This is not actually the first time I’ve written to you. I started a journal of letters for you when I was in Junior High because at a True Love Waits weekend or something, a well meaning worker in my youth group said it would be a good idea. I wrote in it periodically through High School too. I found it a few years ago, laughed a lot, and promptly threw it away. You’re welcome.
But I’ll be 29 in less than a month, and this past year has been one of the hardest in my life. I’ve imagined that it would have been easier with you. More nights than I care to admit, I’ve sat alone in my room with tears streaming down my face longing for someone to hold me. And I’m not a crier or a hugger.
I say I’m not a crier, but truthfully, my superpower is just making my tears invisible. I can’t count all the times I’ve been out with a group of people wishing that someone would look past the facade I’m hiding behind and actually see me. Then in a classic rom-com way, that someone would pull me in tight and give me a safe place to make my tears visible.
But God being rich in mercy and grace has walked me through this season without your arms to hold me. I’m not even sure if your arms or the rest of you exist. But I know God exists, and He has provided comfort over the past year through His Word and friends and my roommate’s French Bulldog who is my writing and snuggle buddy. (If you are real and want to surprise me one day with my own French Bulldog, I wouldn’t hate it.)
God’s timing usually only seems perfect looking back, so when we’re still looking forward and waiting, we have to trust. He hasn’t given me you yet, but He’s given me more of Himself.
And without you by my side, He’s taught me a great deal about love and marriage–mainly because He’s graciously shown me how selfish I am.
I’ve dreamed about you almost my whole life, but my dreams for marriage have been just that–my dreams.
I didn’t think I was still silly enough to believe that marriage will make me happy, but over the past year, God cut to the core of my desire for marriage. He’s shown me I’m still seeking my own happiness in my dream to be married–I’ve just tried to dress it up a bit.
I want to travel the world with someone.
I don’t want to keep chasing my dreams alone. I need someone to encourage me.
Finances overwhelm me. I want someone who can handle all that boring stuff.
I just want to have fun with my best friend forever.
I want to have a man who will be my spiritual leader and partner as we stand up against the forces of evil in this world. (Sometimes I try to be super spiritual to trick God into giving me what I want. Hasn’t worked yet.)
I don’t want to be alone.
And by “dress it up a bit”, I mean my desires are basically a three-year-old who decides she wants to dress herself for the first time and ends up looking ridiculous, and God just smiles and says, “That’s cute, Sarah.”
Then He walked me through some painful places and showed me what real love looks and feels like. And sometimes real love–the kind that lasts and changes people–doesn’t feel that good. Love is a choice and usually not the easy one because it’s always the unselfish one.
The Cross is the classic Christian go-to to demonstrate such sacrificial love–and I’m not disagreeing. The Cross always needs to be made bigger in our minds, but lately I’ve been thinking about the relationship between Jesus and Judas. Jesus loved that man for 3 years knowing full well betrayal and deceit dwelled in Judas’ heart. What does loving someone like that look like in my life?
I’m obviously not comparing you to Judas, but I know we’re both broken humans. I’m going to let you down and you’re going to let me down at some point. What does loving someone in those times look like? I don’t have all the answers, but I know it looks like always choosing to stay.
Marriage can’t be my dream anymore because marriage isn’t about me. Marriage is about God and His gospel and how He can make two broken humans display His love and beauty to the world because by His grace, they always choose to stay.
(Also I think I can add “choose to stay and have fun.” I know marriage is not all fun and games, and it’s going to be hard. Blah blah blah. But I don’t think lifeless and boring marriages attract people to God much. So I plan on laughing a lot, sometimes at inappropriate times, and having fun.)
I do hope you exist. I still hold onto the reasons I listed earlier for marriage, and I don’t think they’re inherently bad because now they stem from a new core desire God has placed in my heart over the past year.
God sees me. He sees all the bad and the ugly and chooses to stay. I know am loved. And by His grace, I want to see you. I want to know you–all your good and your bad and your hopes and dreams. I want to love you. I want to always choose to stay so that together we can understand more deeply God’s great love for us. (And I want to have fun.)
I know I probably didn’t learn as much as I think I did this past year about marriage. I’m a slow learner, and God is a patient teacher. I hope He continues to show you how much He loves you in personal and unique ways. I hope I get to know your name soon.
AKA-The best thing to ever happen to you outside of your salvation.
PS – I’m not just sitting around twiddling my thumbs waiting for you. I’m chasing dreams. I just got back from Los Angeles because I’m trying to figure out how to write for TV or movies. I went alone, made some new friends and had a great time. You should be proud. I hope you have big dreams too, and I’m excited to help you chase them. PSS – I really am worried sometimes that maybe you don’t exist.
PSSS – I wasn’t joking about the wanting to have a lot of fun thing or the surprising me with a French Bulldog thing.