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[For the purpose of this letter, let’s call him Michael.]
You’ve been on my mind lately.
Almost three years ago, we met and instantly I was attracted to you. There was something about you that I noticed from a distance–something special. It wasn’t until we began to communicate that I realized it was God.
The two of us could talk for hours about pretty much anything and I was captivated by how smart, friendly, and gentle you were. I could spot you in any crowd of our college campus because you didn’t look like everyone else, didn’t speak or walk like everyone else. You were salt. You were light. You were bearing fruit.
And I liked you. A lot.
But you checked me for fruit and couldn’t find any. I wasn’t ready for someone like you, and you knew that, even though I didn’t. So you never let me get as close to you as I wanted.
I wanted love. The kind that the world teaches about. The kind that revolves around the presence of unwavering lust. I thought it was all about being wanted. It’s what I’d been taught in my prior relationship. It was all I knew.
You wanted love. The kind that God teaches about. The pure kind. The kind that keeps darkness at bay. The kind that you couldn’t have with me because…I was the darkness that needed to be kept at bay.
I knew I wasn’t living right; and the more time I spent with you, the more obvious it became. Your existence in my life convicted me. And I resented you for it.
I remember the exact night that I decided I was never going to speak to you again. Like darkness does when the light is suddenly switched on, I fled. And I surrounded myself with people who liked to play in the shadows like I did instead.
You never said it, but I knew you were interested in me, just like I was interested in you. But you resisted pursuing anything more than a friendship with me, and it didn’t make sense to me at the time. I thought we would be great together. You were an incredible influence on me, both spiritually and naturally (though I didn’t appreciate the spiritual part back then).We had a lot in common, shared a lot of the same values, and our conversations were incredible. We could laugh and talk for hours, paying no mind to the time.
But all along you knew something that I didn’t.
We talked about God. You knew that I “knew” Him. But you also knew the difference between “knowing” Him and walking with Him. I wasn’t walking with Him and you could tell. I was younger and I was lost–still trying to discover myself on my own instead of letting God lead me the way He does now.
I don’t know where you are in the world now or what you’re doing. But today I woke up and I realized that God put you in my life back then to teach me something that I would need now.
That’s what I learned from you.
I wasn’t the worst catch in the world for you. A lot of people today are in relationships like the one we could’ve had. The kind of relationship that disregards spiritual disagreement because of considerable natural agreement–or, “chemistry”.
But you knew that there wasn’t enough chemistry in the world to make up for my nonexistent walk with Christ.
You taught me that even if someone checks off every item on my list, if they don’t have their life in God’s hand, then they don’t deserve to hold mine.
So, today I woke up and I wanted to say thank you.
Thank you for rejecting me. For not settling for me. For not putting your relationship with Christ on the line so that you could have one with me.
You will forever be a shining example of a good and Godly man in my eyes.
The Girl Who Totally Gets It Now
I’m glad you asked.
We often hear the phrase “Prepare for what you prayed for”. And many of us are consistently hitting the Lord up like, “You got anymore of them good men left?”
And, of course, He does. But are you sure you’re ready for that?
You’ve prayed and prayed for God to send you the right man but, have you emotionally prepared for it? Are you hoping to have a successful relationship with this man? If so, then preparation is key. So how do you prepare for a man you don’t have yet?
You emotionally prepare for your future husband by learning more about yourself. By paying attention to your behaviors. Pay close attention to those moments where your emotions are going haywire and after a while you step back and realize “okay, I’m trippin”. Pay attention to which situations produce those moments. For example, I get really, really hangry. Like pissed-off, stay-out-of-my-face-until-I-stuff-my-face-or-I-will-snap hangry. So when I’m hungry and the sound of someone just breathing next to me makes me want to start a fire, I know that it’s safe to say “yeah, I’m trippin, their breathing is definitely not the problem”.
It’s crucial that you understand yourself and the way you function. If you can do that, then you can recognize situations where you have the potential to trip and start pointless conflicts with your future husband. You need to be able to recognize those, “It’s not him, it’s me” situations before you start pointing your finger.
Start paying attention to what makes you tick and try to understand why. If you have trust issues, work on those now. If you struggle with insecurities, work on those now. Don’t let those things follow you into what God has for you. If you do, they will sabotage it all.
Pay attention to moments where you behave selfishly and figure out how you could’ve reacted more selflessly then put that thinking to work next time. Pay attention to how you behave when you’re overwhelmed or frustrated and what helps you in those moments. For me, being overwhelmed or frustrated while in the presence of others is usually not a good idea. I’ve learned that I shut down and go inside myself so that I can try to come up with a way to explain what I’m dealing with. Growing up, that always made my mom mad because she thought that I was ignoring her or that I was blaming her. So I’ve come to the conclusion that just ten to fifteen minutes alone can refresh my mind/emotions and give me time to prepare to come back and discuss whatever needs to be discussed. Now I know that when I’m in a relationship, when something happens between us and I get frustrated or overwhelmed, I need to tell my partner up front, “I’m not going to be able to effectively communicate what I’m feeling with you right now. I need just ten minutes alone to work through this in my head and then we can come back to this conversation. But this is not me walking away or pushing you away.” That way my partner understands that I’m not trying to ignore him or place blame or guilt–I’ll be able to give him insight on my behavior because I have insight on my behavior.
Seek Guidance from God and pay attention to how He answers you. Pay attention to what He shows you about yourself through different situations and people.
I also recommend reading the books “The Five Love Languages” and “Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married”, both written by Gary Chapman. There are also articles everywhere online about loving a man of God, loving a good man, nurturing a man, etc., etc.. I suggest doing all the research you can. Of course, your husband will be his own person with his own personality and his own love language, but it’s still crucial that you learn the fundamentals of being a good wife and a having a good marriage.
Preparation is KEY. Don’t attempt to walk blindly into the good thing that God is going to set up for you, or you may quickly turn that good thing into a bad thing.
The number of semesters in my final year of undergrad are quickly dwindling down. And thinking back to last year, I can recall a time where I started to see tons of videos of men proposing to their girlfriends on the day of their college graduations. Beautiful, tear-jerking videos. And I thought, “I want that! I wanna be proposed to after my graduation ceremony!” And then, of course, my next thought was…lol I’m single as a dollar bill so HOW? How can I meet the man I’m supposed to marry, get to know him, and then get engaged within the next year? HOW?
I didn’t know the answer to that question, obviously. And that made me a little antsy. I mean, it wasn’t as if I felt that I needed to be engaged by the time I graduate college, I just became so obsessed with the idea of the man of my dreams getting down on one knee and pledging his desire to spend the rest of his life with me on the day of my graduation–the day a big part of my life ends, and yet another one would be beginning. And so for a while, my desire to be in a relationship was amped up to about 1000. I’m eyeballing the guys in my church, guys in the grocery store, etc. and thinking “Lord, is that him? *insert peep eye emoji*” I mean, just uncontrollably hungry to meet this man, whoever he is. And then one day, God spoke to me and said…
“Aren’t I enough?”
It was a moment of pure conviction. I had to check myself, check my heart, and check my desires. And after a beat, I told him, “Yes.”
But at first, I didn’t mean it. I didn’t feel like I meant it. I still wanted that companionship, still wanted to meet a man who would love me. And the Lord just kept asking,
Aren’t I enough?
Aren’t I enough?
Aren’t I enough?
At first, I couldn’t say yes and mean it. I just kept saying it until I became almost angry that He would even ask me that. Why do I have to be content with just you? Why can’t I want Him and him? And the answer was that I could want both. But the issue was that I had allowed my desire for a relationship to become an idol. Which meant that my desire for a relationship was now functioning the way my desire for more of God should have been functioning. And that’s where it gets dangerous. You see, when you become desperate for companionship, you act out of desperation. That desperation drives you to extreme measures. You’ll find yourself looking for that companionship in places and with people who you normally wouldn’t make yourself available to. The same way a craving for ice cream in the middle of the night may send you running to the store in pitch black darkness, risking your safety for just a taste–desperation for companionship can also send you into dark, dangerous environments, in search of something that will only give you temporary satisfaction, and not only will it only harm you at the end of the day, but it will also never fulfill you.
That is why it’s necessary for you to be content with Jesus and whatever season He may have you in. If you get too thirsty and try to take matters into your own hands, you will indeed find water. But the water you find will never quench your thirst the way God can. You will thirst again and again and again and again, and you will search forever for more but none of it will ever be enough. If that doesn’t sound painful yet, think of it this way…
Imagine yourself.. being so thirsty for love from a man that you seek it from Nick, and then Chris, and then David, and then Ryan, and then Brandon, and then Richard…but nothing they give you can rid you of the emptiness that you feel. In fact, instead of them filling you, they each take more and more away from your soul, they burn you, they wound you, with no remorse because…you asked for it. They take and take and take and take until it seems like you have nothing left. Feel that yet?
Yes, we are allowed to want a companion, to want love, marriage, etc.. But understand that there’s a place in your heart that only God can fill, and all attempts to fill it with anything and anyone else will fail. We have to want Him first, and more than we want anything or anyone else. He has to be enough. And He will be, if you let Him.
“But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:14
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33