I Had Always Dreamed of Marrying Young.
Updated: Oct 16, 2019
I had always dreamed of marrying young.
I can’t say that many people in my life knew this about me, not even a few of my loved ones. But, it was still the case. As a teenager, I had imagined tying the knot at 20, 21 even, if I felt I needed just a tad bit more time to grow up. I never once questioned my desire to be married so young, or asked myself if I was even ready to be, I just knew that I wanted to be. I wanted to be married and swept away like the young women I read about in my favorite romance novels. I wanted to meet the dashing prince who would whisk me away from my boring teenage life, marry me, and take me to a life filled with adventure and romance. I wanted what I had read about for years- to find and marry a guy that was a true gentlemen, like the men I read about in historical romances. They were charming and dashing and handsome and dark yet loving and completely and utterly and hopelessly devoted to their female love interests. This is what I wanted, yearned for even; I wanted it so badly that no guy that I could see with my physical teenage eyes could ever compare. I wanted to marry a guy like Henry or Philip or William- my favorite heroes from my favorite romances. They all made my heart flutter when I thought about the devotion and love that they held for their companions- it was intense, unexplainable even; I wanted it. My teenage heart wanted it. My teenage heart yearned to be loved and cherished like the young women I read about. It yearned to be seen as beautiful and desirable by a handsome and charming man. I had already made up in my mind that this was what I wanted, all I needed was to find the right person to make my dream a reality.
As a 25 year old woman, I think it’s safe to say that this is why I was so eager to be married as a teenager- I wanted to experience the whirlwind romance that I had read about and yearned for. I wanted to experience the life that I consumed myself with by reading and re-reading romance novels- the life that I wanted so desperately to be mine. Obviously, my lifelong dream to be married at 20 or 21 did not come true since I’m still quite unmarried, and not even dating; the funny part about it is that I’m relieved. I’m relieved that God allowed me to understand that this fantasy of a perfect marriage and a perfect spouse and a perfect life was just that- a fantasy. Although men like Henry or Philip or William could exist, they would not be as perfectly perfect or perfectly charming or perfectly handsome as they were in the books that I had read- they were fictional. Not real; a figment of the author’s imagination. And as much as I hated to think that my love for romance novels were the cause of my fantasized future, they were. My heart broke when I thought about having to give them up. How would I learn about love now? At 17 years old, I felt like God was asking me to give up something that made me into the person that I was- I felt like He was asking me to give up the only thing that I ever wanted in life.
A bit dramatic, I know. But my 17 year old self did not think so. For years, I had been nurturing my heart for “true love”. I played scenarios over and over in my head of when I would meet my Henry or Philip or William, and I felt like God was taking it all away from me. I can imagine how exasperated He may have felt, listening to me complain relentlessly about how badly I wanted to marry and be in love- I was such a hopeless case. He however, was patient with me. He instructed me, very lovingly to pour over the scriptures and learn there what true love really was- what it really meant. I was skeptical at the thought that the Bible could replace my cherished romance novels, but it did. It exceeded my expectations. Although it was difficult to rid myself of what I thought was true love from the books I had cherished for years, as days turned to weeks and weeks to months and months to years, I felt my thoughts about love shift. I felt the Holy Spirit speak quietly to my heart, drowning out the assumptions I had made up about love. I had always wanted someone perfect to come away and sweep me off my feet. I had always wanted to feel loved and cherished; I wished and desired with all that I had to be the object of someone’s complete and utter devotion. I realized then, at age 20, the age that I had always hoped I would be married that I already had all that I desired. I had it through Jesus. He loved and cherished me. I was the object of his affection and He is completely and utterly and will forever be devoted to me. Henry or Philip or William may not be real, but Jesus is real, and He feels this way about me- He felt about me the way I had always wanted someone to feel about me. This truth quieted my heart and my overactive imagination and emotions. It made me realize all along that what I so desperately desired, I always had at my fingertips. Jesus Christ longed for me, to call me His own, to love me and cherish me. All that I had every desired could be found in Him. Every void that I had within me, He could fill and I found myself, at age 20- the age I always hoped I would have a husband- not wanting a husband right there and then.
Although I still desire to be married someday and hopefully meet the person that would cherish me with the love of Christ, for now, I am content. I no longer harbor ridiculous expectations for my future life. I’m no longer obsessed with finding my Henry or Philip or William, I am content in my singleness because I realized that Christ is enough. And when He feels that I am ready, He will lead the right person to where I am. He will give that person the partial responsibility of guarding what He has and will always guard for the rest of my life- my heart. While I know for certain that I will always be a hopeless romantic, I can focus all of my love and devotion and attention on Jesus, for I know that He feels for me more love and devotion that I can ever imagine.