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Let Christ consume your life. Don’t let the thought of romance consume your life. You are made for so much more than just romantic relationships. We are called to love Him first and foremost – a child of God, beloved and holy. Within the primary calling of being a chosen disciple, we will wear temporary hats of all kinds: mother/father, wife/husband, daughter/son, student/employee. None of those roles are eternal. When we build our identity around the roles we wear, it’s a very dangerous place to be in if we lose those roles (e.g., adult kids move away, spouse passes away, let go from a job you built your identity on). Be rooted in Christ and accept his identity for you. A strong relationship with God can never be replaced by a relationship with another.
Be honest. When you are interested in someone, don’t run in the opposite direction. Do all you can to stay put and genuinely get to know the other person. Make eye contact. Smile. Regardless of what happens, he is your brother in Christ/she is your sister in Christ. Build healthy friendships with the opposite gender with healthy emotional boundaries.
It’s okay to hope. You don’t need to relinquish your desire to get married to have “contentment”. Contentment is the peace that stems from a right relationship and rest in God, regardless of circumstances. You can trust God fully in this area of your life, and that does not mean that you need to give up feeling and hoping.
Focus on developing eternal relationships. You know that person you are attracted to? That person will be your brother/sister in Christ eternally. Your attraction is only temporary (even if you end up marrying the person – your romantic attraction will still be shorter than your eternal relationship with them). You know that person who also likes the person you’re attracted to? Instead of getting yourself into a cloud of jealousy or bitterness, focus on how you can serve that person and get to know them. They will be your brother/sister in Christ far longer than they will be “the person who also likes the person you like.”
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My beloved husband,
Hallelujah, our God saves!
The past year was extremely challenging as I hung onto Jesus’ robe in times of doubt, guilt and failure. I wrestled with sin and finally learned that I can’t win against sin on my own - that it is only by His blood that I can have victory. I learned that He has set me free from the guilt and anxiety inside me, and I just have to learn to embrace His love for freedom. I wanted so desperately to hear His voice, and in the silence He taught me to trust Him even when I don’t feel Him. He taught me the meaning of the word “abide” as I learned to lean on Him in every aspect of my life.
This past weekend has been extremely transformational for me. It marked the death and resurrection of Jesus, our hope of glory. It is the beginning of the third year in my journey of intentional singleness, one where I am called to learn about what it means to love God above all. Lastly, it is finally when I am moving from a season of winter in my relationship with God and into a beautiful new season.
I can’t express in words how much I’ve longed for this new season. My innermost being was parched, thirsting for the touch of God in my life. As I walked through the season of winter with Him, I felt angry and guilty as I couldn’t understand what changed in my relationship. I wanted nothing more than to feel the love of God once again in my life. Although I knew intellectually that He was present, walking alongside me and indwelt inside me, I wanted to taste and see Him (Psalm 34:8).
These past few days I’ve savoured His presence more than any other point in the past year. A monologue was presented from John the disciple’s perspective this morning at church. He was devastated that his best friend was nailed to the cross, but at the resurrection he got to experience getting his best friend back and receiving eternal life. I was doing everything I could to keep the tears from spilling as the monologue’s words grabbed my heart and twisted it. I was so broken from not being able to savour the presence of my best friend, but He has gracefully allowed me to move on to a new season of tasting and seeing Him.
During worship this morning, I heard, “You have a new name and it is ‘Loved’”. As a Christ-follower raised in Baptist churches, I firstly doubted what I heard. Was that the Holy Spirit or was that my imagination? I remembered back to a sermon about the Holy Spirit and discernment, and when a prompting lines up with the theology of the Bible, it is best to pay attention. As those words are likely the words of my best friend, my dearest love, my God, I am speechless. He is amazing, loving me and choosing me despite all that is wrong with me.
I love Him so much. My darling, I am praying that this revival of tangible love is in your heart too - that He is restoring in you the joy of your salvation (Psalm 51:12). In response to His lavish love, may we say with our hearts, “Oh Lord, we love you too.”
Praying for you in great love,
your future wife
My dear husband,
When I was in the eighth grade, I had a huge crush on my best guy friend at the time, whose name was Ryan. Ryan went to church, participated in quizzing competitions on scripture and had an amazing smile. Little did I know at the time, Ryan also had a crush of his own, on my female best friend. When Ryan told me that one morning how much he liked her and that he was apprehensive about asking her out, it nearly destroyed my tender thirteen year old heart.
With the emotional maturity of a preteen, I ran away from the situation and ignored Ryan in an attempt to hide from the pain. I wanted so desperately for him to reciprocate my feelings but he was evermore enamoured with my best friend. One day, after a week of ignoring him, I finally wrote him a letter. It’s embarrassing to recount the metaphors I used in that letter. At the time I just wanted him to read it and understand where I was coming from, and perhaps convince him to like me. Needless to say, I was disappointed.
In my own convoluted brain, I made some hasty conclusions. I concluded that, since Ryan had often told me how great of a friend I am, how patient of a listener I am, among a host of other things, the reason he didn’t like me romantically was due to some other flaw of mine. It was perhaps that I wasn’t pretty enough or charming enough for him to like me.
Finally, my thirteen year old heart concluded that I was simply not enough.
I spent much of my teenage and early adult years running away from potential relationships, partly due to fear and partly because I didn’t believe someone could actually be interested in me romantically. Even when I knew that the other person reciprocated my feelings, I was still afraid of the “inevitable” pain that would ensue when they find out why I wasn’t lovable, or so I believed.
In dealing with the emotional aftermath of a similar situation, only almost ten years later, I had to confront those lies I still clung onto dearly. I had grown so comfortable with those lies because it rarely let me close enough to someone for me to get hurt. Was that less painful than dealing with heartbreak in actual friendships? Questionable. Was that healthy? Definitely not.
On this day, my 23rd birthday, I am thinking back to all the lies that I’ve indulged in to protect this fragile and insecure heart of mine. This one stood out to me, and how appropriate is it that I am finally breaking free from it ten years later. It is by His grace that He renews my mind to see myself as He sees me: a daughter of the highest King, redeemed by the blood by His most precious Son, set free by the work of the Holy Spirit.
I am worthy. I am loved. I am cared for.
And with this restored heart I am waiting for you.
your future wife
My darling husband,
The past 24 hours have been particularly rough. A Skype conversation last night with a friend got me thinking about how I had not really healed from what happened last year with a friend of mine who I was interested in. I was still hurting - both in need of forgiveness and to forgive - even though we said we were both ready to move on. Instead of repressing that hurt, I finally took it to God’s feet last night.
After a lot of tears and whispered prayers, I decided I would talk directly with the other friend today. I fasted during the day and prayed that the conversation would encourage him as well as helping me deal with the pain. I wanted to come out of the conversation with the ability to move on from the heartaches of last year. Since we’ve done such a poor job of it before, I wanted to define our relationship, and call it as it is - friends. Nothing more than that.
The first conversation that he and I had last year about feelings was extremely awkward, and it led to both of us hurting for many days. I was nervous going into this conversation because I was scared that he would react in the same way. I was terrified that it would change our friendship.
In God’s goodness, my friend reacted with grace. He bore my nonsensical babbling and tears with quietness and patience. As I apologized for hurting him with my words, he apologized for mishandling the situation. We defined our friendship as it is - just friends. He talked about putting everything behind us and moving forward. I talked about a godly man who I am interested in and expressed that I needed healing in order to move forward. He encouraged me to find happiness.
This healing is nothing I deserved, and yet God so graciously lavished it upon me.
With great love,
your future wife
Oh my hurting, hurting heart.
“The Lord is near the broken-hearted.” – Psalm 34:18
I’m learning to breathe
I’m learning to crawl
I’m finding that You and
You alone can break my fall
I’m living again, awake and alive
I’m dying to breathe in these abundant skies.