(The following is an excerpt from Alysha Miller’s book, His: A Single Girl’s Journey to Discovering God’s Heart on Love, Marriage, and Identity.*)


The innate desire for intimacy and marriage was embedded in my being from an early age. Is that the way it is for all of us? Maybe not all, but I would guess most of us. I let myself believe that one day, I would be the bride with the dress and would have the happily ever after too. Having been a dreamer and a writer, it was easy for me to dream up a story about the perfect romance or relationship. I was filled with thoughts of an idyllic relationship for most of my formative to teenage years.


The problem was that a lot of these storylines derived from where I was looking: the movies and the magazines. I can’t even imagine where my mind would have gone if social media had been a thing—but thankfully, it wasn’t back then. These superficial influences didn’t mute my natural whimsical tendencies. It bolstered them. Hollywood always projected that lie of perfection, so I assumed that would be my story. I’d write the narrative and script in my mind and play it out over and over.


I let my thought life get the best of me.


The harm wasn’t in the dream itself, it was in how much importance I placed on it to define me and bring about my happiness. It was the one goal to attain and if I didn’t get it, I couldn’t be happy. Over time, I began to realize that my desire stemmed from my need to be validated and affirmed through a relationship. Validation, acceptance, and affirmation were becoming idols in my life.


I wanted so desperately for someone to just see me and choose me. The real chains that held my mind captive were insecurity, comparison, and that ideal of perfect. When Jesus got ahold of my heart, I came to understand that I needed to accept the brokenness of people and let the dream of a “perfect” anything die. Except for Him. Only He is perfect and only He can offer a love that completely satisfies. I wouldn’t find security in an insecure world. I would find it in a secure God.


Since giving my life to Christ, my desire for, and dreams of, marriage has been one really intense rollercoaster. Did I ever imagine being single this long? (We’re talking nearly eight years of singleness with no clearly defined relationship.) Definitely not! Had I known that years of singleness was in store, I might have been hesitant about God’s plan for my life. All I wanted was my plan, which was to be in a relationship.


There have been seasons when the longing for a companion was almost too much to bear. And there have been times when marriage has been the least appealing thing in my mind. I’ve had moments when I have squeezed every heart pang out in prayer because I couldn’t take the waiting any longer. Then there have been moments I’m so content with where the Lord has me that I’ve known it will be okay if it never works out the way I always dreamed it would.


No matter what the outcome, I will always be His.


Singleness really is a gift because we can be fully devoted to God with uninterrupted time spent with Him. We can really discover who He is calling us to be with zero inhibitions.


My new dream became being God’s daughter and growing in love with Him first. In time, if marriage and being a wife comes, I only want it God’s way. I’ve learned that running this race in life doesn’t begin when marriage does. I used to think that,  but now I understand it begins way before.


We are not defined by who we are dating or if we are married or not. We may be in a place of training, a season where character is being matured to endure the stretch that is marriage. But I believe as we begin to run, if God’s will for your life includes marriage, a spouse will come running right alongside you . . . when the time is right. I am confident that doing marriage God’s way will bring more endurance building. Sure, it will strengthen a muscle only marriage can. Yet God uses our singleness and other things to strengthen us all the same.


* * *


*Alysha Miller is a photographer and writer who emphasizes the blessing of singleness, purity, and finding our identity in Christ.  Her book, His: A Single Girl’s Journey to Discovering God’s Heart on Love, Marriage and Identity takes readers through the telling of Alysha’s story and the vision behind her ministry, The Marriage Project: Testimonies Behind the Matrimonies.


The Marriage Project is a community organization that exists to educate a future generation while encouraging and inspiring hope for this one through the portrait of God’s design for marriage. How will we do this? By sharing couples’ testimonies and stories through a monthly podcast and visual story-telling advocating for the family and marriage.