Someone recently asked if I had any copies of 22 & Single. I wanted to run and hide. I wanted to tell them no and sorry, they have all been burned.
But, as I’ve dug into why this was so scary and triggering- I’ve realized a few things.
The last few years, I had come to the conclusion that 22 & Single should not be read by anyone. ever. When I think about that time in my life, I feel like I was a mess. And now to think about the fact that I shared my hot mess thoughts during that time, I feel very vulnerable… and just not sure my thoughts would even be remotely helpful for someone to read.
As I’ve been processing, God has shown me that when I was 22 & single… I was feeling very lost. And maybe writing about that time in my life wasn’t a huge mistake. Maybe someone else can relate.
Up until that point in my life, everything had been planned out. Everyone around me was on a similar trajectory. Graduate high school and go to college.
But after college… no one had filled in the blank and everyone started going different ways. I couldn’t look to my peers to reassure myself I was doing the right things or I was at least going in the right direction.
I was on my own. It was up to me to decide what to do next… and I thought that was going to be exciting, but instead it was freakin scary. Some friends were getting married and I was so envious. They had someone to figure out life with… I had no clue what I truly wanted to do next. I knew what I was probably supposed to do… use my degree to get a job and settle into the routine of adult life. But, I did not have peace about that. I didn’t feel ready.
I started looking back in the past to find answers and I started fantasizing about what the future could be. I just didn’t want to be in the present. In the unknown. In the right now.
A lot has happened in the last 10 years. I’m now 32 & married.
What I’ve come to learn is that it wasn’t my outer life that needed to change, it was my inner life that needed to be healed and transformed. It wasn’t my relationship status with someone else that needed to change, it was my relationship with myself and God that needed to grow.
Getting married didn’t take away that need to grow, it has just exposed a lot of areas in my heart and mind that need work. Getting married and having a family did bring stability into my life and a huge amount of joy – which I am so thankful for. But, it also came with a lot of challenges and struggles. All of it has made me appreciate each day even more. One of my favorite quotes has become, “Enjoy the little things in life because one day you will look back and realize, they were the big things.”
So now, I guess I can look back at my 22 & Single self… and anyone in that season… and say, “It’s okay to feel lost. This is hard. You are figuring out who you are and who God is in this new season of life. Each new difficulty and challenge is going to grow you and change you if you let it. Don’t fight it. Rise up and try your best. You are capable of more than you realize. You are okay on your own because you’re never truly alone. And if you fail, it’s okay. You are loved. Keep inviting God in to your life. He wants to know you, not just shuffle you from point A to point B. Slow down. Do the things that fill you up. Don’t feel guilty for this season, for being present right where you are. Slow down. Breathe. And even if it doesn’t feel like you’re getting anywhere, God is carrying you right where you need to be. Oh… and remember the first verse you ever memorized… you’re gonna need it:
‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways and He will lead you on the right path.’ -Proverbs 3:5-6″
Lots of love,