If you want the short answer, "Mary Kate" is a love song about my future wife. I don't know who she is, or even what her actual name is... but I know that if marriage is a part of God's plan for my life, there's a girl out there somewhere I will eventually ask to be my bride. In this song, "Mary Kate" is that girl. The song is all about how I'm going through life while keeping her on my mind, trusting and knowing that we'll meet someday. So often this time of year around Valentine's Day, society tells us we should have a significant other. I guess you could say I'm offering a different approach: waiting for the most significant other and having faith in God's perfect timing.
I don't even know your name, but lately you've been on my mind.
I'm sure that doesn't answer the big question though.
WHO IS MARY KATE?
Well, let me tell you story.
I think about my future wife a lot. I've only been in a few short relationships, and I am pretty blessed to have spent most of life as a single guy. Society would feel bad for me—but I'm glad it's been that way. I've had a lot more time to focus on the relationship that matters most in my life and grow closer to Jesus first. But the older I get, the more excited I am to meet my future wife. And I mean excited!Thinking about her as a real person and not just an "idea" or "dream" has really changed my perspective and encouraged me over the years. I pray for her whenever I can. I often wonder what she's doing at a specific moment in time. I even write letters to her every once in awhile, and I guess you could say this song is one of those.
But back to the question: Why "Mary Kate?" If you've ever watched the TV show Duck Dynasty, or if you're familiar with the Robertson family, you might know where I'm headed. They're some of the most inspiring, entrepreneurial, godly (and hilarious) people out there. In season 8, Willie and Korie's oldest son, John Luke, got married to the sweetest girl, named Mary Kate.
Before you jump to conclusions and accuse me of having a celebrity crush, let me explain! If you didn't know, John Luke and Mary Kate Robertson have one of the coolest relationships ever. They married young, finished college as a couple, and have since lived their lives happily out of the spotlight. Before marriage, they spent their first dates talking about Jesus and got engaged less than a year later. And now they're living every day as an adventure together, sharing Christ's love around the world and in their hometown.
Another thing; their relationship is absolutely overflowing with joy. Mary Kate is always smiling. In fact, I'm starting to think it's impossible for her NOT to smile... take a look through her social media and find a picture where she doesn't look like the happiest girl on earth. Trust me, I've tried.
The amount of joy in their lives is truly inspiring, especially considering that Mary Kate was diagnosed with Lyme disease as a child (along with her entire family) and has had to deal with the ups and downs of that terrible illness. But these two are so on fire for Jesus and in love with each other they can't help but be joyful. That's something I've always admired about them. I think joy is a lot like love—it's a choice before it's an emotion. Lots of people say they're "happy" in their relationships, but I want something more than just happy. I want to choose joy. I want a girl who chooses joy too. Needless to say, I am so inspired by their relationship and the example they set as a young Christian couple.
Fast forward a couple years, and here I am sitting in my dorm having a conversation with my roommate about our future wives. I had just finished telling him many of these same things, and I remember standing up out of my chair and declaring:
"I want a relationship like that."
My roommate replied,"You should write a song about it." And so I did.
At that moment I was so inspired, so excited about meeting my future wife someday that I grabbed my guitar, ran to a practice room on campus, and locked myself in until I came out with a finished song. If I'm being honest, I don't think I have ever completed a song so quickly and easily—it almost seemed to write itself. My only problem was I didn't know what to call my future wife. It didn't take much thought to land on the name, "Mary Kate," since my dream girl looks so much like Mrs. Robertson. A girl who chooses Jesus. A girl who chooses joy.
And that's how the song "Mary Kate" came to be.
The funny thing is, the Mary Kate nickname has carried over into my everyday life too. I guess it just stuck. My friends talk about "Mary Kate" all the time, and she's become a normal part of many conversations I have. Even if it's not her real name, simply having a name to call my future wife has helped me to see her even more as a real person who I can love, honor, and pray for even today. There's plenty of fish in the sea, but I'm waiting for my Mary Kate.
Right now all I can do is pray, but I can't wait to call you mine. The crazy thing is I don't even know you yet, but I know exactly what you're like."