Bearing my Cross · Body. · For the Ladies · Friendship · Life Written. · Love or Something Like It · Popular Posts. · Post-Grad. · Sic'Em Forever. · spirit · The Word · To My Mister

I Don’t Have a Backup Husband…Anymore.

He is one of my closest guy friends.

He and I go way, way back. He’s seen me wear many hats: the Christian, the Baylor student, the Tri Delta, the PR chick, the coach, the climber, the writer. He’s really an incredible person.

But he met this woman. And he thinks maybeee he’ll marry her one day. Originally, I accused her of ruining my life. I said, “Dude. What about when we’re 40? Who am I supposed to marry then?”

He reminded me it was only a backup plan. I haven’t picked a new backup husband since.

On Wednesday night, my gal pals and I shared Torchy’s chips and queso and delved into this deep conversation on what marriage is, what it looks like, how to wait, and how to give and receive love. It was this raw, honest, convicting conversation.

“Marriage is a gift, not a given.”

Oof. My friend Sarah delivered the truth.

Here’s the thing about marriage: it is absolutely beautiful. God uses marriage as a model of how Christ loves the Church, to show us how He pursues His children, to give us an idea of how unconditional and irreplaceable His love is.

Here’s the thing about marriage: not everyone gets married. I can think of a handful of wonderful, godly women well over 30-years-old who are still single. Some chose it. Some didn’t. Each has an exquisite, intimate relationship with The Lord, and have positively impacted my faith.

“Singleness is a gift just as much as marriage is.”

Yours truly threw this one out on the literal Torchy’s table. I meant every single word.

I’ve never exclusively dated. I’ve been on dates and had those childish summer flings. But I’ve never been in a fully committed relationship.

It used to hurt me a lot. I had this longing to understand how to love and be loved in a romantic way. I felt like I wasn’t good enough to date, like I was unworthy.

Then, it didn’t hurt at all. In fact, what I once considered a shameful weakeness became my greatest strength. It took me about half of college. It took years of prayer and patience.

Every minute of my life is used to follow Jesus and to love God’s children. I am completely accessible to women who mentor me, and to younger friends who I mentor. My flexible schedule and availability to drop-everything-and-run to my friends who hurt are undeniable advantages of singleness.

Benefits of singleness include: I rarely have to shave my legs, I have awesome cuddle seshes with my dog, and I don’t have to share my meal with anyone.

Actual advantages include: free weekends to serve, an undivided attention to seek God first, an availability to dive deep into friendships with other singles (and marrieds, of course).

We are not defined by our relationship status.

We are defined by The Lord, by the incredible lengths He undergoes so we can merely grasp His love for us. We are defined by Christ on the cross, bleeding out for all of God’s children, just so we can call Him “Abba.”

We are qualified by who we are: we are chosen, we are humbled, we are loved. We are qualified by whose we are: The Lord our King. That is all that matters. That is who we are.

Bearing my Cross · Body. · For the Ladies · Life Written. · Love Languages · Love or Something Like It · Post-Grad. · The Word · To My Mister

Great Expectations: On Dating & Plans, Etc.

So my gal pals & I keep facing an issue:

Whenever we meet a great guy, we get super amped. Then when it doesn’t work out, we are absolutely devastated.

It’s happened to me a time or two…or twenty. It’s that “so I met a guy” story I mentioned a couple months back. We start a friendship and shoot dang, I’m over the moon. Then it burns out or he dates another girl or whatever it may be, it simply doesn’t work.

And then I whip out the chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and Legally Blonde because if Elle Woods can go to Harvard Law, I can do freaking anything — including getting over said man.

so why does this happen? what’s wrong with us?

The answer is: absolutely nothing.

It’s okay to be excited when you meet a guy with potential. It’s okay to anticipate good things in a newfound friendship. It’s okay to giggle whenever he texts you or even looks you in the eyes.

I don’t think the question is what’s wrong with us, or me, it’s more of dissecting: what is wrong with my actions? With my thoughts? With my expectations?

god’s never promised me a husband.

But He has promised to 1) never leave me 2) work for my good 3) to always love me. He has promised to walk beside me and before me, to gather up broken pieces from my past, to stitch me together in the present, to prepare me for the wonders of my future.

So if God is doing all of these wonderful things in my past and present, surely I can expect wonderful things in the future. Surely I can know that whatever man is (or isn’t) coming my way, His timing and His plan and His will overtake whatever I plan.

These days, I’m trying to keep my actions, thoughts and expectations in check. I’m trying to align these things with God’s promises, to remember my life boils down to God’s sovereignty and my free will. To know that I have plans in my mind, but God directs my steps.

So to all my single ladies, hang in there!

Don’t break your heart over a man who’s not worth it, or especially a man you barely know. Do guard your heart in Truths and wisdom and scripture that reveal all of the miraculous things God does for us!

If you’re struggling to get over a man today, remember this pain won’t last for all of your tomorrows. If you’re feeling strong right now, keep at it. You’ve. Got. This.

College Life · For the Ladies · Friendship · Life Written. · Love Languages · Love or Something Like It · Popular Posts. · Post-Grad. · Red Bus. · Sic'Em Forever. · Sojourn.

Hey Single Ladies: It’s OK to Love or Hate Your Status

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Dear Single Ladies,

My name is Maelyn. I’m also a single lady.

I love my relationship status. The reasons I love singleness may be the very reasons you hate it.

Let me tell you why I love it:

Singleness allows selfishness.

The beauty of singleness is: you are uncommitted.

I’ve learned far more in 14 days of adulthood in Nashville than nearly four years of school in Waco.

You are single. It’s okay to travel the world, start a company, or get that tattoo.

Embrace an independence to make your own choices, but be careful to realize decisions you make now can affect your future.

Singleness allows selflessness.

The beauty of singleness is: you can commit to whoever and whatever you choose.

In college, I overcomitted. I plunged headfirst into church, academics, internships, organizations and friendships.

I chose friending guys over dating guys, because my schedule and mind did not make room for more.

These days, I choose to commit to an internship with Red Bus and growing roots in Nashville.

My internship is full-time and requires travel, so I don’t have room to date now either. I choose that in my mind and my heart also doesn’t feel it.

Singleness allows sculpting.

I love to travel because it tests your adaptive and strategic skills. Traveling with friends is fun, because the team effort creates lasting memories: good and bad.

If I am a party of one, I learn more as an individual. Traveling alone does not allow me to depend on others’ knowledge or cultural competency.

If you hate singleness, you hate it.

If you love it, you love it.

Other people won’t get it.

If you’re lonely, they assume you love it. If you’re strong, they assume you’re weak.

You have a right to feel lonely, but a relationship won’t fulfill an emotional feeling.

You have a right to feel strong, but a relationship will force you to admit weakness.

If you are single, own it while you can. Don’t find too much comfort in it, don’t place too much hope for a change of status.

At this moment in time, I have zero desire, capacity or option to marry by 25.

This time next year, one, two or all of those factors may change.

I’m learning to a) not push people away and b) give myself grace if I do.

These are tough lessons, I’ve hurt others and myself in the process. I acknowledge the circumstances and own my mistakes. Hey, at least I’m learning.

Right now, I enjoy a carefree, independent lifestyle.

In the future, should my status change, I will embrace a more careful, codependent love.

Bearing my Cross · Friendship · Life Written. · Love Languages · Love or Something Like It · Post-Grad. · Red Bus. · Sojourn.

Home is Wherever I’m With You.

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Tennesse feels like home.

Recently and in the past four years, I use “home” as a loose term.

Dallas was home for 17 years, Waco for 4, Houston for 2 summers, Italy for 4 weeks.

These are all places I learned to love and found community.

They’re places that enhanced strengths and challenged weaknesses I forgot to address, or exposed parts of myself I never knew I had.

To me, home is where mind and heart blend.

My mind rests its worries and falls asleep. My heart cherishes each moment and feels treasured.

Adventure and discovery excite me, so I die to seek and experience new places.

But location typically does not affect my well-being and inner peace.

People can and often do.

I see home in a friend’s eyes when she says, “I don’t want to workout, let’s eat ice cream.”

I feel home on a friend’s shoulder as I weep and confess insecurities.

I find home in a friend’s smile when he laughs at a joke.

No matter where I am, I crave home if I don’t have a support system or community around me.

The earth is vast and complex and full of treasures. I want to learn and know them all.

However many places I go, whenever I question my belonging on this earth, I return home to The Lord in a state of reflection and gratitude.

When I acknowledge Him, anxieties cease and joy spills forth.

God welcomes me and invites me to kick off my shoes, I’ve wandered pretty far, after all.

He asks me how my day was, listens to my words, smiles at the highs and frowns at the lows.

He offers fresh baked cookies, laughs at my jokes and I understand His stories that stretch and mold my perspective.

He doesn’t declare He is safe, I just know.

He doesn’t ask me to lay my head down, I just collapse on the couch.

He doesn’t need to be visually seen or audibly heard, my mind knows and my heart feels. He is home. And there’s no place like home.

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. Psalm 91:9-10, NIV

Bearing my Cross · For the Ladies · Friendship · Life Captured. · Life Written. · Love Languages · Love or Something Like It · Popular Posts. · Sojourn. · The Word · Uncategorized

Heart Over Head: On Reckless Love

I tend to fall in love with places.

A bustling town square won’t say one thing and do another.

A cozy coffeeshop will never spew words to break me.

A dreamy beach house can’t uproot and leave.

Though places can renovate or go out of business, they are usually stationary and consistent.

When I travel and explore, I find out more about who I am and who I want to be.

In my love relationship with places, I’m the one in control.

I’m the one who comes and goes. I’m the one who changes. I’m the one who moves on.

My head says it would be reckless to give away my heart.

Lots of people fall in love.

It’s not a bad thing. It’s beautiful.

I adore the nature of love: seeking the best for someone over your own needs and desires, cherishing another imperfect human, experiencing the joys and sorrows of life with your closest companion.

I promise I do love people.

I make friends easily. I’m guarded, yet I gladly accept all who do the same for me.

But I’m also a healthy skeptic and this world is full of dark, mean people. It’s also full of light, pure people.

Neverthelesswe are all still people. None of us know how to love in a Goldilocks way, where it’s justtt right.

God loves in a way that’s just right.

His love is reckless.

God says, “You have an unfaithful human heart. I hope you love me in return, but if you don’t, I’ll chase you anyway. I love you.”

His love is irrevocable.

God says, “You messed up, but you’re broken. Don’t you worry. I’ve already forgotten. I’m still here. I love you.”

His love is consistent.

God says, “My love for you yesterday was equal to my love today, and my love will be the same tomorrow. I love you.”

My love should match His.

I can still guard my heart from dumb guys who won’t. I won’t hand out my number to creepy men who ask, that’s unsafe and unwise.

But when it comes to all of God’s children, I need to love deep and wide.

As a Christ follower, I’m called to love in a reckless, irrevocable and consistent way.

The Holy Spirit says, “You may get taken advantage of. You may be hurt. It’s happened before.

But I am The One who loves you far better and far more than anyone else.

My love is enough to fill your cup, to overflow from your heart and to heal you, should you ever be hurt in the process of caring for others.

Trust me. Lean on me. Love me and love my people, and love them well.

I love you.”

College Life · Friendship · Life Written. · Post-Grad. · Red Bus. · Sojourn.

A Letter to the Texas, the State I’m Leaving

Texas forever.
Texas forever.

I flee the great state of Texas on Saturday.

In the 20.5 years I’ve lived here (since my adoption), I’ve called three great Texas cities home.

I love almost everything about Texas: cowboy boots, twangy accents and chicken friend steak, an undeniable pride heard when citizens threat to “secede!” and an overwhelming warmth brought by Southern hospitality.

But what I love most about Texas is the way the culture, people and lifestyle have shaped me.

Here’s a sappy, sweet letter to my beloved home state:

Dear Texas,

It has been a wild ride, old friend. Who knew a tiny baby abandoned in China would end up in your welcoming arms at 14 months old?

Thank you for everything.

Thank you for your people who have come at just the right time, to treasure me, spur abundant growth and encourage my weirdness.

Thank you for your places, which are usually scary and unfamiliar at first, but then earn trust and promise life & adventure.

Dallas, thank you for raising me. More specifically, thanks to Richardson and Plano for an awesome education system, safe neighborhoods and sweet, dear companions to run and play with.

Waco, thank you for adopting me. You brought in a naive, wide-eyed girl and showed her how to truly love and be loved by others. I entered unamused by lack of what you had to offer, and left longing to return to your quirky, amazing community.

Houston, thank you for challenging me. I didn’t know a single soul or how to lead youth to Christ, but you provided steadfast friends and brought to light wisdom I didn’t know I had. Also, it’s nothing personal, but you’re just not my place.

Back to you, Texas.

You and your people will be missed. I am proud to call you home and already eager to return.

I’m not sure how long I will be gone. Maybe a few months, years, or even forever.

You may change and grow in the span I’m absent, but you’ll always be a familiar, beloved, lifelong pal to me.

With complete love & fondness,

Mae