My journey to marriage has been an interesting one. You see, I was not one of those women who had always dreamed of being someone’s wife.
Growing up with extremely limited resources, love and marriage were not high on my list of priorities. Instead, survival, having enough food to eat, and having a roof over my head were some of my priorities. When my parents divorced, it was extremely traumatic for us. We went from having everything we ever wanted, living on an army base with a wholesome family life, to living in the projects.
I didn’t know the details of the divorce, all I know is that my beautiful life had been snatched away overnight. As a child, I didn’t understand why daddy no longer lived with us, or why we had to leave our beautiful home, to come and live in a place where all we saw was struggle. We weren’t prepared for that, nor did we have the skills or experience to know how to survive in such a place. After that my life changed.
I had a hard time reconciling in my own heart and mind, how a man who said he loved us, could leave us in such horrible conditions. I loved my father, but I just didn’t understand. I went from being a straight a student to B’s and C’s in a matter of months. Life became something it had never been for me, it became hard. I saw many relationships, most of which were not healthy. I saw a lot of pain. As far as I was concerned, I wanted nothing to do with love. As I grew older, my mindset became “I don’t need love”.
In school, I was ostracized and teased. My teachers loved me, but it seemed as if my peers hated me. I didn’t understand why I didn’t fit in. Why was I the object of so much ridicule? My heart became cold. In order to cope in school, I became like those who were ridiculing me. A tougher me emerged.
In my junior year in high school, I met a guy who moved to my hometown from Washington DC. At that time, I had no interest in love. I was focused on getting my education. I was inexperienced, but not naive. My mindset was, no man is gonna “play” me. I was too smart for that. Nevertheless, this guy was persistent. He told me he wanted to get to know me. I was like “for what?” He wanted to spend time with me, I was like “what you want?” He wanted to give me things, I was like “what you want in return?” I did not trust men, at all, because of what I had seen. I had no time to be distracted with love.
He would show up all the time, while I was in the library or the computer lab, doing work. I would pay him no mind, but he would stay anyway. I didn’t understand why he kept showing up, because I was not nice or loving to him. He would always compliment me, and tell me how beautiful I was. I knew he was different from the rest, but I still didn’t trust him. I knew he wanted something from me, and in my mind, it was a matter of time until he got around to asking for what he really wanted. But he didn’t. He just kept showing up and loving on me.
I showed him the worst of me, and yet he still saw the best in me. He saw the beauty in a rose, full of thorns. I’m sure my rough edges cut him sometimes. I remember when he told me I would be his wife. We were kids. I laughed and told him he was crazy, that he didn’t know the first thing about love. But he did. He did know about love. He knew much more about it than I did. He knew love was selflessly giving of yourself, even when it is not returned. He knew it was about seeing the beauty, in some of the ugliest of situations.
Thirteen years later, I am still proud to be his wife. Who would have thought? Our marriage has not been a bed of roses, but we work together to tend our garden. He told me again today, one of the things that drew him to me, was my focus and determination.
The best advice I can give to a lady in waiting is don’t be afraid to wait. Focus on bettering yourself and accomplishing the things you want in life. You’re not going to miss, what and who is meant for you. Don’t rush. Be patient. It will come. He will come. Don’t settle. Don’t compromise. Don’t give too much, to someone who hasn’t proven themselves worthy or deserving of your love. The right one will not ask you to lower your standards instead, he will rise to meet, and even exceed them. Respect yourself, and you will command respect and love, from the man who is sent and meant to love you.
Khima Bibbins is a proud wife of thirteen years, and mother to two beautiful children, Marcia and Malachi. She currently teaches middle school in the public school system and is passionate about pouring into the lives of young people. She is also a minister, psalmist, intercessor, and Christian entrepreneur. You may view and purchase some of her products at Khimas Kreations