join me on this journey of waiting, praying, writing
and pursuing after God above all
My wonderful husband,
Tonight, I am praying a prayer of worthiness over you:
Father, you are so, so good. You sent Your Son to rescue us from the kingdom of darkness and deliver us into the Kingdom of light. You are mighty and worthy, and by the blood of your Son, You made us mighty and worthy too: worthy of love and connection, worthy of compassion, worthy of honesty and vulnerability.
I pray that Your Spirit would be present in our lives, filling us so wholly that our hearts can’t help but be tuned to Yours. I pray that we would speak words of truth with the people in our lives, fighting against inauthenticity. Would You teach us to speak words and live lives of wisdom. I pray that you would help us be vulnerable out of a place of knowing we have deep worthiness. May there be peace - true shalom - in our lives.
Father, what a gift and treasure my future husband will be. Would you sustain him in his daily walk with You, whispering in his soul that he is enough, he is worthy and he is good. All this - beautifully - is though the sacrifice of your Son. Would you pour love and worthiness all over him, Father, and remind him of these promises over and over again until he cannot help but live out of that overflow.
Out of that overflow, may my future husband live to glorify You in everything he is and does.
In Jesus’ name.
your future wife
My dear husband,
Almost two years ago, I experienced one of the most beautiful nights of healing and restoration - which became one of the most pivotal stories of my life:
Through deep darkness, the nearly covered moon released a beam upon my friend and I, two shadowy figures standing by the lakeshore. The rhythm of the water filled our silence as we stood there, our faces raised to the sky, mouths open but not moving. We heard the sound of cars going by, of the trees swaying in the wind, of joggers’ steps.
Because my heart was filled with grief, my dear friend’s heart filled with empathy as it took on some of my pain and became heavy laden too. We stood side by side, wordless, speechless, exchanging heartbeats in silence.
She broke the silence first. “I usually just scream into the water,” she mused, “Let it all out. Don’t hold back.”
I looked back towards the cars, people and buildings with hesitation. “What if he hears me?” I asked tentatively, “that would be awkward.”
“He won’t.” She confidently said. “Just go.”
I stepped forward and quietly began praying, “Oh Lord, why am I in so much pain? Why have you allowed my heart to be broken? Why are you silent in my pain? Why do I hurt so much?”
She joined me fearlessly. “God, why is she going through this? Why is the pain so unbearable? Why did you allow this to happen?”
My body began shaking and heaving as tears streamed down my face. “God, why did you let this hurt me? Why did you let those words come from this guy’s mouth? Why doesn’t he like me back?” I choked in my heaving. “Why, God? Why?”
My friend wrapped her arms around me, as her tears appeared too. We stood in the dark, feeling the mild spring wind blowing through the stillness that was punctuated by our screams. I sobbed and she held me firmly, praying quiet words over me.
I opened my eyes and looked across the water. I managed a final, “God… why?” and suddenly felt peace wash over my heart. I looked at her, and she too, felt something shift. We collapsed onto the grass to sit in stunned silence, watching the wind and the waves. I spoke up, now calmly and quietly, “God, you are so good, and I trust you.”
She nodded and joined in, “Why are you so good to us, God? We don’t deserve your mercies, and yet you continue to shower them upon us.”
I spoke again, “God, I don’t know why there’s so much pain, but I trust you. I trust that you will one day redeem this pain, that you will make beauty out of ashes. I know that you are good, and you care for us. You love us beyond my mind’s comprehension.”
We take turns, praising, adoring, loving God. He’s a God who saves the wretched sinner and restores my soul, covering my naked soul in the righteousness of Christ, making me worthy of connection, love and belonging. He liberates me from the chaos I’ve created.
Praying healing and restoration upon you too - for the past, present and the future,
your future wife
They say it takes another human being in close friendship or relationship to show us our brokenness. The past week has definitely been a sharpening experience for me, as I navigate through the beginning of a deepening friendship with romantic intentions.
A few weeks ago, there was boldness and courage when I opened up to this young man about my interest. I felt comfortable with vulnerability, and i was unafraid of uncertain futures because I knew God had it all under control. I recited scripture, met with my mentor and friends, and devoured books. I knew that I was armed with wisdom and courage from the Holy Spirit.
As this young man has been intentionally more vulnerable with me over the past week, I observed myself at times clamming up. At first, I couldn’t understand why I would oscillate between complete trust in God and great fears. I outgrew this! I kept wanting to yell at myself, I finished dealing with fear! Little did I know, outgrowing old habits requires much wrestling, some time, and a large heap of grace.
Instead of dwelling on an ambiguous cloud of fear, I name them clearly:
My friend wisely encouraged me to write out a list of things that I am celebrating:
In processing all of this, I realize that:
What an amazing time of growth. I’m so thankful for this man, for close friends and mentors, for wisdom, for the Word. I’m so thankful that God continues to choose me, sustain me, sanctify me and lavish love on me.
Thankful and hopeful,
your future wife
"My good, healthy marriage cannot appease every longing of my soul, no more than any individual relationship can. That is why God didn’t stop with the institution of marriage. Marriage wasn’t sufficient for reflecting the community of the Trinity, the diversity of his being, or the incarnation of his Son. Instead, God created the church, the fundamental community to which all Christians belong.
"Without a doubt, marriage is an important pillar of the church. It reflects the beautiful union between Christ and the church, and it is a powerful means of grace. But my marriage cannot cure loneliness, because God did not design marriage for that end. (Notice in Genesis 2 that Adam was "alone," not "lonely.") God did not design marriage to function as our essential community. Instead, marriages merely participate in our essential community, which is the church.
"The church offers belonging to all Christians without bounds. You can be single, married, widowed, divorced, and there is a place for you. In the face of rampant loneliness, Christian community—tangible, flesh and blood community—matters."
Continue reading here.
Describe where you feel fear when you think about the future, she says. I close my eyes and think of graduate school applications, a young man, the big unknown future - and I feel that familiar pressure rise up. It’s here, covering my heart, pointing to my chest, It makes my heart feel heavy.
My coach smiles at me from my computer screen. This fear doesn’t seem to match the woman who wants to grow, tell stories and face risks, she quietly muses, where did you get stuck?
I think about the stories I’ve told myself, the stories others have told me and my own search for external security and affirmation. I think about what I said to my dear friend Janelle earlier this year, I can’t do work overseas, I exclaimed boldly, I’d miss my breadmaker too much.
I think about my 16 year old self, determined to dig wells and do whatever was necessary to help restore human dignity. I think about my 18 year old self, determined to practice law after an International Justice Mission presentation to free girls from slavery.
I think about my 21 year old self sitting in international development courses, listening to one message repeated in various ways: You can do nothing selflessly. You can do nothing to benefit everyone. You will always do more harm than good.
I realize, startled, that something inside me had died.
I once had such hope, such optimism, such joy. I once asked of myself and God, what can I do to make the world a better place? I once believed Him more fully when He said, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations.
I had resigned myself to a life of mediocrity, because somehow I believed that the deep longing in my heart to do something significant was inherently bad. I gave into the lie that God can’t use me. I lost sight of the woman God created me to be.
He never gives up on me. Through sacred conversations, He is restoring in me hope, optimism and joy. He revives the grand dreams I dreamed as a 16 year old. He allows me to take my place in His greater mission, transforming this world through love. He redeems the imperfect work of my hands and heart and transforms it into something greater on His beautiful tapestry.
He frees my heart from the constraints of fear - releasing it to beat again, ferociously, passionately.
I miss you,
your future wife
My dearest love,
My hands shook as I opened the door to the coffee shop. He had texted earlier saying that he was running a bit late after his conference, and I was early, so I grabbed the drinks (while fumbling the words to my oft-ordered complicated drink) and sat down to continue reading a book I started earlier. As I chuckled silently at the book, I saw him coming towards me. He looked every bit as nervous as I was, with worry in his eyes and the hint of a smile.
Our conversation began slowly with talking about our weekends, and suddenly he did what he does best: he plunged deeper, asking, how do you normally recharge? From that point on, we talked about our strengths and personality types, laughed about cynicism and idealism, discussed our views on God’s mission, YOLO and even martyrdom, and wrinkled our noses through the not-so-great parts of our life stories.
By the time the coffee shop was closing, we had talked about all kinds of topics, going on tangents after tangents. I delighted in the fact that he is one of the rare people who can follow me as I whimsically pursue tangents, and his mind similarly works like a giant mind map. There was still much more to say as we reluctantly put on our coats, but we laughed about not being “those people” who get kicked out last minute.
When I got home, I collapsed in prayer. “God, I’m sorry I wasn’t clearer. I’m sorry I wasn’t better—” Very clearly, in the middle of my thoughts, I was interrupted. "C., I’m proud of you. I’m proud of you. I’m proud of you.”
I began crying as I realized I default to seeing what needs to change instead of celebrating with joy all that He has done in me. The change has been huge, and who I am today is so transformationally different than the woman who was terrified about risk and honesty three weeks ago. By solely focusing on the areas that still need sanctification, I don’t give Him the glory that He deserves for the amazing work He has already done!
I was immediately filled with an inexplicable sense of peace and calm. My decision had been made. I am interested in taking the risk to get to know this man more, because I know God wants me to be vulnerable, to love fully and to dare greatly, which is what all relationships in His kingdom will look like one day.
Moreover, I’m grateful for this brother in Christ, for his heart for the nations, for his participation in the ministry of reconciliation, and for being a “hopeless idealist”, as he admitted with a smile. I am praying for wisdom and discernment, and particularly for him as he considers who he is and is able to authentically, honestly and courageously make a decision that’s best for him. I’m grateful for the gift of choice, that God does not force decisions upon us but allows us to choose to love Him and the world around us.
I’m thankful for the opportunity to take risks, making bold strides of vulnerability - this is the very kingdom of light edging out the kingdom of darkness in this world. We’re living testimonies of the power of His kingdom (Rev. 12:11).
your future wife
My dearest husband,
"You’re addicted to self-improvement," a friend said to me. After a pause, he added, “It seems to me that you don’t think you’re worthy.”
It’s been almost two weeks since this conversation took place - two weeks of tremendous growth. I’ve had the chance to speak with my mentor, my male and female best friends, my parents… and I’ve come to realize as an observer of my own life that my friend’s comment is acutely true.
When I moved into my new apartment this summer, I opted to not get a TV. Instead, I dove myself into the 400+ books on my e-reader and the various blogs and newspapers I follow. I broadened my opinions on masculinity and femininity, on grace, on emotionality - all good things. I worked on more projects at church, leading and serving where I saw need. I took part in a 6 month leadership development course at church, and am now completing a 5 month coaching certification alongside working on a certification to teach about mental health.
I pushed myself to learn more, to read more, to experience more, to do more. It’s not bad to want to grow, but when I push myself beyond God’s pace, I get out of sync. I deplete my body, mind, soul and heart of resources.
Another friend sent me a book recently with a phrase that knocked the wind out of me:
"She seems to me full of good will, but she would go faster than grace. Once does not become holy all at once."
One does not become holy all at once. Am I pushing myself to go faster than grace? Am I striving for perfectionism instead of participating in what God’s is already doing?
God has been working in me in so many areas to help me embrace what it means to be human, to be loved and to be His. Just in the last 6 months, He unexpectedly taught me lessons in significance, taking risks, relegating control, embracing my emotions, body and vulnerability, and letting go of people-pleasing. The transformation is so dramatic that one of my best friends texted me last week in all-caps, saying, “WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DID YOU DO WITH HER?”
Growth is not about what I do, but it’s about what He has done and is doing in me and in the world. He is a God of organic growths, knowing exactly where I need to grow at each point in time. He does not rush me; rather, He is patient with me, allowing me to make mistakes in order to eventually love Him, love others and love myself more fully. I’m learning how to offer myself the same grace.
With great love,
your future wife
[My lovely readers, I desire your prayers as I continue to nurture a growing friendship with an amazing man in my life - the one I wrote about here, and the one who sent me the book I mentioned above. We’re going on our first date this weekend, and if anything, I want to let him know through words and actions that he has something worthwhile to say, I am interested in him, and we can be good together. Excited, nervous and filled with joy. Thank you. -C.]