I turned 30 a year ago. If you tried to tell me that I would have been 30 and single, I would never have believed you. I knew people who were not married by 30 and I guess I figured that might happen to someone in my group of friends, but I sure as heck did not expect it to be me.
I remember when one of my best friends was getting married, around 24, she said something to make me feel better about the fact that I was STILL single… its funny now to think that I felt so behind the curve then. She said “Don’t worry, my cousin didn’t get married till she was 26!!!!” And after that point I stopped worrying and just assumed that I would find someone by 26. Then 26 came and went.
If you are like me, I’m sure you have considered (or others have made you aware) of the possible disadvantages of being a 30+ bride. But as I grew in contentment with God’s plan for me, my appreciation for this unique situation grew as well! So here we have the top 10 reasons I am glad I was single at 30!
10. I got to travel.
During my twenties I traveled a lot! I continued with my passion for mission trips and to this day I have been able to visit Peru, Greece, Honduras, Haiti, Ukraine, El Salvador & Nicaragua. These experiences have shaped my life in many ways and each trip has taught me something different and shown me how much bigger our world really is! I have also had the chance to take road trips to weddings, bachelorette parties, a cruise, and a countless number of girls beach trips. The memories that we made and the traditions that we started are something I wouldn’t change for anything. Having a sister and best friends with husbands & kids, I see that travel takes much more effort and sacrifice when you aren’t the only person to worry about!
Take advantage of the ease of travel and sign up for that mission trip you just heard about or hop in a car and pile into a condo with your closest friends!
9. I grew in independence.
My twenties brought with it an independence that I hadn’t known. At 25, I bought a house. I was so proud. It was nice to settle down and not feel like I was waiting on someone to come rescue me from temporary apartment living. I mowed my grass, hung curtain rods, built a headboard, painted tons of furniture, and even changed a heating element in my dryer! I had always been a confidant person, but the realization that I could do things on my own, helped me to not fear being single or feel like a damsel in distress. It made me feel good to be able to do things for myself, and I believe it will only deepen my appreciation for when I have someone doing these things for me (or WITH me as it may be ! ).
Step out of you comfort zone and do things that you have never done before! You will probably be surprised with all that you are capable of.
8. I got to celebrate freely with others.
I learned this lesson at the first wedding I was a bridesmaid in. One of our other friends and bridesmaid, left the wedding early to get a headstart on her trip out of town with her boyfriend. We were all shocked. Here our best friend was getting married, and she decided to leave to “beat the traffic”. Looking back this event may have scarred me. (That’s not dramatic, is it?) For years I looked at it like, “I am able to celebrate all my friends, but when it comes my time, they wont be able to, because they will all be busy with a husband and tons of kids!” You can insert some pouting here. Then I had a change of heart. I realized that I GOT to be able to celebrate with all my friends and I sure as heck had a fun time doing it! Maybe they will WISH they got to be there for more things. Or that they were in town for showers, could stay out later, or could take a weekend trip at the drop of a hat.
Appreciate the times you GET to celebrate your friends without the obstacles of other obligations or time constraints. And enjoy it! Those are some of my very best memories.
7. I learned who I am & what I was created for.
My late twenties have been a time of discovery of who God made me and the purposes He has for me. Since college, when I was a nanny, I have wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. I loved the idea of spending my days with my kids and at the same time be able to stay home (I am a homebody when I’m not traveling!). But because being a stay-at-home mom isn’t something you can go to college for and it’s definitely not something you can be as a single woman, I got a job, but still kept that idea alive. At around 28, and realizing this little plan wasn’t going to happen anytime in the immediate future, I started to question my purpose. If being a mom wasn’t going to be it then what was it? I read lots of books about finding God’s plan for me and took tons of test about my personality, strengths, etc. These years of searching led me to God’s plan for me to write the Wholeheartedly Devotional, which has just been the start to some great things I see unfolding! I know that for me personally, if I had become a stay-at-home mom years ago, I wouldn’t have searched any further for God’s purpose for me. Which would have meant missing out on so much of what God needed for me to do.
Learn who God created you to be, what makes you unique, and the purpose He set before you! Take personality & strengths tests, read books (Restless, Dream Giver, Strengths Finder 2.0 are some of my favorites), and seek the heart of God about His plans for you.
6. I decided a wedding is not the end all be all.
If there is one comment most of my friends make about their weddings after the fact, it is that they wish they had a smaller more intimate wedding. The expense, the drama, the stress… I have seen the downside of the big fairy tale wedding. And when the dust settles and you are left with 2 people joined in matrimony, you can really see that the marriage and preparation for the marriage is the MOST important aspect of the engagement and wedding season! Just the other day I came across an online marriage prep course that was about $100. At first I thought it was a little steep, but then I realized how crazy that thinking was. We spend thousands and tens of thousands on weddings all the time! What would happen if we spent more time and money preparing for the marriage than the wedding?
No, I’m not suggesting you delete your pinterest board for your future wedding, but do a little heart check with each item you pin and be sure to not only focus on the details of the wedding, but the details of the marriage as well. <3
5. I learned how to deal with expectations and what happens when they aren’t met.
Do I like it when I don’t get what I want or expect? No, of course not. But the fact is, if you have confronted unmet expectations and learned to thrive, regardless of the fact that things may not have “gone your way” or “according to your plans” you have learned a great lesson that will serve you throughout life! For me, as it may be for many of you, being single longer than I anticipated was the first major thing that didn’t happen according to my plans, but I can assure you that it won’t be the last. Learning to give up control and surrender my plans to the Lord has been such a freeing thing and something I will look back on. I will remember the fear of actually surrendering and the joy and peace that came after it. Not to mention the fact that I now see that His plans were so much bigger than mine.
Pray that the Lord would give you the faith to give up control and surrender all of your plans and expectations to Him!
4. I have grown in wisdom.
Call me a nerd, but I love learning and growing. Anything that has to do reading and researching… I just love it! Having the free time I had during my single days, gave me a chance to pursue different things and grow in lots of different areas. I cannot tell you the amount of studying I have done on having a Christ-Centered, eternally minded marriage, among other things. I know that the wisdom I have gained will impact my marriage from the very start and I could not be more thankful for that.
Start reading. Listen to podcasts. Join bible study groups. Make friends with people who can mentor you. Whatever you do, don’t waste the free time you have. One day you will have little kids, or a husband requiring attention during what used to be free moments and “me time”.
3. I will appreciate having a partner in life more than I would have.
The longer you are without something, I think the more you will appreciate it when it happens. I am not saying I won’t take my husband for granted or that I will be constantly appreciating to him, but I know there will be moments when I look over and just really feel grateful for him to be there. I remember doing yard work at my house one time and just sitting back and thinking… “Oh, how great it would be to have someone to do this with. It would be so fun!” I can picture days of doing things like that as a couple and having a different appreciation for them, had I not done those things alone.
Pray that what you experience in singleness will help you to appreciate a future husband and that you wouldn’t fall into taken someone for granted which can be so easy to do.
2. I have experienced the love of Jesus in intimate ways.
Y’all… I don’t think I could fully express the intimacy that I have experienced with the Lord over the last decade. And even moreso in the last 2 years. There is something about uncertainty that brings you to your knees, where the only answer is dependence on the Father. Dependence. That is how it started, but it grew to something even more. The more I spent time with the Lord, the more I loved it and got joy from just being in the Lord’s presence. The song Overwhelmed by Big Daddy Weave was such an anthem for this time in my life. I just loved being in the presence of the Lord and I just knew He was working, even if I couldn’t see it.
Do not pass up the amazing opportunity of intimacy with the Lord that singleness brings. Let Him fill all of your needs and you will never be left wanting.
And the #1 reason I am glad I did not get married in my twenties is….
1. I have realized that it was not God’s plan.
The most important one. I am glad that I never got married in my twenties, because it was not God’s plan for me to! If I had gotten married years ago, it would have been, because I made it happen on my own. It would have been, because I wanted to be married more than I wanted the best God had for me. It would have meant that I took the controls from God and that I would have missed out on something special He has for me.
Do not feel pressured to do things like anyone else. God’s path for you could be to marry at 22, 32, or never at all. Whatever He has in store will be better for you than anything you could dream up on your own.
So, please share. If you are 30 & single, what have you found has been the reason you are most grateful for not be married yet? Do you have any other reasons?