When I was 17 I would’ve told you I’d be married by 20.
When I was 20, I said 23.
Now, deep into 25, I say by the time I die.
Life hasn’t gone as imagined.
I dedicated high school to extra curricular activities. Essentially, I “paid my dues” in high school by living up the single life pursuing Jesus. Aside from high school, I worked 25hr weeks and led a small group. I thought, naturally, God would immediately bring my man to me the second I had my high school diploma. I thought it’d be ADORABLE if my first college class had assigned seats and the man I would marry would be coincidentally assigned next to me.
18 year old Mary was s’cute.
I made the move from Chicago to Kansas after graduation. I enrolled in 15 credit hours and became an employee to two businesses. For the following year, days included working, going to class, studying, and spending time with a few close friends I made.
I didn’t get Sunday mornings off, nor did I have a circle of Christian friends. My circle of friends included those on probation, recovering addicts, all doubting their faith. My love for Jesus never faded, my prayer life actually increased because I relentlessly interceded for my new friends. My values weren’t compromised, but I wasn’t getting fed on any level nor was I receiving – I gave everything I had.After two years of this cycle — full-time student, full-time employee and friend to various personalities, I cracked. Depression crept up, drowning me in a flood of darkness. Since I was so many people’s “person,” and felt I was held on a high pedestal, I didn’t have the strength to admit I was depressed.
To be clear, I was not depressed because I didn’t have Christian friends. I was depressed because I did everything on my own strength and my prayer life was for others, not myself. I gave more than I had the capacity to give without feeding my soul. I was starved.
I’m the girl who drove herself home after tearing her ACL, the girl who went to work with a concussion – getting me to admit I’m in pain takes, well, more than a torn ACL or concussed head. I’m much better now, but admitting my soul wasn’t well all those years ago took rock-bottom depression.During those darks days I eventually took my bone-dry soul to a church in Olathe, Kansas. Once worship started, the presence of God cascaded down my entire body. I received. The cast bandaged to my heart was cut off, and my soul breathed, remembering how to operate.
In the midst of this, I was looking for a Kansas corn-fed man. There were a few prospects, but during “Mary time” one night I believe the Lord said, “the man I have for you isn’t in Kansas. But Mary, I can’t wait for you to walk out your love story.”
I might as well have been taken to Disney Land and, in the parking lot be told, “never mind, we’ll go in years to come. The rides will be improved and the wait will be worth it.” I’m human OKAY…those words were hard to swallow. I’d meet a new guy and justify it by saying, “God said he wasn’t in Kansas…maybe that was for THEN, but because of free will this guy came here NOW.” I’d meet another guy and say, “Uh God, do you not KNOW THIS GUY!?” While I noticed attractive guys and still had a crush here and there, nothing happened with anyone during my Kansas City years.
I established deep roots in KC and loved the following year. I loved my school, my job, the Shekinah house and the incredible people in my life.
I thought God calling me into Kansas was to fulfill my love for Journalism and Midwest living. I thought I’d meet and marry a Midwest man during college and become Mrs. Comfort Living.
I didn’t go into journalism, I didn’t meet a man, I didn’t even go to the school I thought I would.
I was called to Kansas for relationships. I was called to be used. I’m not here on this earth solely to become a wife. One day, hopefully, but God used me to love, to simply be a friend to many. Through giving, I received.
Amazing, amazing friendships birthed. So many of them changed my life, and are in my life for life.
My mindset at 18 would be expected of any 18 year old gal, and I’m thankful I’ve been single all these years to pour into people and grow personally, having a lot of time for me and Jesus, and me and whoever I want to ask out for coffee.
Kansas City led me to Hollywood. The past 2.5 years in Los Angeles have been absolutely incredible. No journalism, but amazing favor in an industry nearly impossible to get into. No man yet, but incredible friendships. Singleness is a blessing, and while a deep desire is to become a wifey, I know the timing is His. It took over five years post high school for me to grow content and secure in this.
If any fellow single ladies (or men!) are reading and approaching their late 20’s thinking they’d be married years ago, I feel you. You’d rather cook for two than swing by Chipotle. You’d rather have a shoe-in companion to explore the city, but instead make plans with friends…but sometimes settle for Netflix. You want to hold someone’s hand while driving, but find yourself car dancing solo.
One day you may miss Chipotle, free weekends and solo drives on the freeway. You may miss having an entire morning not answering to anyone and being able to drink coffee and read. Your desires now, though, aren’t lost on Jesus. He knows, and He is marinating whoever and whatever is to come.
Let Him use you to bless others, let Him use others to bless you. Relationships are everything.
You’re I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T and honey, you wear it well.