What should you do when you have the dress, the shoes, and the perfect hair, but your prom date has yet to show? Do not spend your evening waiting outside the dance simply because of your naked wrist. Forget the corsage and go get your groove on! The expectation for most young women is to have it all: an elite education, a powerful career, and a love story that rivals Disney. In Forget the Corsage, Ginger Ciminello shares candid stories, personal journal entries, and relevant Scriptures to help navigate through tough matters of the heart. She seeks to remind you that life is not on hold until you find the one. Life does not start with a corsage, a diploma, a ring, a job, or even the perfect group of friends. Real life begins with Jesus. You were created for a purpose. Your identity is found in Christ. Trust Him with the desires of your heart and the plans for your life. Take courage in the midst of your journey. Believe that His good IS good. If you are ready to stop waiting and start living, then it’s time to Forget the Corsage. “Ginger’s honest confession of life’s most embarrassing moments will allow you to ‘get real’ with who you are and who you present to this world. God created you as special! It’s time to own it.” —Carey C. Bailey of Cravings Online
When my cousin Amy entered the word, she filled all of our lives with joy. Born with a large hole in her heart and Down syndrome, she had to undergo many procedures in the first years of her life. As she grew older and healthier, Amy developed a quick wit and a wonderful sense of humor. Her quotes have stopped my entire family in its tracks and provided much-needed laughter. She is now in her early twenties, but I can still picture her as the toddler who wowed us all with her ability to do the splits and keep us dancing. Whether giving sold-out concert performances in the backyard, or fiercely protective hugs, Amy stands out as a vibrant member of our huge family. Once Amy hit twelve years old, she became very concerned about the dating and relationship status of each of her cousins. I vividly remember having a brief heart-to-heart with her concerning my own relationships. “Ginger,” she began. “Do you have a boyfriend?” “No, Amy. No boyfriend,” I quickly replied. She tried again. “Ginger, how old are you?” “I’m eighteen.” “Do you have a boyfriend?” “Nope. No boyfriend.” “You’re eighteen. You have a boyfriend.” Thinking I’d found a loophole, I countered back, “You’re right, Amy. Jesus is my boyfriend!” Amy spun around, looked me squarely in the eye and accused, “Do you think I’m stupid?” In that one moment, Amy spoke loudly and distinctly for her generation and for our culture. The truth is that most girls are expected to date, go to college, land a high-paying job, become engaged, get married, get pregnant, and then live happily ever after. The expectation for most American young women is to have it all: an elite education, a powerful career, and a love story that rivals Disney. My concern is not desire in and of itself. I believe our hearts are wired to want and desire all kinds of good things! My concern comes with our tendency – specifically as girls – to idolize relationships with guys. Amy’s interrogation was just the beginning. Once I reached high school, I noticed that I could rarely finish a conversation without having being asked, “Are you dating anyone?” Sometimes I could handle that question, but other times it would leave me in a state of panic because usually I didn’t have that someone. In fact, I lived through my entire high school journey in anticipation of my senior prom. I had the dress, the heels, and the up-do, but I did not have the date. At the last minute I recruited a friend to accompany me. He was to pick me up at the house, escort me to dinner, and drive me to the dance. And of course, he was supposed to bring me a corsage. Instead, my date arrived to the dance after 10 p.m. He rushed in to find me standing at the bottom of the escalator that had already delivered my entire senior class to their “Night to Remember.” I had waited by myself for over an hour because I was convinced that I couldn’t enter the dance until I had my date and my corsage. I danced to only three songs that night and spent most of my prom thinking, “No one will ever want me. My life is never going to start.” Since that time, God has challenged me with my very own words. I believed two lies that night – two lies that many of us are prone to believe. 1. I am unwanted and undesired. 2. My life hasn’t started yet and will only begin when I find the one. If I truly am a daughter of the King of Kings, then I know the response to my own lament. Not only does God want me, but He has also given me an abundant and exciting life right from the start. His love provides the courage to live adventurously regardless of my dating or marital status. The Bible, God’s love letter to us, reminds us that our desires are important to God. In fact, Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” My desires encompass everything from my food preferences and clothing choices to the deepest wants and dreams for my life. This verse in Psalms tells me my desires are what I will receive if I just delight myself in the Lord. But what happens when you are twenty-seven, single, delighting yourself in the Lord, and still finding your desires out of reach? That’s the real-life story I found myself living. The Lord has since taken me on a journey through His Word and through my past to discover a future that is secure in Him. This book was written for every young woman who believes that life is on hold until she measures up to standards set by this world. My desire is to see all women come to be known by their identity in Jesus, including their God-given passions, rather than their dating status, career obligations, or how they compare to other women. You may be a daughter, a friend, a cousin, or a girlfriend – but your most important identity lies in who God has made you to be: His daughter. If you are seeking to find hope and purpose in your Heavenly Father, then this book is just for you. “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ.” (Philippians 1:9-10)
Ginger Ciminello may sound like an Italian dessert, but she’s actually a speaker and blogger from Phoenix, Arizona. She communicates through storytelling and dramatic narrative and has spent the last decade encouraging young women to live up to their God-given potential and unique design. Learn more at gingerciminello.com.