Across the table, he stared at me with dreamy blue eyes and laughed gently. “How in the world did I end up with such a great girl like you?” he asked playfully. I shrugged and smiled at him. “Oh, I don’t know. I guess I could ask how I ended up with such a great guy like you.” He reached for my hand, and I gently rested mine in his. All I could do was look into his dark eyes and hope the moment never ended…But then reality set in, and my daydream came to a halt. Suddenly, the fantasy was over.
If you hit the “rewind” button on my life and traveled back in time about five years, you would find me in a very difficult season of recovery from my anorexia. Struggling to make sense of who I was and who I needed to be. Doubting I would ever love myself or even like myself. Wanting to be skinny above everything else. As that season lingered, I felt like I was trudging through heavy, dirty mud. Craving answers to my questions but not being willing to accept the answers before me.
When I lost my phone at an amusement park recently, all I did was panic. My mind automatically went into Worst Case Scenario mode. My trip to the Lost and Found Office didn’t help. Nor did making phone calls and filling out online forms. I was completely helpless in this situation. Sure, I said a couple quick prayers of panic. But instead of placing my trust in the Lord—that He would do whatever was best for me in this situation—I worried.
Dear Idol, I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately. I'm wondering why I devote so much of my time and energy to you. I mean, you’re not the best thing that’s ever happened to me. In fact, you’ve left me feeling miserable, guilty, and anxious quite often.
Dear Future Husband, I’m writing this letter to you because I want you to know that I have high expectations for you. I don’t want to trudge through decades of singleness and end up with a subpar husband. However, I also want you to know that my expectations for you are reasonable. By the way, you should probably have reasonable expectations for me as well…because I’m pretty broken.
This poem is based on an analogy from Scripture. As the church, Christ's bride, we can live in gratitude and joy because we no longer wear darkness and shame. Just as the groom typically wears a black suit and the bride typically wears a white dress at their wedding, Christ wore black—our sin—so that we could wear white—His righteousness.
God's nature is persistent, strong, and steady. He doesn't leave. He doesn't give up. He doesn't wave. While I am not advocating habitual sin in this poem, I am advocating habitual returning to God's forgiveness.
I am not saying that God caused the coronavirus. I am saying that God allowed the coronavirus because He let sinful humans with a freewill choose to sin. (I won’t get into the blame game of who caused the coronavirus because that’s a discussion for another time.) As a pastor recently explained to me, the Fall caused a lot of unpleasant consequences for sinful humanity, including illness and death. But I believe God can still use this messy situation for good…if we let Him.
Friend, take heart that your feelings do not determine the truth. Be encouraged that every moment you do feel like a lost, blind wretch is a moment God can use to draw you closer to Himself. But also be encouraged that every moment you don’t feel like a lost, blind wretch is still a moment God can use to draw you closer to Himself.