When I was six, I remember standing in my grandmother’s den modeling the shimmering white veil my aunt had worn in her wedding. I held her flowers and walked down my pretend aisle knowing that no matter what, my version of Prince Charming was standing there waiting for me. At six, I’m sure my Prince Charming had dark hair, unnaturally white teeth, tan skin, and looked exactly like Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid.
My six-year-old imagination could have told you what my dress looked like, who was attending my wedding, and how tall my delicious cake would be. I could show you where the flower girl would drop her flowers (because I was super experienced at that), and I could tell you that although you may want your bridesmaids to carry your train, I would prefer my older brothers do it. They need to be put to work too, right?
But at six years old, I couldn’t tell you much about what a wedding really meant. I couldn’t tell you what the words that the bride and groom kept repeating meant, or why they got pretty rings.
The older I got I realized that a wedding was way more than a party with pretty dresses and really good cake. I realized a wedding meant marriage, a future, and a husband (and some really good cake too). It was a ceremony, a celebration, and a chance to share with friends and family my commitment to love, honor, and cherish my new Prince Charming (by this age, he most definitely resembled Justin Timberlake).
As a teenager, I could tell you the timeline of how my future would look. I would graduate high school, go to college, graduate college, and get married. It was a checklist of goals. And it was the only thing I knew.
I knew there were books that talked about dating, and I knew there were books that talked about marriage. There were books that would help me get into college, and books I would fall asleep reading while pretending to study during college. But in my checklist of goals (high school, college, marriage), I never considered the gap.
What if there was a gap between college and marriage? What if that gap was a really long time? What if I actually had to use my degree and get a job? Where was there a book about the gap? Or where was the book called, You May or May Not Get Married So Now What?
Today, I’m 26 and single. I graduated from college three and half years ago, and I have a job in publishing that keeps me busy and challenges me daily. I’m nowhere close to getting married, and I have still never read a book on filling in the gaps. And you know what? I’m completely happy.
When I was six, I didn’t walk around with a pretend laptop and pretend cell phone and act like I was on my way to a super important meeting. I walked around in heels and held fake flowers.
It’s a funny thing when we try and live out our idea of a plan. We quickly discover that living out God’s plan is more of a dream come true than any Disney movie could have premiered. It’s just a dream we never imagined. And at 26, instead of cooking dinner for your husband as he gets home from work, you find yourself sitting in the coffee shop down the street writing an article called, “You May or May Not Get Married So Now What?”
And because that’s His plan, it’s so incredibly good.
By Katy Boatman, Single, Party of One