Falling in Love & Finding Happily Ever After

Sunday, June 14, 2015

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to fall in love. Cinderella, Belle, Snow White- they had it all. In my imagination, after the picture perfect wedding to the most handsome Prince Charming, they went on to have a family and live happily ever after. It’s most every little girl’s dream, and oh my, did I know what I wanted. I wanted to get married at 21, but I wanted to have been friends for a while before we dated, and then have kids at 24. As I grew older the dream was persistent. It looked slightly different as the years went on, changing ages, and putting faces of my current crushes to the groom’s, but it still stayed, and never wavered. In fact, at almost 22, it’s still just as present in my mind; there’s just one little issue:

I’m single.

There’s no Prince Charming in the picture. There is, however a Pinterest board that has over 1,000 pins for a wedding of my own...but that’s an entirely different subject. :) And while all of my closest friends are in relationships and have been in serious relationships for the past few years, contemplating marriage, I have been reliably unattached.

In the beginning, it was really difficult. I was upset, jealous, frustrated, especially when I would see a 14 year old girl post pictures of her and her ‘boyfriend’. I cried, I yelled at God, I didn’t speak to Him for a while. My journal has tearstains on the pages where I poured my heart and soul. It was agonizing. I used the verse: Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4) as a defense for wanting a boyfriend, for wanting what all my friends had, for being upset with Him. I read every “single girl” devotional I could get my hands on, and they would help- for a while. But then I would be right back at square one.

Until I just couldn’t take it anymore.

I remember the day. It’s crystal clear in my mind. I was in the shower and I had just about had it with the jealousy and hurt. I fell to my knees, water pouring over me, as I cried. Simply cried. After the tears came to a stop, I prayed:

Lord, I can’t do this anymore. You know what I long for, and you know everything that I feel on the situation. I’m tired. I’m tired of feeling alone, of not being content. Please, Jesus, please just hold me.  
I wish I could say that it was all better after that, but it was really just the turning point. I picked up a book I had bought months before, but hadn’t bothered reading. The title intrigued me, and I figured it would be worth reading since it was talking about falling in love on the back cover. The big selling point? It was about falling in love with Jesus.

Growing up in a Christian home, I knew Jesus. I prayed for salvation at vacation bible school when I was seven years old. I knew that He loved me, and I said I loved Him, but it hit me hard at that moment that I wasn’t in love with Him. So I started reading, praying that I would be able to fall in love with Jesus.

And I did.

I wake up and I reach for my Bible because He is the one I want to hear from. I find myself talking in the middle of the day to absolutely no one physical, but in reality I’m talking to Him, speaking of things currently going on, and I can feel Him leaning in to listen. After crawling into bed and pulling the covers up to my chin, I talk to Him as though He is right there next to me.

It’s not always easy. The tangibility of a boyfriend is what I long for most days, the holding of hands, the kiss on the forehead, the hug that feels as though he never wants to let you go. And those are the days that are still difficult to get through. I still shed a few tears when I watch those girlie Hallmark movies, and my heart clenches when I see the pictures of my friends with their boyfriends on Instagram. I still pin the wedding pins on Pinterest, and the dream to fall in love with a man on earth, get married, and live happily ever after is still as strong as ever. But, I’ve adopted a quote to help me to stay strong: “A girl’s heart must be so hidden in Christ that a man must first seek Him to find her.”

The man that He has for me will have to seek after the Lord with his whole being, in order to find me because that is how deeply I crave to be in love with Him.

I know it sounds cliché. And I will be the first person to say how much I dislike all the singles quotes and words of encouragement, because the truth is everyone handles it differently. But being in love with Jesus is something that I choose. And the truth is, I’m happy.

I love being in love with Jesus. Each and every day is a brand new adventure. Being in love with Him is the best first experience of being in love. Now, I’m in dangerous waters of becoming like those I dislike, giving advice to single girls but I feel as though I can, or at least I can speak on what I am going through, and pray that someone, somewhere out there will be touched by what I have to say.

Being single is not all fun. But being single and in love with the One who loves you with everything He had to give, is a happy ever after kind of feeling. And He has given me the desires of my heart.

About the Author

Janine Carattini is a 21 year old with a heart full of desire to share Jesus through writing. She is in a big sister role biologically and to girls who have "adopted" her as their own. Janine dreams of being able to reach the lives of other young women outside of my community. You can find Janine on her blog at: https://gettinglostmystory.wordpress.com/


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