by Dani Catherine
A wedding dress. Flowers. Cake. An alter. Registries. The honeymoon.
Nope, not engaged, nor am I planning my future wedding. I’m a 28-year-old girl with tons of soon-to-be wed gal pals. Almost all of my friends are married, engaged or in a serious relationship. And I won’t lie, it can be really tough being the only single girl in the group. At a recent gathering for a friend’s engagement celebration, I really was THE ONLY single girl. The waiter asked who to give my dinner bill to; not the question you want to be asked after recently going through a pretty tough breakup. I sunk down in my chair, feeling beat down prior to this awkward question, and thought to myself “God, why am I here? I feel so alone.”
Don’t get me wrong, I am so happy for all my friends who are in love and on “cloud 9”. I celebrate with them. I cry with them. I scream joyfully with them as they show me their rings and when I get to throw their bachelorette parties (#partyrock)…but I get discouraged sometimes. “When will it be my turn to feel what they feel?”
It takes a lot of effort to be joyful in this single season of life. I have to constantly remind myself that where I am now is exactly where God wants me to be. I have to remind myself that each person’s journey is different. I can sometimes get caught up in comparing myself to others and counting what I am “missing” rather than counting my blessings.
As I am excited and discouraged all at the same time, I am reminded of a few things. I am reminded that it’s ok to have a cloud of discouragement come over me at times, it’s only human, but I can’t let it rule me or define me. I am also reminded that a relationship is an emotional connection. A relationship isn’t limited to just a boyfriend or a husband, it’s with your family, your friends, your coworkers. A relationship doesn’t have to only be with someone who takes you on romantic dates and buys you chocolate and gives you random “thinking of you, babe” cards. It’s merely an emotional connection. And that, I do not lack.
Living in a culture where marriage is pressed upon the twenty-something’s, it is easy to have tunnel vision and solely focus on finding “the one.” But what about the other relationships you have? Are they not just as important? Are you focusing so much on finding “the one” that you are forgetting about the relationships you have built with others while you’ve been in “waiting”? Cultivating relationships with others is so fruitful. It can bring out the best and worst in you, and man, that’s what relationships are all about.
So, as I pick out the shoes I will be wearing to the 10th wedding of the year, and getting amped up to attend this wedding solo and dance like a maniac, I remain grateful for the relationships I get to rejoice in.
Whether you are single, married, engaged- I hope you rejoice in the relationships you do have. Embrace the moments, embrace the relationships. Don’t miss out on those relationships just because you are too focused on what you are missing rather than what you have.
Dani Catherine works at GFC as the Ministry Assistant to the Beautiful Ministry. Dani loves to do makeup, scream her head off at hockey games, drink tea, paint, snap photos and spend time with her dog Jeter!