Behind the Book: (Still) Waiting for Someday — Guest Post by Amy Drown

My just-released novel, Catch a Falling Star, deals with the question: What do you do when life doesn’t go according to plan? The heroine, Dr. Kendall Haynes, has a satisfying life in a lot of ways — except her dreams of happily-ever-after haven’t come true. 

While Kendall is an imaginary person, the disappointment she struggles with is one many women face in real life. I met Amy Drown this past year (she’s a writer, I’m a writer — need I say more?) and she provides a behind-the-book glimpse at how one woman has dealt with life not going according to her plans.

Ever since I was a child, my heart’s desire has been to be a stay-at-home wife and mother. Homeschool, housekeeping, dinner on the table the moment my hubby walks in the door, and all the rest of the June Cleaver trappings. (Except maybe the pearls.)

My Barbies always played “Wedding Day.” My stuffed animals and Cabbage Patch Kids always played “Homeschool.” I read fairy tales, watched princess movies, and cut out pictures of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty to tape to my bedroom wall. Someday my Prince would come, and I couldn’t wait.

As a teen, I started flipping through bridal magazines, collecting pictures of dresses, cakes, and rings. I made lists of which friends and relatives would be my bridesmaids. During one particularly boring Algebra II class, I even made a seating chart for my reception. When my Prince came, I would be prepared.

In college I fearlessly championed the woman’s place in the home. My family laughed. My friends called me the biggest male chauvinist pig they knew. But I didn’t care. The only career I wanted was the barefoot-and-pregnant kind. College was all about getting my “MRS.” degree because I wouldn’t need a job. My Prince would come any day now, and I was on the watch.

In my twenties, my peers began pairing off. Boys and girls who’d always laughed at my romantic ideals, who’d never wanted marriage or children themselves, were suddenly being blessed with both. So I started reading books—every book I could find on waiting, becoming the right person, letting God write my love story, being happy in my single state, purging whatever sin was clearly preventing God from granting my heart’s desire. Apparently my Prince was delayed because there was something wrong with me, and I had to fix it.

I turned thirty, and went through the world’s worst online dating phase. Because obviously my Prince hadn’t stopped for directions and was lost, and it was up to me to go find him.

I turned thirty-five. My heart’s desire was suddenly in the “high risk” medical department, and I consoled myself the only way possible—I dove headlong into official spinsterhood and adopted a cat. Any Prince who happened along now would just have to be a sugar-daddy who could afford adoption and wasn’t allergic to pet dander.

Now I’m thirty-seven, and I’m finally ready to admit it—God’s plans are definitely NOT mine. I never planned to have my 20-year reunion before my first kiss. I never planned to outgrow both the college AND singles ministries at church. I never planned to watch friends make multiple trips to the altar before I’d even made it there once. I never planned to be an independent career woman. I never planned to be alone.

Yet here I am. Still waiting for my heart’s desire, and hopeful that a perfect God has perfectly brought me to this point in my life for a perfect reason. I still can’t wait. I’m still prepared, still on the watch, still waiting for that magical first kiss—only now the years of waiting have made me more excited than I ever was in my teens or twenties.

Because someday my Prince will come, and when he does, it’s going be far better than I could have ever planned.

 

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AMY DROWN studied History at the University of Arizona and the University of Glasgow. An executive assistant by day, she is also an award-winning photographer and musician. But her true passion is writing edgy, inspirational stories that explore the deep roots of family, friendship and faith. She is a 2013 ACFW Genesis Semi-Finalist (Contemporary Fiction), and was a 2012 ACFW First Impressions Finalist (Historical Fiction). Connect with Amy and learn more about Deep-Rooted Fiction™ at www.AmyDrown.com.

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39 Comments

  1. May 14, 2013, 6:29 am   /  Reply

    I haven’t met you but like you already, you’ve racked up some amazing accomplishments many gals only dream of. And Univ. of Glasgow? How fun is that. Scotland’s one of my favorite places ever. Thanks for this great post. Will hope to be at next ACFW & meet you.

  2. May 14, 2013, 6:39 am   /  Reply

    Thank you, Delores! Yes, I’ve certainly had an unconventional life up to now. And living in Scotland for a year of graduate school was the best time of my life! I need to get my passport renewed so I can go back! If you do make it to ACFW, I’d love to meet you… look for the chick with the bagpipes. 🙂

  3. Patty
    May 14, 2013, 6:55 am   /  Reply

    This sounds exactly like I could have written it! I guess you could say I’m still waiting for my ‘happily ever after’, but I’m pretty content in the meanwhile. Just trusting the Lord for what is best!

    • May 14, 2013, 7:03 am   /  Reply

      Amen, Patty! That’s the challenge, isn’t it? Finding the balance between contentment with all the blessings we’ve been given, and hanging on to the hope of having someone to share them with.

  4. May 14, 2013, 7:13 am   /  Reply

    (I should shut up. I have a husband and 4 kids.)
    My dad thought I was an old maid at 19. It was a cultural thing. He was ALWAYS on us about finding a spouse. Especially when company was over.
    We had an elderly friend who would join us for holidays. Mrs. Emma Whitter. We all adored her, absolutely adored her. One Christmas, my dad was at it again and blah blah blah husbands blah blah blah. Mrs. Whitter slammed down her fork onto Mom’s china plate and said, rather firmly “That is ENOUGH! You leave those girls alone! I did not marry until I was 38 years old! How’s that for being a spinster? Huh? Now stop bothering them, you put too much pressure on their young shoulders!! Stop it at once.”

    No one EVER talked to my normally very sweet daddy like that. No one ever heard HER lose it.
    She looked at my sister and I and winked at us both.
    She picked up her fork and attacked her dinner.
    And my dad never crossed her again.

    Amy, he’s out there, wondering where you are.

    • May 14, 2013, 8:30 am   /  Reply

      ::waving frantically:: I’M RIGHT HERE!!! 😉

      That’s a wonderful story, Jennifer. Mrs. Emma Whitter sounds like a woman I would’ve loved to meet!

  5. May 14, 2013, 7:35 am   /  Reply

    This was a lovely post, Amy. My aunt discovered the love of her life when she was fifty. She and her husband spent the next thirty years laughing every single day and she always said that God had made her wait for a reason – a reason called Ed. 🙂

    • May 14, 2013, 8:34 am   /  Reply

      Thanks, Jen! (Now you know why I have so much time on my hands for reading and editing! 😉 ) My brother once told me I was still single because God was working the kinks out of the man who’d be specially created to handle/put up with/appreciate me. While I sure hope it doesn’t take another thirteen years to meet him, I suppose I won’t complain if he finally comes along when I’m fifty. 🙂 I’m sure your aunt and uncle were very happy!

  6. Katie Beth
    May 14, 2013, 8:04 am   /  Reply

    Thanks for sharing! I love that you say you are more excited now than ever before! 🙂 Praying and anxiously anticipating when your Prince finds you.

    • May 14, 2013, 8:39 am   /  Reply

      Thank you, Katie Beth! I admit that some days the excitement is less a feeling and more a choice of sheer willpower (self-pity and large pints of ice cream are just too easy to give in to sometimes!), but I know God wants me to keep choosing it. Believe me, I wrote this post as much as a reminder to myself as an encouragement to others. 🙂

  7. May 14, 2013, 8:26 am   /  Reply

    Wow, Amy, what powerful words. I admire your self-respect, something that is usually lost during the waiting part of life. From one waiting person to another, I thank you for sharing your story.

    • May 14, 2013, 8:40 am   /  Reply

      Ladies in waiting unite! 🙂 Thank you for the encouragement, Elaine. Here’s praying our waits are not long!

  8. May 14, 2013, 8:46 am   /  Reply

    Beautiful post. I remember how hard that waiting time was…I contemplated becoming a Christian nun! I could say lots of trite things, but I know how deep that pain can run. I am going to be praying for you, gal. Praying God will bring just the right one along. Thank you for sharing today, Amy!

    • May 14, 2013, 8:57 am   /  Reply

      Thank you, Heather! I’ll take those prayers! 🙂

  9. May 14, 2013, 9:13 am   /  Reply

    Waiting is always the hard part. We want to DO something. I would tell you my story, but I’m saving it until it’s my turn to post on Beth’s blog. lol. I loved reading your post and the comments that followed.

    • May 14, 2013, 10:00 am   /  Reply

      Oooh! I’m excited to read your story, Pat! 🙂

  10. May 14, 2013, 9:20 am   /  Reply

    Amy: I am so glad you’re visiting my blog today — and sharing so honestly about waiting for “someday.”

    • May 14, 2013, 10:01 am   /  Reply

      Thank you for inviting me, Beth! I hope this helps in some small way to keep you from getting more reviewers complaining that your heroine is “too old.” 🙂

  11. May 14, 2013, 9:33 am   /  Reply

    Your honesty is so refreshing, Amy. I can imagine waiting has been difficult, but it sounds like you’ve grown so close to God because of it.

    And PS- You went to U of A? Are you from Arizona? I’m a Sun Devil myself, though I did attend UofA my freshman year and got my master’s from NAU…so I’ve attended all the major AZ universities!

    • May 14, 2013, 10:03 am   /  Reply

      BEAR DOWN! 🙂 Wow, you really did cover all your AZ bases, Lindsay! LOL. Yes, I grew up in Tucson and got a Regents Waiver, so going to the UofA was the cheapest choice (I could live at home for free!). Managed to get a Bachelor’s completely debt-free… which is good, because I’ll be paying for that grad school in Scotland for the rest of my life! So worth it, though. 🙂

  12. May 14, 2013, 9:34 am   /  Reply

    Amy, I cannot tell you how this blessed me. I am so excited for you! Because you’re right, he’s coming. 🙂 And its going to be far better than you could have ever dreamed or hoped for. God is going to bless your socks off. 🙂 His plans are often different than our own–I’ve learned that too, only in different ways. Instead of a cute little home of my own with worries extending no farther than a sweet hubby and baby boy, God gave me a job playing Cinderella to my family in Kentucky. One family member even compared me to hired help once. I know, right? Ouch. I still hate it. But I know that its a special ministry God has called me to, with a great reward at the end of the rainbow. I remind myself of that when depression knocks. Bless you, my friend!

    • May 14, 2013, 10:06 am   /  Reply

      God must get a lot of chuckles out of us, huh? What with all the plans we keep telling Him about… 🙂 Thank you for the encouragement, my friend!

  13. May 14, 2013, 9:55 am   /  Reply

    I think God must be still preparing a guy to be ready for that much awesomeness. Can’t wait to see who your prince turns out to be, because he’ll be a special man indeed.

    Single or married, though, I’m blessed to call you friend. 🙂

    • May 14, 2013, 10:15 am   /  Reply

      Carla, you crack me up! I think few men in this world would consider my level of OCD-ness “awesome.” 😉 Then again, the man who shows up on my doorstep with a matching set of fitted sheets will surely win my heart… Thank you for your encouragement and willingness to put up with me, my friend! 🙂

  14. May 14, 2013, 11:23 am   /  Reply

    Amy, I have a friend who is your age and waiting for her Prince too. She’s decided God has different plans for her, so she’s embracing her single status and influencing others’ children by being the best teacher and best auntie she can. I know how hard it can be when your heart yearns for something, but you don’t see God on the same page as you…I’m there in a different way in my life. Thank you for sharing your heart!

    • May 14, 2013, 12:26 pm   /  Reply

      I can certainly relate to what your friend’s going through, Lisa. I, too, reached the decision that God must want me to stay single, and turned my attention to church, work, even my writing (and definitely to being a aunt!). But that only ended up being a different kind of “plan” for me–another extreme of me telling God how my life is supposed to be. It’s tough to keep your heart in that place where it’s soft enough to be open and available, and yet not so soft that it constantly succumbs to the heartbreak of “waiting.” Lord knows I haven’t mastered it yet! But He’s right there working on it with me… 🙂

  15. May 14, 2013, 11:55 am   /  Reply

    Hi Amy! This post is exactly what I needed to hear today. This past week I’ve been struggling with the waiting and someday stuff, too. I’ll be turning 26 this August and feel like an old maid at times. The Lord recently showed me that my time is not His time via 2 Peter 3:9a: “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.” Isn’t that so true? It has helped me lately to understand that my understanding of slowness is not correct. I’m trying to understand the Lord’s terminology, but it is quite difficult at times. Learning to wait has always been a challenging task for me, and I figure it will continue to be so for a while longer. 🙂

    Blessings,

    Andrea

    • May 14, 2013, 12:31 pm   /  Reply

      I’m so glad you could find a small dose of encouragement in my story, Andrea! It would be so easy for me to say “been there, done that, bought and sold the entire t-shirt franchise”… but as you can see from some of the other comments here today, I think everyone is waiting for something. We all have desires that feel unfulfilled, and times in our lives when God most certainly seems to be dragging His feet! For ladies like you and me, our particular cross just happens to be the desire for marriage, and all the loneliness and bitterness that can come from waiting. I certainly don’t have all the answers on this topic, but if nothing else, you can take comfort in the fact that you’re not an old maid compared to me! 🙂

      • May 22, 2013, 1:16 pm   /  Reply

        Laughing out loud here! As much as I dislike comparing myself to others, I do have to chuckle at your comparison of who’s the biggest old maid. 🙂 What a contest!

        Hey, if we single ladies can keep each other laughing like this, maybe we’ll find the joy God’s placing in our lives in the “meantime”.

        Blessings!

  16. May 14, 2013, 12:24 pm   /  Reply

    Amy, I love your story, and the way you’ve clung to Jesus, finding your identity in Him until your prince comes along. I waited for awhile for my Mr. Wonderful to step into my life. God had lots of work to do in both of us. We waited again, for years, for the dream of parenthood to come along. Again, God did work in both of us, teaching me to see Him and His plans (which were FAR different from my own!) as the best. And they were. The struggle drew my honey and me closer to Jesus.

    I love that you’re holding onto hope in the waiting. I’ll join in praying for you! 🙂

    • May 14, 2013, 12:35 pm   /  Reply

      Honestly, Jeanne, I think it’s more a case of Jesus clinging to me. 🙂 Believe me, I’ve had many, MANY times when all I wanted to do was throw in the towel. (After all, “How long, O Lord?” isn’t exactly the most uplifting life verse!) And I still struggle with feelings of hopelessness and despair because God has given the desire but has yet to fulfill it. But like you pointed out, we’ve all walked in those shoes in one way or another–and yes, it definitely draws us closer to Him! Even if it’s just wailing and thrashing our arms in a big ol’ self-pity-party… He’s strong enough to hang on no matter what kind of tantrum we throw His way. 🙂

  17. Megan DiMaria
    May 14, 2013, 1:41 pm   /  Reply

    Wonderful post. I love your attitude, Amy. The year I got married my uncle married for the 1st time. He was in his early fifties and had the time of his life traveling and enjoying married life. I have single young adult kids and friends who are stressed about finding “the one.” Your attitude is refreshing. God bless!

    • May 14, 2013, 2:06 pm   /  Reply

      Thank you for the encouragement, Megan! Tell those kids and friends not to worry… it’ll only bring about premature gray (::cough:: speaking from experience…) 🙂

  18. Melissa
    May 14, 2013, 2:44 pm   /  Reply

    Amy,
    You are truly an inspiration. I served my country for the last 14 years before I finally took God’s nudges and started on a new path and career field. Writing and art have always been my therapy for everything life throws at me. But at the core of me, what I’ve always longed for is to be a wife and mother. If God had given them to me I would have changed my life for them. I know God has his own timing though and a path for me, neither of which are my “dream”. =) There is a saying I’ve lived by recently, “if you want to make God laugh, make plans.” So I continue on to the next stage of my life with my eyes towards the future and what ever God throws my way. Knowing I am not the only one, makes me feel a little better. So thank you for sharing your journey with us.
    Melissa

    • May 14, 2013, 3:37 pm   /  Reply

      Melissa, thank you for your service! That is definitely not a calling for the faint of heart–nor is having the courage to follow God’s lead into something new. Especially writing! Like you, I have always turned to writing and the arts as a way to process and cope with my life’s ups and downs. It’s so easy to look back and wish we had done things differently, isn’t it? But that’s when we have to remember and trust that God hasn’t made any mistakes–He’s never lost sight of us, and we never have to change to please Him. 🙂 (Easier said than done, I know!) God bless you, and thank you for your encouragement!

  19. May 14, 2013, 8:43 pm   /  Reply

    Amy, you expressed your longing so honestly and beautifully. And you really made me think about waiting–for whatever it is that we strongly desire. Someone once told me that life is mostly about waiting. I think that’s true. But it’s the kind of waiting that you are doing that challenges me–the patient, active, expectant, eager, trusting kind of waiting. Great post.

    • May 17, 2013, 9:06 am   /  Reply

      Life is definitely ALL about waiting–after all, this world is not our home! And waiting is always easier said (or blogged about) than done. 🙂 Thank you for your encouragement!

  20. May 15, 2013, 10:30 pm   /  Reply

    I’ve waited a long time for a dream to come true also, Amy. I’m not sure I’ve done it as gracefully as you have, but waiting hasn’t killed me and I’m pretty proud of that. I thought maybe it would. 🙂

    Love your courage to share. I can sure relate to life not going as planned.

    • May 17, 2013, 9:07 am   /  Reply

      Oh, boy…. it sure does feel like the waiting will kill us, doesn’t it? 🙂 But the cliché is true–what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. Guess that makes us superwomen! 🙂

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