I knew the question was coming, I just didn’t know who would ask it first.
It happened as I stood outside fanning the back of my neck, confident I was about to melt and soak into the grass out in the South Carolina summer sun.
One of my relatives – a third or fourth cousin or a great uncle or none of the above (I have a big family) – came up to me as I pulled my hair into a bun.
“So you’re not married yet?”
Boom. There goes the dynamite. The go-to question for single twenty-somethings.
Smile, Anna, I told myself. I looked at my relative and replied with all the good church girl persona I could muster, “Not yet.”
After that grand revelation, I stepped off by myself, pulled out my phone, and texted my friend Kaycee: “I even get The Question at a funeral…”
The guy was just trying to make friendly conversation, and I definitely wasn’t upset. But it did make me whisper to God: Why am I not married yet? What are you doing up there?
See, I’m a planner. I have a bullet journal, I love a good school syllabus, and I adore sticky notes. I like to know where I’m going and how I’ll get there.
When I started college, I had my love story all mapped out, and it was perfect, in my opinion. It looked like this…
Freshman year: Get the hang of college. Meet professors, make friends, pass classes.
Sophomore year: Get involved in campus organizations. Make more friends. Meet a guy friend.
Junior year: Fall in love with said guy friend.
Senior year: Get engaged. Plan a wedding.
Summer after graduation: Get married. Live happily ever after.
According to my carefully thought-out schedule, I should be a few years into a marriage with Tall, Dark, and Handsome right now, probably painting a nursery, or at least daydreaming about what we’ll name the kids.
In my carefully planned world, tonight I’d light a candle and have friends over for coffee, then my husband would come home from work, we’d have a home cooked meal (yours truly can rock a crock pot), hang out watching a movie or reading on the couch, then go to bed.
God had other plans, and they didn’t exactly match up with mine.
I’m writing this while sitting in my twin-sized bed, wearing an old t-shirt and gym shorts, and stuffing my face with popcorn. It’s not my most attractive look, but it’s definitely not a bad situation.
But still. I’m super single. Honestly, I don’t talk about it a lot on the internet (But if you follow me on Instagram and see how frequently I post pictures of my cat, you’ll know my relationship status). That’s on purpose. I don’t want to admit I get tired of independence. Or that, while I’m full of joy when my friends fall in love and get married, it’s not all happy tears. Or that sometimes I’m tempted to believe God has overlooked me and my biggest dreams.
I’m earning a master’s degree in ministry to counsel and teach and encourage women. I love the life God has given me, and I desire for others to know the joy of Jesus, too. And yet sometimes I’m just not 100% on board with where I’m at in life.
Recently, though, God’s been telling me to share my story. To be real with where I’m at, in hopes of encouraging those of you who find yourself in a similar situation.
So I talked to some of my closest friends – single girls whose wisdom I trust – and we decided to dive into this single thing in a blog post series.
I can’t promise you it’ll be pretty, but I can promise you it’ll be real. I can’t promise you we’ll offer a solution for those lonely days, but I can promise we won’t give you the standard singles “encouragement” (you know the stuff).
We can’t promise you’ll be married by your next birthday or that some guy will kiss you at midnight on New Year’s Eve, but we can promise to walk beside you.
Some of us have been in relationships before, some of us have been on our share of coffee dates, and some of us haven’t done any of that. But we’re all single twenty-somethings. We’re not into cliché answers or fluffy feel-good statements. We’re in it with you.
We definitely don’t have it all together (I’m currently modeling a scar on my neck from an unfortunate encounter with my curling iron…), and we don’t have all of the answers, but we each have a story. And we’ll share them with honesty, humor, and heart (and possibly cat GIFs).
Ultimately, we desire to point you to the one, single thing that matters most. We all believe our relationship with Jesus is hands-down the most important, fulfilling relationship we’ll ever experience. Sometimes we stumble, but there’s so much joy in this journey of learning To Be His.
So welcome to this series. We’re excited to live life with you, sister.
For His glory,
Posts in this series: