**I’ve been writing letters to my future husband for several years. It helps me be honest with where I am, and it makes the waiting a little easier. Instead of feeling like I have to push all of these feelings away and save all of these words, God’s used these letters as a way to process my heart. And every once in a while, one of those letters ends up in a blog post…**
Dear Mr. Man,
It’s me again. I wasn’t expecting to write to you again here, but maybe God will use my honesty to help someone struggling out there. I hope you don’t mind.
This weekend I was a bridesmaid in the wedding of one of my best friends. It was beautiful and I struggled hard against the joyful tears. There’s something incredibly intimate and beautiful about watching two hearts and two families join together before God. And it’s such a blessing to be one of those who not only got to witness the ceremony, but got to share in all the fun and emotion of getting to that day.
But I have a confession to make too. After the ceremony and well into the reception, it all became a little too much for me. My introvert started to show as I sat in the chair watching many guests still celebrating on the dance floor. I got my groove on for a while, but by that point I was pretty tired and the celebratory feelings were starting to get swallowed up by something else–jealousy.
I was jealous of those still out there dancing because I just didn’t have the energy anymore. I’m just not wired for five hours of straight partying, I guess. But I was also jealous of the beautiful relationship of my friend and her new husband. I found myself asking God why I didn’t have that sort of relationship yet, even just the start of one. I’m not sure I’m ready to walk down the aisle quite yet, but still…
In response to the question I posed to God, I started beating myself up. Marriage matters too much to me. I just need to focus on Jesus. I don’t have a guy because marriage still holds more of my heart than God does.
At least, that’s what I told myself….
Then came His response: “Did I tell you that?”
The thought shook me. I’m so quick to back myself into a corner and convince myself that I must be doing something wrong. But that’s not how God sees it. He knows I’m trying to keep my focus. I love Jesus. I love Him for who He is, though I can’t say I always understand His ways. He’s amazing and His love and grace astound me.
But too often, I let myself give into the lie that I’m not enough for Him. He gives so much. He gave His life for me and pursues me like no one ever has. I feel unworthy.
Why can’t I seem to accept His love? Why can’t I accept the fact that I will never do anything to earn His affection or His blessings? He gives freely, much more than we deserve. And that’s okay. He’s not asking for perfection. He’s not asking for me to reach some standard. He just wants me. He wants my heart. He knows my weaknesses, my failures, my fears. But He also sees me for who I truly am–He sees the Jazmin He created me to be.
No, my singleness has nothing to do with whether or not I’m keeping my focus on Him. Marriage is a gift, not an entitlement. And when I let the doubts fade away, I truly believe God is using this time in my life and yours to prepare us for the adventure together.
Jealousy wasn’t the only unwelcome guest to show up in my heart as the wedding wound down, though. Fear was there too.
It’s not hard to let my mind wander to our day, and the reality that marriage is much more than a wedding. I’ve been reading a book lately called The Sacred Search. The premise of the book is that there isn’t just one person we can be happily married to; the goal is figuring out that kind of person you want to marry and not make such a huge life decision solely on feelings. It’s been a challenging read, shifting my perspective on marriage and really helping me think through what I want my marriage to look like.
But if I can be completely honest here, as much as I desire marriage, it scares me. Maybe I make too much of it, but it is kind of a big deal. Marriage is a lifelong commitment. It involves two people becoming one. It’s a challenging journey of learning how to serve the other person and put their needs before my own. It involves getting up close and personal with another person’s weaknesses and realizing I have just as many shortcomings, if not more that need work. It means having to deal with another person’s calling and figuring out how to chase two different God-given dreams.
I’m afraid of the effort required for that kind of life change. I’m afraid of the conflict we’ll face, and the bumps and rough spots along the way. I’m afraid of reaching our special day and being afraid, of panicking because of all the unknowns.
Please don’t take this fear as me not wanting you. I do. But I guess I’m just afraid that when you get close enough to know me and really know my heart, you won’t want me….
I still struggle with loving myself and seeing me the way God sees me.
But even with all of this fear, I’m pressing forward and praying.
Coming off a wedding, I have plenty of ideas for our celebration. Despite the fear, I still want this. I want to journey with you through life and see where God takes us. I want to encourage you in faith and cuddle with you as we doze off side by side. I want to raise a family together and minister together in whatever opportunities God gives us. I want to grow old with you, laugh with you, and learn together how marriage can make us holy.
I’m not sure where this letter finds you today, or even if you’ll have the opportunity to read it, but I pray that you are growing in the Lord. I pray that you are following Him with your whole heart. I also pray that you’re dreaming of me…because one day we’ll look back on these days and see some of those dots God’s connecting now. We’ll be able to see this beautiful story God is writing for us. One day it will be our turn to stand before a crowd of witnesses and pledge our lives to each other and dance the night away. One day we’ll get to experience the beginning of life together.
I can’t wait!