I don’t know what to think. If I hadn’t read this book I wouldn’t have seen that maybe my best guy friends aren’t the best match for me and that there is someone out there that God has perfectly molded for me.

Jessie Stone goes through a great journey to find love. She had to learn to fall in love with God first before falling in love with her Mr. Right. I believe that’s where we all are at some point in our life. We must first fall for God, before He gives us our Mr. or Mrs. Right. That doesn’t mean that we have to sit back and let God do all the work. No. That’s not what I’m saying, but we need to trust that His will is best. I believe that God will nudge us in the direction we need to go.

Now that I am older, and have reread this book (which is the only book I have ever reread besides the Bible) it speaks more to my situation than ever before. Especially since the last time I read it I was a teenager who really didn’t need to find love anyways. As someone who has been single for the majority of her life I can honestly say there are some tough days. It would be nice to have God come down in human form and actually point to the one I’m supposed to spend the rest of my life with or if He would write on the wall or place in neon lights the name of the man who I’m supposed to marry, but that will never happen. Instead, I’m just going to have to trust in Him and know that He is the best romance novelist there is. It has been my constant reminder that God is in charge of writing our love story, and He does not need our help.  Like Jessie, instead of trying to plan my perfect romantic story, I help my friends with their weddings, engagements, and dates. Thanks to this book that idea of helping others plan their big day has really helped! Sure, I do envy them sometimes I know that my time is coming. It may not be tomorrow, next week, next month, or even next year, but that’s okay! I’m loving my life and living it to the fullest, and besides I’m only 22! I haven’t hit 35, yet like Jessie, but who knows you may see a blog years from now where I have become a single 35 year old still looking for her Mr. Right! (but let’s not hope that lol)

So if you need a good read this summer, go pick this book up! My copy is already starting to wear out with its faded pages and a few coffee stains, but I absolutely love it! Thank you Cheryl McKay and Rene Gutteridge for writing this book! It has truly been a constant reminder that I don’t always have the best love story thought up for myself.

My copy of Never the Bride by Cheryl McKay and Rene Gutteridge

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My copy of Never the Bride by Cheryl McKay and Rene Gutteridge

 

The Cake of Love

Engagements. It feels like when you are in your 20’s, almost every time you log onto Facebook, someone on your timeline is engaged. The “in a relationship” is seems to be the runner-up in statuses that pop up on Facebook among your friends. As a single person it can make you feel like you are doing something wrong with your life, missing out on something great or there may be something wrong with you as a person.

Recently, a friend of mine had just gotten out of a long term relationship. Being the consistent single friend in my group, she asked, “What do single people do?” At first my reaction was, “Really? You’re going to ask me that?” Then I realized that some people think that being single is the worst thing that could happen to a person, or maybe it’s that some have been in relationships for so long that they forget the freedom of being single. Now don’t get me wrong, I look forward to the day when I will meet my Mr. Right, but until then I want to enjoy my singleness. Consider for a bit some of the things singles can enjoy that couples can’t. I’m going to list three that basically encompasses a HUGE chunk of sinlgeness:
1. We can do things spontaneously without having to consider whether a significant other wants to go or if they need to know where we’re at. i.e. the movies, a weekend trip, unplanned hang outs, not making plans, free weekends, etc. I know that some of my girl friends are not able to do this because they have to plan their week out depending on their dates with their boyfriends/fiance.
2. Spending as much money as we want. I understand that you can’t go too crazy, simply because we would be broke! But consider the fact that if you love those fashion shoes in the store, and you can buy them because you don’t have to worry about saving money for a wedding. You can also get the $20 steak if you like! When you are single you have the time to spoil yourself a bit
3. Hanging out with the opposite sex as “just friends”. I have come through many obstacles lately with my guy friends who are in relationships because their girlfriends freak out when we hang out one-on-one. I’m not the type to make a move on a guy and so it hurts when someone who you are close to starts distancing themselves. When you are single you can hang out with other singles without fear of losing them as friends because they are not in relationships.

The list can can go on and on, and sure there are days when you feel like you’re the only one who can’t find someone and this list seems lonely and boring. Trust me I’ve been there. Let me tell you right now God has someone special for you and there is NOTHING wrong with you.

In the Bible, there is a chapter known as the love chapter. It is in 2 Corinthians. Now this chapter is for everyone in any situation single or in a relationship. Today I want to look a few verses from that chapter. One in particular right now is 2 Corinthians 13:7, “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

If you are single and struggling with thinking that the perfect guy/girl doesn’t exist. Just remember he or she DOES! Don’t sell yourself short. Don’t chase after a guy or girl just because everyone else has someone. If you do you will be missing out on a love that “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” There is someone out there for you. Just because you may be ready for them God knows that they may not be ready for you.

That special someone could be going through a rough patch in their life, and God knows that if you were to meet him or her you may not like them. God is the Master Matchmaker and he can cook up the best love that there is.

Let’s look at this two layered cake of love. First you will need the right ingredients. Those ingredients can be found in the love chapter of 2 Corinthians 13:4-13. These two layers are you and your future love. Now you may be ready to go into the oven, but you significant other may not have all the right ingredients yet. They may be looking for love that is patient, kind, etc. Yet, once both of you are ready God will put you in that oven of love. Now it is going to take time to cook. It may be a few months or a few years, but don’t rush the cooking. Time is a precious thing. You don’t want your cake of love to burn. Take this verse for consideration from Song of Solomon 8:4. “I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases.” So take your time!

Once the timer has gone off God will take the two cakes out and make a beautiful two layered cake. He will add frosting, beautiful decorations, and a topper. This whole cake will be beautiful because God has blessed it.

Now this entire analogy may seem weird or different, but just remember that God has a handle on your love story and He knows when the perfect time is going to be for you. All you have to do is allow Him to make your cake.

Psalm 33:18-22

I wrote this a few months ago when I was struggling with being single. I’m sure right now you’re either laughing at me or sympathizing or whatever your reaction is I hope you know that this post is not a pity post. I am actually embracing my singlehood, singleness, whatever you call it. Anyways, as I was saying this comes from a time when I thought all hope was lost. One day I was at work and reading my Bible during prep time. I just prayed that God would help me through that time, and show me that I am where I need to be. You see a lot of my close friends were pairing up and I felt like I was behind in the “school of love”. It was as if I was failing that class, and I hate failing at anything! Well the good Lord knew what chapter and verses He needed me to read at that time, and when I flipped my Bible open it went to Psalm 33:18-22. I think it’s amazing how when you just flip your Bible open without intentionally seeking a book, chapter and verse that it will go to what you need to hear. Anyways this is what I wrote on that day…

Love. It seems to be the one thing everyone in this world craves for. From those seeking love from a mother or father, those seeking love from a significant other, or even seeking love from a friend. Whatever the case may be everyone seems to be on the search for love.

As a single 21 year old woman (now 22, remember it was before my birthday that I wrote this), I am usually asked, “Are you dating anyone?”, “Do you have anyone special in your life?”, “Why don’t you date him?”, etc. I’m sure that I’m not the only one who gets these questions. However, it always makes you feel self conscience, and you ask yourself, “What am I doing wrong?”, “How is it that so-and-so has someone and I don’t?”, etc. Now don’t get me wrong I don’t mind being asked these questions, but I always feel like after answering the usual “No, I am not seeing anyone right now,” that I may be missing out on something wonderful that everyone has had the chance to experience.

In Psalm 33:18-22, it talks about the love of the Lord. How those who fear Him and hold fast to His steadfast love will be delivered from death. Isn’t that romantic? I mean seriously. Look in in your Bible, and read what it says.

Have you read it? No. Seriously, go read it right now! It’s beautiful, trust me.

Now that you’ve read it, it talks about how “Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.” Isn’t that how we want love to be?

It continues on, “For our heart is glad in Him, because we trust in His hold name.” We TRUST! I mean come on ladies, what guy have we not looked to put our trust in? How many guys have we looked to, to be our shield and protector? Before those guys were ever born, our Lord has been there the WHOLE time doing just that!

Lastly it says, “Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.” Again the Lord is steadfast in His love for us. Do you know what steadfast means? (I mean I’m sure you know what it means, but do you know the true meaning?) In the dictionary it defines steadfast as, “very devoted; not changing.” Do you see it now? Our Lord is not ever going to change His love for us. He is very DEVOTED in His love. He is LOYAL to us. The Lord is the Great Romantic. He was the one that created love.

It’s amazing how we go through life searching for love when our Lord has been waiting to give it to us the entire time. He is steadfastly waiting to share His love with you if only you are willing to let him. The image that comes to mind is from the 1989 movie Say Anything. John Cusack’s character standing outside waiting to tell his love how much he loves her. I feel like that is what God is doing, but instead he is waiting for us to open our love letter, and that love letter is the Bible. If only you will open then you will understand how much He loves and cares for you.