image by Studio Castillero

Two years ago our heads were over our heels. We stayed up late talking about everything and nothing. We found it difficult maneuvering with one available hand as the other was locked up and entangled in the softest grip we had ever known. We were driving from the coast of Oregon to Seattle, Washington. Same month. Same car. Same driver. Same passenger. A blank notebook laid open in my lap. I had recently visited Powell’s bookstore in Portland while I waited for my new boyfriend to meet me in my favorite city. I figured we needed a notebook, one with enough blank pages for all of our memories, prayers, love letters and dreams.

As we drove away from the Pacific Ocean that day, our hearts were ablaze with ambition, love and fresh couple goals. We got a surge of inspiration to map out our future because we were naive and felt like we were in control. I found a pen and he encouraged me to draw 3 sections on the first page to organize our 1 year/5 year/10 year plans. I was amazed at how far he was thinking as our relationship was relatively new even though we both knew it was a forever kind of thing. I looked over to my left and asked “okay, what do you want to accomplish in the next year?”. Without hesitation he said, “I would like to marry you.”
If I had a forecast of the storms that we would face shortly after our “honeymoon” phase, I probably would have asked him to pull the car over, stick out my thumb and catch the fastest ride down south that I could. That is the beautiful thing about us not being able to control or predict our futures. The words that danced out of JP’s excited lips were in rhythm with the same words swirling in my heart. That is all that mattered in the moment. That is all that matters in whatever situation we may face.
We have a foundation for our relationship. The day we decided to pursue one another swaying on a hammock in Uganda, we both said “we have a lot of individual work to do, but we want to work on it together.” That was the most beautiful bed of soil for our relationship to flourish out of. We easily could have said we had so much work to do on our individual selves and once we figured it all out we would find our way back to each other…but we declared the opposite. Often times when we are stuck in the mud or one foot out the door we come back to that. Sometimes we even just say “hammock” as a code word to bring us back to the beginning, to our truth.
I see this a lot in my relationship with Jesus. Since I surrendered my life to Him in 2011, the adventure has been all over the place. I’m sure the people in my life think I am crazy for all the different paths I have taken or the endeavors I have pursued. It feels like it has been a wild roller coaster. For a girl who used to stick closely to “her plan,” being obedient to the directions that the Lord has led me has been the most challenging and beautiful thing. You know those puzzles for children where you find your way out of a maze with a pencil on the paper? It’s kind of been like that with short turns left and right that lead to a path that brings me close to where I started but then slopes down to a new adventure. This maze is never ending, full of sharp turns, long waves and beautiful light at the end of the tunnel.
I said yes. When Jesus got down on one knee I said yes, without knowing everything that would come my way. The best thing is, the foundation of love and partnership is what I can focus on. I said yes on the hammock that day to my life partner. We knew there would be a lot of ish to walk through but this life would be so much better doing it together. I’m now saying yes to this new blog and yes to making a life out of writing because the truth is it brings me joy. There are so many other things that I’m saying yes to that are going to be the craziest life moves yet (you will find out soon) but the foundation is rooted in truth…in His truth. I am so ready.
  • June 18, 2015 - 4:40 am

    Ashley Howser - Mary, this was incredible!! I know we don’t know each other, but I’ve loved reading your blog and hearing your story. Reading your blog has caused me to want to write one of my own about the adventures I’m going on next. Thank you for being such an inspiration and for unashamedly proclaiming your love for Christ!ReplyCancel

  • June 18, 2015 - 6:54 am

    Raquel Mooring - I LOVE reading your writing! I follow you on Instagram and I often take screenshots of your vulnerable and beautiful posts because they often correlate with what I’m going through at the time. I especially love your posts about your walk with your husband as you both try to follow God’s will individually and together. As someone who isn’t married yet, it’s so refreshing to see an encouraging example of a righteous marriage. I think you should write a book ;). Thanks for sharing your heart!ReplyCancel

  • July 2, 2015 - 3:11 pm

    Elisa Waidelich - Mary, I am so happy to see that you are writing again! I have followed you on Instagram for a while and read through the archives of this blog. You have such a gentle, yet passionate writing voice. I deeply appreciate your vulnerability and wisdom. Your words have challenged me to examine and strengthen my own relationship with Jesus. Keep doing what you’re doing!ReplyCancel

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *