And then, the next day, they meet their future husband.
That never happened to me.
My desire never changed or waned, but God definitely changed my perspective.
Very subtly at first, my attitude started to shift. Being surrounded by a flurry of new relationships and engagements and weddings is not always easy. I started focusing on the fact that it wasn't happening to me. Fixating on the idea that it may never happen. I became sort of sarcastic about the whole thing. I started to dread weddings. With as much hope as I thought I had, there was a rivaling amount of doubt.
One day when I was at work I stumbled upon an article about rejoicing with those that rejoice. It was as if I had been gloriously punched in the face. You know, in the good way.
All of my energy was focusing on my own circumstances. I was totally missing the big picture, because of my selfishness. It is such a joyful and glorious thing to see two people marry. In a world that is overwrought with the heartbreak and messiness of divorce, there was so much to celebrate - and I was missing it because I felt sorry for myself.
Of course I still wanted that season of life - but there was a joy restored in me that wasn't there before. The joy of living life with other people and loving what is best for them. And celebrating with them. And rejoicing with them. It changes everything.
In the summer of 2010, a lot started to happen. I started fundraising for a six month internship to write as a journalist in England.
Knowing I would return the following May without any kind of employment, the timing was perfect and I interviewed for my current job.
My Papa got sick. I stayed with him, and loved him - and didn't go to England in the beginning of 2011 after all.
I started training as a flight attendant.
People continued to look at me like I had ten heads when I said I'd never had a boyfriend.
I went to New York.
It was like an entire year of ripping off a giant band-aid. Yes. The year my life was a band-aid and I ripped it off. I don't even know if that makes sense. But it did in my mind.
I was really having a great time.
I was friends with a boy on Facebook. We had lived in all of the same places. We had more mutual friends than I could count - but we had never met. He had added me as a friend, in spite of us not knowing each other. A year had passed and that just never happened.
But eventually, we started writing to each other. Since I was gone so much of the time, we wrote to each other almost every day for almost three weeks.
HE HAD PERFECT GRAMMAR.
That might not matter to a lot of people - but I am a word-loving girl and it's hard for me to describe how much I loved spelling bees as a child.
The day before my birthday, we talked on the phone.
About a week later, we met for the first time. He picked me up from the airport. The fact that it was at the airport seemed very fitting.
And for the first time, I wasn't an awkward mess.
I was myself.
He took me on a date. He brought me fresh flowers wrapped in paper, because he remembered how much I loved it. He even brought a vase and water to keep them fresh in the car (which I should have seen as foreshadowing of how prepared and organized he likes to be).
It all happened quickly, but it never felt unnatural. I didn't have to convince him to like me. There was never a feeling of wanting to qualify myself to him. There was no guessing, and there were no games. He was straightforward. He treated me like I was worth being pursued. And that has made every moment of singleness completely worth it.
We haven't 'arrived.' We can't fulfill one another. I love sharing life with him, and learning about him - but he can't be the source of my joy. The ways that I was insecure before our relationship - guess what? They are still there. We have to focus on the hope of God's promises, and the fact that our lives aren't about us.
I am so blessed to know him. God only continues to make him a better man than I know him to be now. While this is just the beginning of our story together, I am thankful and grateful for what has happened so far.
Plus, I think he's pretty cute.
*all images from my curator board.