It seems like just yesterday my childhood best friend and I were dressing up for our pretend weddings. These weddings always took place during her younger siblings’ nap time. We would quietly slip upstairs, and then get ready to say “I do.”
We would take turns being the bride and the groom was always my friend’s giant stuffed animal dog who we pretended was the man of our dreams. The other one of us would be the minister, proudly pronouncing the bride and the groom (well, dog) man and wife.Then we would turn on the C.D. player and the bride would dance with the stuffed dog and next we would eat delicious invisible cake at the reception.
They were beautiful weddings. The best our eight-year-old-minds could dream up. After the “wedding reception” we would either swap roles for the wedding or we might continue playing pretend married life, sometimes stuffing pillows under our shirts to pretend to be pregnant.
Did I mention we were eight?
Years passed, and the summer after I turned fourteen my friend and I hosted another wedding.
This time it wasn’t one of ours. Oh no. This time it was the wedding of our Webkinz.
If you’re around my age or a little younger, you might remember when Webkinz were all the rage. (I considered myself a little bit too old and too cool for them, but hey, I had a younger brother. And what are younger brothers good for if not to allow their older sisters to know about the latest new toys.)
If you happened to miss the era of Webkinz, essentially they were stuffed animals that came with an on-line access code so you could play with your animals in a virtual world. ‘Twas loads of fun.
My friend had a cocker spaniel Webkinz named Cammie and I had a raccoon Webkinz named Jeffery. And, you see, Cammie and Jeffery were in love. So, naturally they had to get married.
And in the six years since we were eight, we had learned a thing or two about weddings. This wedding was top notch. Meaning, Cammie wore a veil and there was a bouquet toss at the end. ;)
Over this past spring break, this friend came over for a visit.
She now lives about an hour away from me, so we don’t get to see each other as much as we used to. That being said, we were super glad to get to spend two days together.
Annnnd once again our conversation happened to turn to marriage. This time, though, it wasn’t our fault.
I saw on Facebook that one of my guy friends had just proposed to his now fiancé. *Enter heart confetti!* And so I was super excited and had to show my friend, because she had met him once years ago. And then we realized that we both know his fiancé. So then we were both super excited.
We began to discuss how weird it is that people we’re friends with are old enough to get married now.
It’s a strange thought because most days I still feel like I’m fifteen. And then I remember that I have a driver’s license. And have had one for almost four years now. And so that feeling of being fifteen blows up in my face.
Whereas I used to sometimes think that everyone around me had a boyfriend and I didn’t, now I feel like everyone around me is getting engaged and married.
Well, maybe not everyone. Just six couples I know. So twelve people total. Which may not seem like much, but in the world of Kara’s-mind, it’s a lot.
I’m realizing that God writes different love stories for each of us.
My friend and I? We didn’t invent unique love stories. Each time we played pretend wedding, the love story involved was some variation of the same classic story.
God, however, is incredibly creative when it comes to writing each of us a unique story.
I could not possibly imagine being married right now at age nineteen, but several people I know are married at this age or getting engaged. It works for them and they are happy. Yay!
For other people I know, they waited till later in life to get married. Like my parents, for example, who got married when they were twenty-seven.
There is no one way to have a relationship. A “Master Relationship Timeline” just doesn’t exist.
All love stories are unique and distinctive per couple.
Some couples meet in college. Others meet after graduation when they’re out in the workforce. Others have been lifelong friends. Some couples date for years before engagement. Others for just a few months. Some couples used to not like their “significant other.” For others it was love at first sight.
The romantic Hallmark movies might have similar story-lines, but the stories God writes for each couple are one-of-a-kind masterpieces. That’s why the questions “How did y’all meet?” “What was y’all’s first date like?” “When did you know you were in love?” never grow old. Each couple has a different story to tell.
God has a unique and lovely story for each of our lives.
Regardless of where we find ourselves in life, it is essential that we learn to trust God where we are at.
He has a plan for you, a plan and a purpose just for you. A story far greater than you could have dreamed of when you were a child or a teen. A plan where you glorify Him and find true fulfillment in Him.
And quite honestly, some of us may never get married. That’s okay.
God’s greatest love story wasn’t between a man and a woman, it was between a bleeding man on a cross and a sinful world.
God loves you. Unconditionally. He wants you. He’s pursuing you. He sacrificed everything- for you.
There’s no greater love story than that.