Singleness

Dear Future Husband

Dear future husband,

I feel silly, typing this, when I don’t even know your name. I don’t know how tall you are, what color your eyes are, or how old you are. I don’t know if you laugh from your gut, if you chew obnoxiously loudly, or if you slurp your spaghetti. I don’t know if you’ll adore my dogs, dislike my dad, or get along with my little brother. I don’t know if you’ll abhor Hallmark movies, despise Disney movie nights, or groan at spending the day in a bookstore.

But I do know that, one day, you will love me.

And because of this, I know it is my duty to pray for you. I want you to know how much I care for you, even if we haven’t met yet. 

I read a quote on Instagram the other day, and wondered if this was why I’m still waiting to know who you are, what your first name even is.

“I wonder if my future wife’s wondering why I’m taking so long… Be patient my love, I’m still working on me, becoming a man that deserves you.”

I pray that this is at least part of your mindset right now. I get it, most guys our age are hardly what anyone would deem “mature”, but I pray that your maturity is unraveling, that you’re beginning to seek God in the everyday aspects of your life. It’s never too early my love. Seek Him now, in the fruitfulness of youth, so that you are better prepared for the life ahead- without and then with me. His wisdom will prepare you to lead our household- as a couple and one day perhaps as a family. (Speaking of, I really hope you want kids… but not too many! Three’s my limit bud.) I want you to be a man I can respect and adore as a Godly man, a man our kids can look up to and smile at, knowing that you are a man like Christ. I hope they want to be like you hun, whether it’s in your ridiculous humor, stoic thoughtfulness, or crafty handyman-ness; who knows, you could have all three! But regardless of your quirky individualities, I hope you have as kind a heart as I imagine you will, because today’s world is severely lacking in kindness…

I pray that God protects you where you are today, wherever that may be: school, work, across the globe for all I know. There will be wicked temptations in your path, if the things I’ve already faced are any indications. Purity is an undermined virtue, but I hope you are clinging to it as much as I. There will be plenty of women who try to tear down your moral walls, I know, but I pray that God places two stones for every one a woman rips out. There will be trials- ohh, there will be trials. Heartaches, troubles, worries, and hardships will all chain themselves to your ankles and do everything they can to wear you down. But you are so strong dear one, because you have a strong God you can turn to no matter what.

I pray that I am becoming the woman, and wife, you need me to be. I’m not perfect- boy do I have my flaws! Insecurity, doubt, quiet jealousy, selfishness, all these come with the package when I say “I do” (sorry!). And for some crazy reason, you will love me anyway! I’d like to think that one day, when the baby’s screaming, the toddler won’t sit down, the dog is yelping, and I’m in my PJ’s close to tears, you will still look at me with love- and that I will be looking at you with just as much love.

It won’t be easy, but we can do it. If we keep our eyes on God, we can do it. So I pray you feel mine and His love today future husband, wherever you may be and through whatever you may be facing.

 

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Singleness

Love for a Season

Happy belated Thanksgiving to you all!! If you’re like me, you’ve been in a sweet potato-induced food coma the past three days haha, but it was totally worth it! What’s your favorite Thanksgiving- or holiday- treat? My grandma makes oatmeal sheet cake every Christmas; to me, it gets sweeter and sweeter with each passing year, for my grandma’s almost 90 years old, getting a little frailer after each birthday. But still, she continues to make that cake for us, her family, every year ❤︎.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving (you know, giving thanks), I sent a short but sweet text over Snapchat to a dear friend of mine this past Thursday. I’ve kind of let life get in the way of regularly texting her sadly, and as a mamma she sure isn’t lackadaisically lounging around her house either, but I wanted to make sure she knew how much I appreciate her. She’s my “Miss Clara” from the movie War Room: a mothering figure, significantly older than myself; a contributor of wise advice and life lessons, lessons learned from her own mishaps and mess-ups; a confidante and best friend, when those closest to me are the ones farthest from my heart. (If you haven’t seen it yet, please do! Miss Clara’s sassy spunk cracked me up and had me longing for that sort of God relationship in my own life.) My Clara has been here for me since December of 2015, through heartaches, parent fights, barns burning (oh yeah, you read that one right, 2016 was not our year…), and the hardest breakup I’ve ever experienced.

There’s just one catch.

My Clara is my ex’s mom.

awwwkkwwaarrdddd.

You see, towards the end of mine and her son’s relationship, she and I got super close because I was having some serious issues with my own parents, and could relate to her better than my own mom. Combine that and the fact that, at the time, I would’ve sworn me and her son were going to get married one day… I looked up to her as my second mamma and my future mother-in-law.

You can imagine the really, really awkward transition phase this presented when her son broke it off.

I’ll admit that, in the beginning, I tried to use our friendship as a subtle (yeah right, since when has texting your ex’s mom when you know your ex is nearby ever subtle?) “hey, maybe we should get back together?” message to her son. Not my finest moment, but who hasn’t done something stupid in the name of denial after a breakup? I held onto her friendship and mentorship like a toddler clinging to her blankie the first day of school, desperately scrambling for any chance at getting back together with my ex- and what better way to know his intentions than to stay directly updated via his mother?

It didn’t exactly lessen my desperation knowing that she wanted us back together too.

As it turns out, her son and I didn’t start dating again. Now that it’s been a year, I’ve cycled through the stages (denial, anger, grief, acceptance, and finally moving on), and can see through clear lenses that he and I just weren’t meant to be. I can thank the Lord for ending it before the heartache would’ve been worse, acknowledge all I learned within that year, and grow as a maturing young woman who is more aware of what she wants in a Godly relationship. And all throughout, I’ve kept in touch with my Clara. As the distance between her son and me grew, I was able to recognize her friendship as its own special gift- not as a tool to use, not as a communication line, but simply as our friendship. Sure, most people would think it’s weird, texting your ex’s mom; heck, I had some of my own friends whispering behind my back about it. But these friends are in the same stage of life as I am, and cannot provide the invaluable advice a wiser, older woman can. Weird? Maybe, but I’d like to think I’m the more mature one if I can appreciate the value of a mentor in my life, ex’s mom or not.

Now, it’s been two years from our first meeting and a year and a half since the breakup. Whereas I used to talk to her daily, now it’s just a text here and there. The small, secret pocket of my heart containing her friendship has shrunken over time (“But I think that the most likely reason of all… may have been that his heart was 2 sizes too small.” Thanksgiving’s over, you’ll forgive my Christmas quotes now right?) and I’m afraid it’s all but withered away. It hurts, but it’s probably for the better this way. While our friendship was blooming, I regularly wrestled with concerns about how my friendship could one day negatively impact my Clara’s relationship with her son: what if he finds a new gal, and they get engaged? If my Clara is still incredibly close with me, will she harbor resentment towards this new girl, because she is not me? (I know my Clara wouldn’t, she’s far too kind-hearted for that, but I was still worried.) Worse, will my Clara feel guilty if she does like this new girl, because that new girl is a clear signal that I will never become part of her family? I love them all far too much to wish any hurt their way, so if our friendship fading means that they can move on with the joys of the future, I will gladly accept its doomed fate.

We get people for seasons. Some are meant to hurt us, like our ex’s, to teach us lessons in order that we might grow into the beautiful people we are meant to be. Some are here to love us, like our family, to give us support and comfort. Some are meant to instruct us, like our teachers and mentors… like my Clara, here for a season, until their work is done. It doesn’t mean we can’t be thankful for that season- in fact, I think it should make us a little more thankful. We get to savor their gift, their season, before they are gone from us.

Nanny McPhee: “There is something you should understand about the way I work. When you need me but do not want me, then I must stay. When you want me but no longer need me, then I have to go. It’s rather sad, really, but there it is.”

 

Singleness

“Here Comes the Bride”

*Standing in Kay’s, looking at getting a new purity ring*

Mom: “Are you sure you don’t want to wait till Christmas next year? You could meet a guy (implying he, whoever he is, could then be giving me a ring- promise, engagement, or other)…”

Me: “Guy? What, you mean another dog?”

I was so apathetic to this thought, so sarcastic, that I considered sharing it on my Snapchat story, captioned as if for all my friends to relate to. I mean, I’m single right now and probably will be until at least August of next year when I transfer to Radford, which would leave roughly, what, four months for me to meet a guy, start dating, and be so sure that we’re ready to promise ourselves for the foreseeable future? Uh huh, right, that’s a nice thought mom.

Thankfully, I kept this sad little irony to myself and went about my day, but started thinking about the whole kabobble an hour or so before bedtime. I hadn’t really spent any time praying yet, so my thoughts were gradually shifting towards the Lord anyway, just conversational, nothing overly serious. But again, that curt as if stained the canvas of my thoughts, jagged letters splattered against an otherwise smooth surface. Because, of course, that would just be plain impossible, expecting to meet someone and fall in love within four months, right? Wouldn’t it?

As if.

Not sure why, I nonetheless kept mulling over this normally insignificant phrase. It was just… stuck. Yeah, usually I try to keep my thoughts postive, like It’ll happen one day Jordan, this is just a season. You’re only nineteen, you’ve got your whole life ahead of you. There are plenty of other single girls going through the exact same doubts right now, you’re not alone. And normally, even if it takes a few hours or even a few days, repeating these words of optimism and hope do the trick, righting my topsy-turvy attitude towards singleness. (I’ve realized I’m always at one end of the totem pole or the other: completely satisfied with how my life is going, extremely grateful for the beautiful life God has given me in this single season, and not wanting to ever give up this one-on-one bond for some boy; orrrrr, I’m sitting by myself, surrounded by happy couples, and all I want to do is cry for days on end because I am so incredibly lonely that my heart physically aches. Happy mediums just don’t float my boat I guess?)

As if…

I’m allowed to have my Negative Nancy moments, right? Aren’t we all? Combine the hormonal influxes (can I get a Hallelujah amen?), the school load, everything that goes on at home, and constantly watching couples parade around campus, most times I feel pretty deserving of pity parties. But wallowing leads me down a pretty dark road, and I know it’s not the mindset God wants me to have anyway. If I let myself go down that road–which happens more often than I care to admit, just a week ago at church I fell to a new low–it makes me ungrateful for the blessings I know, in the deepest corners of my heart, that I have. Ungratefulness plants roots for bitterness, bitterness uproots compassion, and before you know it I’ve planted an entirely useless, infertile tree (picture that creepy, gnarled looking tree from the cover of Pan’s Labyrinth). When we feel completely unsatisfied with the lives we’re living, with our now, we can’t be any use to God, to our friends, or to our families. We all know it, but still, that thought remains…

As if.

So here I was, cuddled on my bed with my sketch book and my dog, just like every other night. Single, just like every other night.

As if.

Sure, I pray for my future husband most evenings. Sometimes when I’m feeling lonely, I tell myself that my Boaz–whoever he may be ❤︎–may be feeling a similar sense of longing at this very same moment, so I pray for him. I pray that God protects him from temptations (especially if he’s at a university, Lord knows he’ll need the help), that he grows closer to God every day, and that he is growing into the loving, kind, respectful man I will one day love. Then I’ll usually pray for myself, that God strengthens me against temptations, that I will draw nearer to Him every day, and that I am growing into the woman I need to be. But when I pray for my future Boaz, when I say that God knows my heart and will for sure and for certain put my beloved in my path at the right time and place!… when I say God is of the impossible… do I really believe it?

As if…

I have this pink stinky note stuck to my laptop keyboard, which reads:

“And this is the confidence we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.” 1 John 5:14-15

When I pray for my Boaz, that I might meet him at Radford next Fall, I don’t really believe it. I know that God is good and he is God of the impossible, but when my mom suggested I could find my true love and recognize him as such all in the span of a few months, my thoughts were anything but believing.

As if.

The sarcasm and the bitterness that gnarl the roots of my heart, they twist it into that Labyrinth tree and show a deeper issue: a disbelief in God. If I don’t really believe that God, who created the entire universe, can bring me and my Boaz together in a few months, what does that say of my belief in Him? Two little words, alone harmless, but strung together form a wooden knot that robs me of my faith. My contentment in this season. My gratitude.

We can rewrite that sentence though.

As God is the God of everything, if I truly believe that he is who I say he is, then he will answer my request according to his will.

Sure, we don’t know when or how, but that’s not the point. I may never get married, but just the fact that God CAN bring two people together in such a beautiful, wondrous way is a testament to his goodness. It’s not always going to feel good, no, but he is good, and we can turn to that even amidst the sarcasm of as if.