At 20//What I wish I had known//Brooke & Steph

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Brooke Barnett: There are so many things I wish I had known.  The first thing though that came to mind is how much time I wasted.  It seemed, in college, with every guy I met[that was a “good” guy at least] I would start to wonder, “Could this be him?” I would dream and pray and pray and dream. My journals were f-u-l-l of prayers about specific guys or just general prayers about my future husband. I was so self focused.  I was leading Bible studies and discipling girls but if you read my journals you would think that the point of life was to get married. And not to love God and love people and reach the nations.  I made an idol out of marriage & guys. I wish I had chosen more to be present…to serve…to treasure time in the Word..and to share my faith…

However,  don’t get me wrong–praying for your future husband can be a good thing! I do feel that God honored some of those prayers because I now get to share life with an incredibly loving, humble, strong, funny, perfect-for-me man! However, in my case it was consuming. I thought too much about marriage–& not the people that God had put right in front of me.  Can you relate?  Ask God to help you use your time in a worshipful, purposeful way.

Steph Lamb: I wish I had known at 20….
1) Just because I was single at 20 (and even at 25 for that matter) did not mean I was going to be an old cat lady who was doomed to be “single forever” like I once thought. I met my husband at age 25, got engaged when I was 26, married at 27, and became a mom at 28. While being a wife and mom is beyond wonderful, life didn’t start with finding a man. Between graduating college and meeting my husband I had adventures I would not have experienced if I was already married. I enjoyed living with other single friends, going to parties in D.C., eating out way too often, and taking road trips with friends. Oh the road trips! I learned to depend on God instead of a man, took a group on a missions trip to Venezuela, built deep friendships, and more. I would like to say I lived life to the full but the truth is instead of enjoying each day I often longed for what was next. I wish I had known to live life in the moment and enjoy the gift of each day.
2) In spite of my fear of being single I have learned that singleness really is a gift. I have single friends in their 30s who live full, happy, and meaningful lives. They are impacting the Kingdom, traveling, and loving life. They can do things I can’t do in this stage as a mom. Singleness is easier in some ways and harder in other ways. It’s not better or worse, just different. I wish I had seen singleness as a gift instead of a curse.
3) Purity really is worth striving for. God’s plan for you and your body is better than anyone else’s plan for you. It is a battle (often daily) and you will have to fight. Don’t give up. “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God.” 1 Thess. 4:3-5
4) Jesus is better. I think I “knew” this one without really believing it. And I still struggle now to believe it in some ways. But Jesus is better than any relationship this world has to offer. He is more satisfying. He knows you completely and loves you anyways. If you let Him in, like really let Him in, He will change you and satisfy the desires of your heart. When you are satisfied in Christ you can be in a relationship centered on Him. A dating relationship centered on Jesus is the only kind worth having.
Check back tomorrow for day 3 of 3 in our loveeee series…

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