I was that girl. The girl who was always watching her friends in relationships. I didn't date much in high school. I had a very protective big brother and most boys in school were scared to come near me. Even with a big brother I still managed to date the wrong guys, the guys that no one wants their daughter dating. By the grace of God, and with the protection of an older brother, I made it through. I was the girl who watched her girlfriends as they were "wooed" by this guy, adored by that guy. As I approached college, I watched a handful of them fall in love and get married. And I stood. Waiting. I won't dare say it was easy. I believe God created us for relationships... and this is only one type of relationship, but for many girls, it is THE relationship they are waiting for.
I didn't date much in college either. My girlfriends were always dating, but after high school, I became much pickier. Not long before graduation I discovered Christianity, and my world changed drastically. I had a new found purpose and a new identity. Up until this point my desire for a significant other was out of the overflow of a heart that felt incomplete, and out of a heart that desperately longed to be loved. But now, I found wholeness in who I was in Christ. That didn't change the desire to one day find a man to share life with, it just changed the motivation, and to be quite frank, the criteria. I didn't want to date just anyone, but at the same time, there was a lot of grief around my girlfriends always "having someone" and me being alone. I'll be honest, it was hard. I can remember one summer where 8 of my girlfriends got married, and I was still waiting.
Then came life after college. And I continued to wait. I went out with a few guys, but they weren't "the guy." I watched other friends get married, the previous friends have babies, and I continued to wait. I can remember the paradox I would experience, great joy for my friends, as they found "the guy" or held little bundles of joy (it is no secret to those who know me that I have always looked forward to being a wife and a mom.) I was so thrilled for my friends, but inside I would grieve, and I would ask God, when is it my turn?
Then I hit 30. And honestly, I was shocked that I was still Miss McKerring as I entered my 30's. All of my girlfriends, save 2, had married. Most of them had children. And when I reached 30, the high school students I mentored in college were now marrying, some of which having children... and I waited. And sometimes in my waiting, my attitude wasn't pretty. There were some pretty un-glorious conversations between me and God. Ask me sometime, I'll tell you.
And now I am going to be "that girl." The girl who has crossed "that line" into marriage and says, I am SO glad I waited.
By waiting, I have had some of the most AMAZING experiences in the world. I've traveled among a variety of cultures, I've been able to love people in many different languages, I've been unhindered in my ability to go and serve when opportunities arose.
By waiting, I learned that I really can talk,
By waiting, I don't have as many regrets. I willfully admit that I did have a few things about my dating life I would have changed before I met Jason, but once I became picky, and changed my perspective on what I was waiting for and why... I had none. If only I had that perspective in high school. I'd have no regrets.
And the best part of waiting... is the man in the picture.
He is EXACTLY the perfect man for me. He pursues me. He loves me for me. His heart for others mirrors mine, and his quirkiness matches my quirkiness. We aren't identical, if anything we are quite opposite in many ways. Our approach to problem solving is different (engineer meets social worker?), our approach to time management is different, he thinks logically and linearly, I'm all over the place. But when we meet each other where the other person is at, the most beautiful collision of personalities occurs. Never in my dreams did I imagine God doing something so beautiful in my life. I am so glad I did not settle earlier in life. This adventure I am on, couldn't be matched. Jason loves me, for me, not for someone I might one day be. He cares for me in ways that I need caring for. He encourages me to pursue my passions and my heart, even if it might affect our plans. He embraces my free spirit, but also helps me to ground myself a bit. His committment to Christ, outshines that of any man I have ever dated, and inspires me in my committment to my marriage and to my own walk with Jesus.
There was a point, when I thought all the "quality guys" must have been taken. And I figured I would just have to give up on that dream of marriage and one day parenting cause settling still wasn't an option. And even as I doubted in my waiting that it would ever be possible, God stepped in, and put this wonderful man in front of me.
He was well worth the wait.