Pressures follow you throughout your life. As a young girl, and a soccer goalie, I was "pressured" to be the best and have a shut-out every single game. I was made to believe that if this didn't happen I could be replaced or worse...be a disappointment to my team. When I got a little older the same thing occurred in different sports. In volleyball I was a designated hitter and was rotated in to spike the ball and serve multiple points in a row. In basketball I was a post. I was used to push and block out and rebound the ball. My job was to get the ball and put it in the basket--whatever it took. Pressures don't just occur in sports however.
I remember in high school the pressures took on many different forms. Popularity. Reputation. Influence. You had expectations that were suppose to be met. I was expected to be both happy and nice all the time. I was expected to be kind to everyone and bold but not step on people's toes. I was taught that you had to have a backbone and stand up for yourself, but you shouldn't be outspoken. I constantly felt that I had this mile long checklist of things I had to remember to do or not do in front of people. When I got done with high school I was expected to get a basketball scholarship somewhere, go off to a 4 year University and excel in both sports and academics. Well one out of two isn't bad. I decided that I would not be a pivotal player in the WNBA, so I "retired" from organized basketball. That's a nicer way to put it rather than I quit; because quitting shows weakness. Quitting shows lack of determination and work ethic. I WAS NOT a quitter. I simply chose to engage in other activities in college and played intramural basketball instead.
Once college was over I was expected to get a respectable job, settle down and get married. I have a wonderful job. I work in an amazing school district with a fabulous team. My students are ca-razy but such a blessing and I have support from the majority of my parents! I was able to move home (something I never planned on doing) and see now that the Lord gave me this opportunity to allow me to pay off loans in bulk and become financially stable. So what's next? According to everyone and their mother's dog...its get married. I cannot tell you how many times I have been told that I'm "at that age". I shrugged it off and continued my long hours at work thinking of no one but my students and me, myself and I. I used the line..."if I was married now--my poor husband would be suffering"! I jokingly said this but recently I was convicted about my SCARcasam; as it has been referred to. Was I okay?
Well the answer is YES! I am totally okay in the place that the Lord has me right now. I am in an amazing time of my life. I don't have worries of providing for anyone other than myself. I am not responsible or obligated to explain anything to anyone right now. I have no reason to be worried or anxious or scared because my DADDY is taking care of me. He has reminded me of this over and over again. He made me and knows me. Not just the me of the past or even the me of the present...but He knows the me of the future. How do I know this? Because He has told me... in Psalm 139:13 it says that He "....created me and knit me together in my mother's womb." In Jeremiah 29:11 He tells me "For I know the plans I have for you (Stephanie Daniell)...plans to prosper you (Stephanie Daniell) and not to harm you (Stephanie Daniell), plans to give you (Stephanie Daniell) hope and a future!" What an amazing confirmation. I don't have to worry about where I will meet a man to go on a date with while living in the little town. I don't have to worry about if I will be able to attract someone that I am attracted to. I do not have to worry if someone will ever fall in love with me. My DADDY has it already figured out. All I have to do is delight myself in Him and He will take care of the rest.
My favorite word in all of the English language is Beloved. So I recently bought a ring that says "I will wait for.... my beloved!" And that is exactly what I plan to do!