I was able to attend my home church a few weeks ago and a lady in the congregation approached me to congratulate me on Zach and I’s engagement. She concluded by saying,
“God certainly provides doesn’t He?”
Lately I’ve felt guilty when I might lean on the side of “oversharing” in conversations face to face and on social media about Zach and I’s relationship. It’s such a thrilling time in life that I don’t want to become too centered on our little world of marriage preparations. While there is a time and a place for when and what to share, this comment made me realize why I commit to telling our love story.
My lowest low due to love forsaken was in the summer of 2016. I sat at a youth conference in Estes Park, Colorado and was told to write down the strongest lies I believed about myself. Scribbled on a neon orange piece of paper I wrote, “I’m not good enough. I’m ugly. And no one will ever buy me flowers.” Tears streamed down my face as I saw those thoughts on paper for the first time and reflected on the reality ensuing back home making me feel these things, the sadness of those lies being exposed to the light and losing power over me. I crumbled up the piece of paper and threw it away, thinking that no one would ever have to see those thoughts that were active in my mind. After another full day of activities and worship sessions, we returned to the same workshop with a bookmark for each participant with Scriptures attacking the lies. I’m not sure even today of who read my broken remarks, but they fought the battle of exchanging those lies for God’s truth on my behalf. The new words reminded me that I was equipped for every good work in Christ and that I was flawless and beautiful by the blood of Jesus.
And the reason I will sing of my love found, is because the love I’ve found in Zach not only gives me the joy of this earthly companionship, but his love reminds me of what’s been true all along. The way he looks at me – is forever changing me the way I love and the way I receive love from the Father. If there is something in your life that is revealing love to you in a brand new way, spoken by God or shown by Him through His creation, the world needs to hear it. God didn’t start singing over me when Zach decided to choose me across all the miles and all the obstacles in our way. We haven’t “arrived” – this is simply the path of sanctification the Lord has led us to. God was singing over me when I was stricken by grief in the mountains, when I was afraid of losing Zach’s friendship the next summer, when we promised each other forever this last October, and every step in between.
This song, it’s not about us at all. God certainly provides, doesn’t He?
The definition of provision isn’t in finding a spouse or buying that impressive house. Provision is the truth that God is singing over you right now and He won’t stop. The circumstances you are in – whether in the waiting or the fulfillment – there’s still a call for a victory dance. Because whether you’re waiting for money to pay bills, that dream to come true, that boy to call back, lab results that might have a new chapter attached to them, or those job results after an exciting interview – He is here. And He has something to speak to you in it.
why our redemption stories, in all their variations, are worth telling:
- to count the fruit
The good parts are not the whole story, but focuses our hearts on what matters most and how far we’ve come. Recounting faithfulness reminds us of all the goodness that can spring forth from growing unseen and maybe even unappreciated in the dark.
- to change the language
This world is drenched in cynicism and confusion when it comes to healthy relationships, marriage specifically. What if more people in stable relationships shared their lives and their struggles openly? What if by our lives we could all beckon a bit more hope in each other’s dreams? In order for this to change, it all starts with the language we use to each other and about each other.
- to bless our partner, our friends
Scripture says in Hebrews 10:24 that we ought to “consider how to stir up one another to love and good works…” One way to do this is to consistently tell your partner what you’re grateful for. It tells them, “I see you & the way you love behind the scenes.” It builds them up and it helps them to keep going with a joyful heart.
- to show the world what true love is
When I was living out my singleness in high school, my friend Becca wrote long letters to me telling story after story about how God was working between she and her husband (then her boyfriend!). Hearing about the way Casey held her, wiped her tears, and laughed with her pointed me to hope. When I consider keeping this love only to myself, I think about how my thought processes would have been different without those stories shared by Becca and other sweet women who have let me take a glimpse into sacred pieces of their lives. If all the world is hearing is songs about one night stands and broken communication, who will tell them that sacrificial, gentle love exists? Let is start with us.
The Gospel is the grandest love story that will ever be told. And if our one relationship, lived with intention – in all our mistakes and mishaps – points others to that One Best Story? Then who am I to stay quiet about what He has done?
Maybe you’re committed to a lifetime of singleness or you just don’t know what’s next. Your love song has already begun. Sing the song of your redemption loudly, whether it’s in the reconciling of a friendship, the Spirit working through your campus, or speaking to you over a pile of laundry. We share to not award ourselves, but to shed more light on the generous, glorious work of our Father. God is singing over you — and the hopeless world out there needs to hear echoes of that melody. Don’t be afraid to share how God is shaking things up for good – it will wake up our weary hearts.