there's a virus going around and i ain't talkin' about covid.
i'm not sure if it's something special about this year or if this is just my first year noticing, but DANG there are a lot of people getting engaged, married, pregnant, or having babies. yeesh! i know too many people to count that fall in all of these categories, and honestly the thought is exhausting to me.
you're probably wondering what could possibly be exhausting about watching other people live their lives, and you're not wrong in doing so, but the watching is the easy part. i don't tire of getting invited to weddings, they're so fun! i love seeing pictures of babies. i mean who doesn't love tiny baby fingers and cute lil fat faces?! this is the simple stuff, because it asks nothing of me. i am invited to come to a wedding, and i choose whether or not i attend. a picture of an infant is posted on instagram and i not only choose if even want to open the app that day, but i choose who's allowed in my feed and what photos i like. all voluntary. this choosing is not what tires me.
as a young woman of 20, i am constantly asked about my life, and not just my dream job (see blog post "table for one."). i mean girls, every time you go to a wedding aren't you encouraged if not dragged, shoved and forced to go fight some sad singles for the idea of being the next to get hitched?? (someone please comment whose idea this tradition was, i'm dying to know haha). every time you're around a baby or child are you not looked at with what feels like pity as a mother asks you if you plan on having your own anytime soon? to which i reply, "well yeah but i gotta have a man to have a baby sooo..." you get the idea. a woman's progress in life is evaluated based on how close she is to being a lover, a wife, and a mother. (to which i again say, go read "table for one!")
recently i have found myself in a cave-like mental space- i have heard echoed back to me the questions i am often asked, the thoughts frequently provoked. no one need ask me these questions anymore because i now ask them of myself, though perhaps more harshly. "why am i still single?" "will i ever get married?" "is my independence unattractive?" "do i care??" i have been left chewing on these questions for quite some time every time i see that another friend of mine got asked out, got asked to marry her boyfriend, or asked about baby names. i am left to wonder not "who am i" but "where am i? have i fallen behind? i know i'm twenty but where does that mean i should be? are my standards too high? i talk a big game but am i ok not getting engaged at 22, married at 23 and pregnant at 24.5?" these are just some of the things i've wondered, and i highly highly doubt i'm the only one. while these questions and wonderings are valid, their sources are not. the grids used to define our position in life are not as universal as we have been led to believe.
i feel like i am just rewriting table for one, but i think that's ok because before the catalyst for the thought was different. now i am in a place where, yes, perhaps the questions are the same, but now they are birthed out of real people, real scenarios in which my friends are living lives so close in proximity to mine that it makes me wonder if i'm supposed to be trying to keep up. but i can't, i can't keep up. "keeping up" with someone can look one of two ways: it can be keeping up with someone's life as a spectator, cheering them on, or it can look like running beside or behind them, trying to stay in stride with their steps. but i'm not called to be my friend that just got engaged at 22 and is getting married this year. if i was called to be her, i would be. but i'm not. so i'm perfectly content to sit on her side of the church and cheer her on as she begins her forever with the man of God's dreams for her, even while i don't have one myself. i'm not called to be like my friends who are getting pregnant and starting families. if i was called to be them, i would be. but i'm not. so i'm happy to get invited to baby showers and prophesy over someone else's child even when it doesn't look like i'll have one soon.
where i am right now is waiting. now, i'm not talking about your classic disney princess waiting around in a tower painting (though i do paint) and singing (yup, i do that also) hoping one day the smell of paint and sound of a one-sided duet will waft out the window and rest gently onto the eardrums of a dashing single young male who will then drop everything to come find me and whisk me away to the life i always imagined but was never brave enough to make for myself. i'm talking about the waiting game. that's intentional, that's strategic. my favorite games are the ones where you have to think so hard and plan so much that you forget what you're doing is supposed to be fun (future boyfriend, keep that in mind babe). the success is so much more rewarding when you work for it, not when you stumble upon it. i hate games of chance for that very reason. there's nothing special about that victory because you had nothing to do with it.
so no, you won't catch me gazing out the window waiting for the man of my dreams to trip over my pile of books on the lawn, glance up to find who they belong to and find me, hair blowing lightly in the wind while i hum my favorite love song hoping he'll recognize the tune and know all the words. (can you tell i'm a romantic yet? surprise.) you'll find me in my room. door closed. lights dimmed. worship music playing. i'm not singing, i'm listening. not to the music, to His voice. "God how can i look more like you? i don't want people to just see me when they see me. i want people to feel so loved when they're around me that they just have to ask what makes my presence so different so i can tell them it has nothing to do with me. God would you make me more humble. if i have to fall on my face every day so be it, i just can't live with this pride anymore." i promise i'm not doing this to hype myself up, and i'm not going to sit here and rewrite all of my prayers but i think you get what i'm getting at. i'm not prepping for a beauty pageant every morning, hoping today will be the day i meet "the one," i'm grooming my heart. i surrendering this broken vessel to be melted and refined and remolded to look more like my Maker. now, don't get me wrong, i know how to present myself, and i won't leave the house lookin' indecent (cause it sho' feel good to look good ya knooowww), but that's just for me.
so hey, i'm miracle faith mayes. i'm twenty years old. i'm in school and i work full time. Christ is the only man who's ever loved me back and that's more than enough. i don't have a boyfriend, never have. i don't have a baby, never have (praise the Lord!) and i am perfectly content with that. i may be in waiting but that is not an idle game, i am in preparation. i am just trying to grow to look more like Jesus every day. to be a better version of myself every day. i am growing more self aware and yet more confident. i look more and more like my dad every moment (my Heavenly one but honestly yeah, my earthly dad too haha). i'm miracle faith mayes and i am a woman in waiting, and that's no idle game.