The summer of 2013 was my summer of weddings. After being in 3 weddings within six months of each other, I was invited to six weddings in one summer. Whew! It was a lot. I had just graduated from college and had moved back in with my parents while I continued to look for a job in both Cincinnati and Indianapolis. I was in a holding pattern, waiting for the next thing to happen.
As I drove to the second wedding of the summer, I checked my email while stopping for gas on I-75 somewhere between Dayton and Fort Wayne. I read the disappointing news that my number one choice of job had fallen through and I was back to square one, well not completely, but a temporary retail management position in Cincinnati is not what I wanted to be doing.
I wanted to celebrate with my friends as they started new chapters with their husbands and wives, and yet I could not shake the feeling that I was being left behind. It was as if marriage was an exclusive club and my invitation had been left in the mail. I felt left out and left behind.
I wish I could say I handled these feeling like an adult, and turned to the Lord, delighting in the story He was writing for my life, but like every other time I’ve felt left out and left behind, I stomped my feet and cried.
It hit me though, the gift of marriage is so special, not just to those who get married, but to their friends, too. I opened a thank you note from that summer and it said, “We’re so thankful for your friendship.” As my friends have gotten married, I’ve gained friends. Each time a friend gets married, and since that summer, I’ve been to plenty more weddings, another friend joins my corner. It’s one more person encouraging me, praying for me, and someone new to make memories with.
I could write a sad story about how not being married and not having a boyfriend is lonely with over half of my best friends married. I could share that I get left out of double dates because I don’t have a plus one. But, then I remember how many friends I’ve gained and the ways my life has been enriched because of my friends marriages and suddenly those feelings of being left out and left behind were unfounded. I’m reminded that we are all invited to see and participate in the celebration of marriage.
I see the character of God in the way He has created marriage not just as a gift to those who enter into the covenant, but also to those who bear witness to it. As for me, I’ll all for having more friends!