I have a confession to make. I am a twenty-year-old college student and I've never been on a date. I've never had the first kiss that gave me butterflies or a relationship that made me feel that I've found my "happily ever after." I graduated high school without a high school sweetheart and my first three semesters of college have been spent without a campus cutie.

Where once being single and dateless throughout high school and my first semesters of college felt like an embarrassment and something I was ashamed of, there is now a place of thankfulness. A place where God has shown me the blessings in my singleness.

If I had known when I was younger what I know now about relationships, my prayers would have been a lot different. During my junior high years, as selfish and petty as it now sounds, I prayed that God would send that special guy into my life. So many of my friends were in relationships and had guys interested in them left and right. I wanted to experience that. I wanted that special someone. Someone who would tell me I was pretty, that they were lucky to have me, and just someone who would tell my little fragile heart anything it needed to hear to feel valuable. I was praying for someone who would help me find my worth. Being the "single one" of the group became something I was ashamed of. It never occurred to me that God was protecting my heart from the side of relationships that my heart and eyes were so blind too.

But then I got to high school.

I sat and watched as so many girls were left picking up the broken fragments of their hearts after the most vulnerable parts of themselves were shared with the person they thought they loved, only to be left with heartbreak and regret after being used. I watched left and right as they jumped from boy to boy and relationship to relationship searching for the love and affection that they were so incredibly far from. I held the hands of my friends and wiped their tears as they were left to deal with emotions caused from decisions that their hearts were so not ready for. People were using their relationships for physical satisfactions, not seeing and realizing the emotional scars they were continuously covering up. They would someday cause more heartbreak, regret, and damage than I thought they would ever realize. During this time, God began to expose the reality of relationships not centered on Him and the side of my heart that was once so blind became more open than ever before. I began to realize that during those times that I felt my prayers about having a relationship were going unanswered, God was answering them in a way that several years later, I would be so thankful for.

During my singleness, God has been answering those prayers by protecting my heart.

God protected me from heartbreak and emotions that would have been utterly devastating for me to handle. God protected my heart from being caught up in the moments and decisions that my insecure heart may not have been able to resist, not because of a lack of self-respect or having morals, but for the desire to feel pretty or valued by someone of the opposite gender. God protected me from circumstances with the possible outcome of living with a lifetime of regret, as well as being a regret for someone else. Whenever I was praying for a relationship, I wasn't the person I needed to be in order for a healthy and God centered relationship to happen. Spiritually, I was weak. Emotionally, I was fragile. Mentally, I was insecure. I didn't know who I was or my value in Christ. I found my worth in other people. Overall, I wasn't the girl who needed to be in a relationship if the relationship that I was praying for was one that I wanted to glorify God. I wasn't the girl who while being in a relationship would have brought my special person to Heaven, but I was the girl who may have hindered it. So while God was not only protecting my heart, I believe that He was also protecting someone else's. He protected me from centering my life around and falling in love someone else, so that later, I would focus on and fall in love with Him.

He is still protecting my heart and I am thankful.

In the last couple of months, I've started seeing that I am not alone. I started seeing that there are several young girls and women who have experienced these exact same feelings, that feeling of thinking that the approval of a boy will complete you or make you happy. There are a lot of things about being single, happy, and okay with it that I haven't quite figured out, but the one thing I have is this, before you give your heart to and fall in love with another person, you must fall in love with yourself, and even more importantly, you have to fall 100 percent in love with the Lord.

I'll be the first person to tell you that loving yourself takes time, but once you learn how to fall completely in love with the Lord, loving yourself will grow a little easier as well. Once you're able to see and fully understand that you are His child, made in His image, and are fearfully and wonderfully made, you'll start to love who you are a little more. You'll learn to stop putting yourself down about being single and begin to see your true value and know that your future boyfriend/spouse is just as lucky to have you as you will be to have them. By falling in love with the Lord, your relationship standards will change and you'll no longer pray for someone who will call you pretty, but you'll pray for someone who will shape your soul toward Heaven. You'll no longer pray for someone who will have physical attributes of what you like, but you'll pray for someone who will have the qualities that can help you have your happily ever after in eternity together. You'll pray and wait for the person who respects who you are in every aspect from your morals and beliefs to respecting you enough to always protect your heart and will always look at you as God's daughter. You'll pray for this person and no matter how long it may take, even if you grow a little weary during the waiting period, you trust that you're special someone will be worth the wait.

I'm single and I'm okay with it.

It took years of praying, waiting, and growing for me to be able to make this statement, that I'm single, happy, and I'm okay with. But I am. I am so okay with being single for a little while if it means that myself, or the person that God has planned for me, still needs a little time of growing or healing to do. I am so okay with being single for a little while if it means knowing and loving Him more. And I am so okay with spending a little time in God's relationship waiting room if He needs me to hold on a little longer for my happy ever after.

"Allow God to be the matchmaker of your life because your feelings could fool you and your understanding is limited, but His is not. He knows what's best for you and He'll bring that man or woman along when the time is right."