"What's another year compared to a lifetime of marriage!" I don't remember where or exactly when I heard it but this statement has helped shape part of my view on relationships and marriage.
My mum was married at 18, then my brother at 19 and finally my younger sister at 20. I remember my mum saying that I didn't have to feel pressured into marrying young but who knows? Living in a small country town/city, I placed that expectation on myself. I had it all planned at 13. I'd be married at 18, kids at 22 and so on. Well I'm a few months off 27 and still no guy haha.
Growing up my parents had the view that dating/courtship was the pre-qual to marriage so we weren't allowed to date till 18 as we would have finished school and old enough to make our own decisions. Well, I turned 18 and I had a crush on a guy. Tall, dark hair, handsome AND he loved God. Our friendship grew then we had the DTR (determine the relationship) chat. I never wanted to make a mistake when it came to guys so I said let's still be close friends and see what happens. Well a few weeks later it fizzled out. The biggest thing I learnt was that I opened my heart too soon. I imagined myself with him forever. And my heart broke when it didn't happen. It was a 5 year heart healing journey. In that time I've learnt to rely on God for so much, trusting His promises are true.
Now I'm a youth pastor and have lots of young people watching me. How I conduct my life and relationships. It's a bit weird but an honour.
“By faith, barren Sarah was able to become pregnant, old woman as she was at the time, because she believed the One who made a promise would do what He said." Hebrews 11:11 MSG
I love this verse. I have a promise from God that one day I'll be married. But I've come to the realisation that even if I don't I'll still love and serve God no matter what. When I put my life into perspective what's another year, serving God, sharing His love and seeing people's lives restore and made whole, compared to a lifetime of marriage. I still have a full life. I might be single in marital status but not in life!
WHAT WOULD I TELL MY 16 YEAR OLD SELF?
You are about to enter a journey of ups and downs. Don't be afraid because God has called you. Don't stop travelling because God has equipped you. Keep on trusting God. Keep on declaring God's truth. Keep on keeping on.