Photo Credit: Alex Indigo

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

 

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  • http://strikingrepose.blogspot.com/ Marissa

    Thank you for this lovely reminder that His plan is best.
    Gap years can be a beautiful and heart-wrenching challenge. Even after a woman gets married, she may find herself in a gap again, waiting on the God’s gift of children. I’m learning to view every “gap” as a chance to be more in love with and more focused on the Lord.

    • http://singlepartyofone.com Katy

      Marissa, you’re so right! The gap can be challenging, but it can also be a gift.

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  • http://donnagiftnew.wordpress.com Donna

    I was grumpy this morning. Alone is no fun at times. But i’m going grocery shopping today and i’ll hand out makeup samples to people who need a smile. It will make Valentines fun. And they’ll get my business card also just in case they could use some more.

    • http://singlepartyofone.com Katy

      Donna, I hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

  • http://donnagiftnew.wordpress.com Donna

    I was grumpy this morning. Alone is no fun at times. Thank you for your positive take on the gaps. I’m going grocery shopping today and i’ll hand out makeup samples to people who need a smile. It will make Valentines fun. And they’ll get my business card also just in case they could use some more.

  • http://donnagiftnew.wordpress.com Donna

    I was grumpy this morning. Alone is no fun at times. Thank you for your positive take on the gaps.

  • Morrisey

    Oh this is good! I am also 26 and single, and just this morning I was dwelling on the idea of marriage, having finally re-accepted my singleness after 2 years. To be honest, I never had those concrete plans, although marriage has always been something I’ve looked forward to; I sort of went with the flow. I was in my happiest and most comfortable place with God when my first relationship began. It didn’t go very well, it ended far sooner than I anticipated, and in the middle, suddenly marriage became something I yearned for. Then, when the relationship ended, being back in the gap and learning to once-again enjoy singleness was a tough pill for me to swallow. But God is so, very, awesome in that gap, and He is epic-ally awesome at filling our hearts with such joy, even though we are “alone” (which honestly, we’re not, since we’ve got people all around us, and most of all a God who loves us so amazingly well!). He has so many great things planned for us in the context of singleness (or in the context of marriage), and He will bring to fulfillment the plans He has for us in due time, in His time. It isn’t always comforting, but the way He has us walking our individuals roads is far better than any other way we could figure to walk, ourselves. :) Keep pressing on, sister!

    • http://singlepartyofone.com Katy

      Thanks for sharing that, Morrisey!

  • http://marinaskitchentable.blogspot.com Marina Bromley

    Great reminder for ALL of us to wait on God’s timing!!
    Thanks for sharing!

    • http://singlepartyofone.com Katy

      Thank YOU, Marina! I hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day.

  • http://www.triplebraidedlife.com Brenda @TripleBraided

    Katy, what a blessing to have such wisdom early in your single years. I was 32 when I got married, never *really* wanting to use that college degree – just longed to be a wife and mother. But unlike you, I fought it. I fought singleness, and it left me feeling without purpose. Now my ministry is to single women. I pray that single women will live these years joyfully. Thank you for being an influencer to other single women!!

    • http://singlepartyofone.com Katy

      Thanks, Brenda! I love that you minister to single women. We always need a good mentor to look to.

  • Stephanie

    This is an excellent article. I, too, am 26, single and have a good job. And this is my first Valentine’s Day truly at peace (even though not in a relationship). Before, (and even when dating) Valentine’s Day was about the future – will I stay with him, will I always be alone?

    This year, Valentine’s Day is about life and living it in Jesus. I was just going through my relationship-past this morning and realizing how I want nothing more than for God to be in charge of this part of my life. I’ve done it my way three times – I even got the guys I really wanted to date. And it ended up not being what I needed. So I’m only now coming to realize that doing things my way (yes, even ‘Christian’ dating) isn’t going to cut it. It’s all God now.

    • http://singlepartyofone.com Katy

      Good for you, Stephanie. I really admire your willingness to let God be in complete control of your dating life. I know it’s not an easy thing to do!

  • JudiG

    Thank You Katy for this ….. and Thank You from all those who have responded so far on this story….. I am 62 and been in many of your shoes in different degrees and at different times in my life….I am a widow of (gap) 10 years…I was married at 16 to my first husband….and NOW by God’s design I am in love with a wonderful manof God’s choosing and he is so much MORE than I ever dreamed of in a ‘Prince Charming’ when I was a child and also as life unfolded for me with many disappointments. He is a man after God’s heart as well as all the other things on my list God directed me to make…and like I said MORE. We met online, he is far away yet we both know God has a perfect purpose and plan for us, and someday God will make it all happen…..but for now we are being patient and trusting God for His perfect timing…..knowing with confidence that when God say’s “I Will” that He will indeed because He is a covenant making and coventant keeping God.
    You see after my husbands terminal illness of five years and all that heartache, I never wanted marriage again..until God showed me in His Word Genesis 2:18 …”It is not good that the man should be alone; I WILL make him a helpmate for him.”….God put me in training from that point forward to be ALL that He wanted me to be as a helpmate for that man…..I have been a lady in waiting since, for my prince that God had planned for me……and now here I stand in the beginning of what God has prepared for me/us……..and I/we are so happy! TRUST God has a greater purpose for the dry times……

    • http://singlepartyofone.com Katy

      Judi- thank you so much for sharing your story! I love hearing how God has worked in your life.

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  • http://alittleclaireification.com Claire @ A Little Claireification

    Katy this is such a great post! In Jeremiah God says “I know the plans I have for you…” and He sure does. So glad you have put that in His hands. You are so young – it’s great you are getting your career going and that you have this “gap”. Thanks for sharing this,
    Claire

    • http://singlepartyofone.com Katy

      Thank you for the encouragement, Claire!

  • Sandy

    The “gap” has turned out to be my life. At 63 I am committed to the Lord and have never been more content. His peace, His love, His Blood cover me daily with Joy.
    My life has been good and blessed and I thank Him for loving me first. Aloneness and loneliness are vastly different items…and while I have been alone I have never been lonely…to God be the glory.

    • http://singlepartyofone.com Katy

      Sandy, thank you so much for sharing this! We never walk alone. You’re right- to God be all the glory.

  • Jules

    Oh to be 26. Oh to have known The Lord when I was 26….. That would have been a twist. See, I did have the same check list: graduate high school, get college degree, get married. It’s what my mom did. She graduated from college AND got married all on the same day!

    So, when I got married, after college, I thought I had it all right – doing the list. Checking it right off…. That marriage ended 3 1/2 yrs later, the next one ended 7 years and 3 kids later.

    Mercifully, during my third marriage, The Lord finally got my attention. Now, I’m under no illusion that just because I’m a God fearing Christian I am going to have a “happily ever after” marriage. What I have found is hope for my marriage and love and compassion for my husband. Marriage is hard. I have to decide (with God’s help) to stay married everyday. I’m so grateful He is in our marriage.

    Enjoy your gap!!!

    • http://singlepartyofone.com Katy

      Jules, I so appreciate you sharing this!

  • Beth Williams

    Katy,

    It is important for everyone to recognize that we must Wait on God’s plan and timing. Who knows what He has in store for you? It may be a local or overseas missions trip, ministry opportunity or something quite different. Being single also allwows you to be available for whatever plans He has for you.

    It took me a super super long gap of 21 years of working, doing, being before some prayers were answered and I met my Godly wonderful hubby! Be patient and open to His calling!

    • http://singlepartyofone.com Katy

      Beth- you’re right. Who knows what He has in store? It’s so much fun to watch His plans unfold. Thank you for your encouragement!

  • http://jenbaum-laughoftenlovemuch.blogspot.com jen

    Love this – and I am forcing the little piece of my 34-year-old-single-self that really doesn’t want to love this, to love this, too! :) I KNOW His best plan for me is what I want. I just sometimes wish that He and I were on the same page in terms of timing. :) Happy Valentine’s Day to you, Sister in Christ!

    • http://singlepartyofone.com Katy

      Girl- I know it’s hard! I will never pretend like everyday of singleness is easy, because we all know that would be a lie. Keep pressing on, Jen! And Happy Valentine’s Day to you, too :)

  • http://www.godly-wifey.blogspot.com Regina Cozad

    A great post. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • http://singlepartyofone.com Katy

      Thank you, Regina!

  • Debra

    I have a 26 year old child also – a son – who’s alone and lonely – waiting for that special person to come into his life as he fills in the gaps – with education, networking, hunting for that first ‘real’ job that will launch his career. Your generation has it hard – and I’d be remiss if I didn’t give my thoughts as to why – nearly 1/3 of your generation has been aborted – and your soul mate may not exist in this world. Contraception has changed the way men and women respond to one another and relationships that tend to get physical way too soon tend to make both man and woman feel ‘dirty’. I see wonderful young adults – both male and female – wanting the same things but not knowing how to get there. One article I read by a woman quite a while ago talked about fasting from the opposite sex (and anything physical) and spending that time in prayer and letting God bring the man he wanted for her to her. It did happen – in His time. Praying for all of the women out there who are wanting love and companionship in their lives – that God will answer their prayers and bring them the man that God has created especially for them.

    • http://singlepartyofone.com Katy

      Thank you for sharing, Debra!

  • http://www.kristybyers.com Kristy

    Katy:

    I am 47 and never married. And at times it has been hard and at times I have been very grateful for my singleness. I have been in the ministry for almost 30 years and have done some amazing things that only my singleness would have allowed and only by God’s design. He does no best. (I am a Christian Comedian as well, and a lot of my material is based on that singleness. At least I and others can laugh about it. :) )

    • http://singlepartyofone.com Katy

      I’m sure you definitely have some great material, Kristy! Singleness and dating comes with its fair share of awkward and funny moments. Thank you so much for reading and sharing.

  • http://hamershappenings.blogspot.com Lisa

    It is so nice that you are at peace with it. It is all in His will. I have a friend who didn’t get married until her 30’s. She was looking, but she told me one day, that God was preparing her Mr. right for her. She found him and they are incredibly happy.

    • http://singlepartyofone.com Katy

      Hey Lisa- that’s great!

  • http://lynnpottenger.blogspot.com Lynn

    Thanks for your wise words. Sometimes we think it is our ‘gap’ when really it is our lives. God is so good and helps us to be content and at peace wherever we are. When we focus on Him we are able to bring him glory no matter what situation we find ourselves in. Maybe you will right that book some day!

    • http://singlepartyofone.com Katy

      Lynn- you’re right! Who knows what He has planned?! It’s fun to watch how He works, though. He’s so incredibly good.

  • julie

    great post katy!

    • http://singlepartyofone.com Katy

      Thank you, Julie!!!

  • Tammy

    Your writings always make me feel closer to God. He gave you a true gift and we are fortunate that you do his will. Much love to you and your family. Tammy

    • http://thesinglepartyofone.com Katy

      Tammy, thank you so much.

  • http://www.alphabetandvoice.blogspot.com Glo

    I am 23 and there I was wondering where prince charming was. I may or may not get married, so what? thank you for this.

  • http://thesinglepartyofone.com Katy

    Thank you for reading, Glo.

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  • http://kararodriguez.wordpress.com/ Kara

    “And because that’s His plan, it’s so incredibly good.” GREAT last line! Thank you so much for this post, Katy. I appreciate your positive attitude, and you are truly glorifying God with your example. I went to a Christian college (notorious for couples getting married young) and got married at 27. Singleness was hard at times, but there were a lot of good things about that phase of life between college and marriage. Also, I feel like now I have a perspective on life that allows me to appreciate my husband a lot more than I probably would have if I’d gotten married right out of college. God’s timing is perfect. :)

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  • Tyra
  • Danielle

    very refreshing to read this article. Don’t feel bad, Im 29 and I still cannot see myself getting married. I do not understand the dynamics of marriage and so I cannot put myself out there. Even when I do understand them, I still do not feel I was made for marriage. Is there a book for that?

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  • Emily

    Can someone please explain what a “gap” is?

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