I married on April 12, 2014, for the first time, at the age of 46. This is also my husband’s first marriage, and we both were beginning to wonder if it was ever going to happen for us. It wasn’t my choice to be single for that long. Each passing year watching my girlfriends find “Mr. Right,” get married and start families, just seemed to make the ache of loneliness grow even deeper. I couldn’t understand why I had such a deep desire for marriage if God was never going to fulfill it. I learned a lot in those years. A lot about God’s faithfulness, my strength, His character, and my faith. Honestly, I could have married a couple of times. I was engaged in my early 20’s and made the very difficult decision to break off the engagement. I knew it wasn’t a solid relationship and doubtful that it would stand the test of time. Most of my friends and family didn’t understand my decision, but I knew God was telling me “no.” It was a very lonely time for me. After that relationship, I dated several other wonderful guys over the years. Guys who would make great husbands. But in time, we or I realized they just weren’t going to be the “right” husbands for me. Most people did not understand. I was called “picky”......A LOT! Haha!
I used to hate that word....picky. Now I’m SO glad I was picky. And I don’t necessarily think it’s that I was picky. Because I covered my dating relationships in prayer and asked God for guidance every step of the way, I listened when He told me what to look for. So many times when I was dating a great guy, I wanted God to give me a “green light” to keep going, but eventually I knew He was saying “stop.” Time after time I watched those great guys get married after they dated me. I wanted to get mad at God sometimes, and I did get frustrated, but I just kept trusting Him and kept waiting...
Many wonderful things happened as I waited during those years. I developed a very strong relationship with the Lord. I learned to really depend on Him. If you never go through trying times, you don’t have a reason to lean on the Lord and depend on His strength and grace to see you through. He also expanded my world more. He helped me to stretch myself to become more involved with things I may not have done if I would have married early. Because of that, I have so many deep, rich and long-lasting friendships and wonderful memories made during those years.
If I have to share some advice with you single girls (and guys!) who may be reading this, it would be a few things. First of all, constantly cover your dating life in prayer. Ask for God’s guidance and then follow it! If the Holy Spirit is telling you something isn’t right, it’s not the right guy/girl, the right time, whatever...listen to Him. Even if your mom, dad, or best friend tells you to marry the person, if you are feeling uneasy for any reason at all...don’t ignore those feelings. Secondly, don’t limit where you will meet your mate. I met mine on ChristianMingle.com. Online dating isn’t for everyone, but I will tell you that I know MANY successful couples who have met online and who have been married for years. I don’t recommend one particular dating site over another, but the couples I know are from ChristianMingle and Eharmony. Lastly, don’t be unequally yoked. Don’t date someone thinking you can turn him into a Christian. Be his friend, witness to him, but don’t date him. Also...ask God to help you to make the most of your single years. Ask Him to open doors to opportunities where you can get involved in things you will love, that will be fulfilling to you, and where you will maybe make a difference in someone else’s life.
Then when it is time...and not everyone is supposed to get married in their 20’s like so many people think...God will bring him/her along. Keep your heart and mind open for the one GOD has for you. It actually took me a few years to realize Scott was supposed to be more than my best guy friend. ;) Scott is PERFECT for me in every way, and God could not have picked a better spouse for me! I’m so glad I waited!! You will be, too!
Missy Moore Carnelli
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