Today is Valentine's Day. I heart Valentine's Day.
But there was a time when i didn't. I was single for a LONG time. And when i say single, i mean SINGLE. I didn't date, i didn't kiss, i barely even flirted.
This is kind of my history with Valentine's Day:
This is kind of my history with Valentine's Day:
2.14.88 - almost 10 years old - Valentine's Day still consisted of exchanging cards with classmates.
2.14.97 - almost 19 years old - My first "real" valentine's day with Brad.
Brad & Melissa - 1997
1998 - 2007 - almost 20 - almost 29 - No boyfriend, no date, no flowers, no cards, NOTHING!
That's a long time, people! Especially in your twenties when all your peers are falling in love & getting married - or at the very least, in a relationship!
2.14.2008 - almost 30 - I am not sure if this belongs in the single or not category, but i'm going to go with NOT. Our love story was just beginning. If you have not read it, click on the tab above! But Brad called me after all those years apart. We went on three dates in December 2007, but it became clear that we were more different than we ever were & that we were going in 2 totally different directions in life (or so we thought!). But he emailed me in January & we continued to correspond through emails, agreeing not to see each other because something special was taking place in our hearts through these letters. By February 14th, i was sure he was the one! That morning i found a card & a cute stuffed red valentine's monkey on my car waiting for me! However, we still did not get together in person until two days later.
Brad & Melissa - 2008
So, my last true "single awareness day" was in 2007. And by that time, i was miserable & upset, pretty certain that God had forgotten all about me & that i would die an old maid.
That sounds dramatic. I was content single until about age 25. In fact, the beauty of singleness was kind of my soapbox. But somewhere around 26, it got hard. My friends were all married AND having babies. Thankfully i had Aimie, my roomie at the time, who found her special someone right around the time Brad came back into my life. She was married a month before i was. She is the only other person i know who truly understood what i was going through!
On Valentine's Day & everyday, i am thankful that the Lord brought me my husband. But I also think of my single friends, who are exactly where i was not so long ago (& i think of you all the time...not just on the 14th!). I am not saying that everyone in their twenties & thirties who is single is unhappy! I believe you can find total contentment in the single life. All i'm saying is, there ARE people who are struggling with this...they have confided in me...& i think of them today. Some of them are my age...some of them are older...and i fully believe that God has someone for them, too. This is my letter to them.
I understand what you are going through, more than you know.
I know what it's like to have wonderful friends & family, but not that one person that you were made to share life with. I know what that feels like. Whether you are in your twenties, thirties, or forties, i can understand. I am married now, and so thankful to get to share the rest of my life with Brad. But you know what? My main thanks is that i WAITED for God to write my love story.
When i was young, maybe 13 or 14, i made a commitment to WAIT for the right person God had for me. I wasn't going to date unless it was someone i thought i could marry. I had a list of the qualities i wanted in someone & i would not settle for less. Of course, everyone is human & this isn't a list of Mr. PERFECT. But there were things i wanted in a man...some were mandatory & some were optional, but i wrote them all down. I prayed for my husband. I couldn't wait until the day God brought us together.
I used to say this: "TRUE LOVE WAITS.... i just didn't know God would make me wait SO LONG!" & that is the truth! I had committed to waiting for the person God created just for me. But i didn't know i would still be waiting for him at 26, 27 & 28 years old! People asking "so when are you getting married?" did not help my situation.
I remember being very upset with God when Brad came back into my life. I was certain Brad wasn't the one & I felt like a dog that God was dangling a treat in front of. He knew i ACHED for my husband, so He allows my first love back into my life - only for us to discover that we were more different than ever before!
You know that i was wrong about that...Brad was & is the soulmate that i longed for. The one i get to spend my life with. The one i have vowed to cherish for better or for worse, in sickness & in health, till death do us part. I am SO THANKFUL FOR HIM. What i didn't know in my twenties was that waiting for the right one is SO WORTH IT! I mean, i suspected it would be...& i figured that in retrospect, i would see God's timing in everything...but i had no idea that would be true beyond my wildest dreams. Even if God had waited until i was 60 to bring Brad into my life - it still would have been a love worth waiting for!
My advice to you - LOVE & CHERISH those God HAS put in your life. Spend time with your friends - guys & girls. Understand that the only reason you are single is because it is not time for your love story to begin yet - not because something is wrong with you! Spend your single years becoming "Mrs. Right" for some lucky guy in your future. And pray for your future husband.
I know that some are called to a lifetime of singleness, but i think those people know who they are & are content with that. If you long for a soulmate, then i believe God is writing your love story already... you just don't know it! Believe that & know that no matter when it happens - right now Jesus is your Valentine. He loves you more than any human ever could! And He knows what is best.
I love you!