It seems to be the thing to do these days to judge men and women on their marital status. I believe many view marriage as an accomplishment which really is not the right thing to do. Marriage is a beautiful thing when done right, but marriage is not indicative of someone's worth as a human being. When we use marriage to determine someone's success or status in life not only do we water down their true value as a person, we also define them by something that anyone in the world can do. The truth is anyone can get married. It takes no special set of accolades or accomplishments, just two willing participants. A successful marriage is indeed something to celebrate. The work it takes to build and sustain a great marriage is indeed an accomplishment. But simply being married is not. There are millions of couples all over the world miserable, lacking passion, and unhappy. Many of these unions end in divorce.

Personally, I can tell you that marriage is something I do desire and value wholeheartedly. Quite honestly, had it not been for such an adventurous and fun-filled decade of my 20's along with some decisions that may not have been best, I would without a doubt be married. But rather than feeling sorry for not being married, I learned to view my life experience during the interim as a valuable blessing.

It is with this life experience and lessons learned that I became the best version of myself. My hardships, failures, and adventures, along with all the really tough things I have witnessed and had to overcome in life provided me with immeasurable strength. I even gained some incredible skills in the process. God's will for my life has always been pre-destined and I had to learn to look at it that way. Even my daughter (which was the result of an unplanned pregnancy) caused me immense guilt but turned out to be my biggest blessing, and my greatest path to growth in becoming the woman I am right now. I didn’t even realize how much I needed her. It has been through my child that I have learned to be incredibly nurturing and affectionate. She also taught me how important it is to encourage and remind people of their greatness. I challenge her daily to be a better person. Loyalty has always been embedded in me. All qualities I believe a husband will day.

I have been in serious relationships with men who adored me and wanted to do life with me. I could have married these men. Did that make it the right thing for me to do? Absolutely not, because at that time of my life I was young and not ready. God told me so. I got to date and experience life and I have no regrets about that. I have even had to make the choice to walk away from a great man who loved me after years together. It was hard, but it was the right thing to do at the time. I couldn't be that woman who married due to societal pressure or fear of being alone when I felt something missing.

Do not for one second believe that because you are a man or woman not married yet or with the partner of your dreams that you are a failure. God did not put you on this earth for that. What he did do, is give you an incredible canvas to paint on. He has handed you the brush. He never intended for you to become a wife or husband or even a parent at any certain age. He wants you to find your purpose and your gift. Trust in the timing of your life. If you were blessed to have children prior to marriage, forgive yourself and realize the blessing God gave you. So many women and men are unable to have children or carry a baby. And remember that does not hinder your path. There are many stellar men who will accept you and your children.

Stop asking men and women why they aren't married. Stop making each other feel bad or unworthy for being unwed. Stop acting like people "should" be married. We are more than our marital status. We are all capable of loving and being loved but or journeys are not the same. Marriage is not for everyone, although it sounds really nice. I am now in a place better prepared for marriage and for that reason I will never settle for the wrong thing. Because I am now so confident in what I can bring to the table and the value I can add to a man's life that I have no reason to. I revel in the fact I got to live my life. Marriage and perhaps more babies are the icing to the cake in due time. Everyone is running their own race, at their own pace. In the meantime, add life to your days and not days to your life. You are powerful and worthy.