Dear Future Husband,
Here’s a few things you’ll need to know if you wanna be my one and only all of my life…
JK. I hate that song. (In case you don’t know what song I’m talking about, listen at your own risk.) It’s annoyingly catchy and flawed and not the song I want to sing to my future husband. Or the words I want to speak to him since I don’t plan on ever singing a song to him, or anyone, other than our future children when no one else is listening and/or my car steering wheel…
Not that it doesn’t have some decent points (feel free to read the lyrics before you read my commentary on them):
You can take me on dates and buy me flowers. I’ll buy groceries, I actually like doing that, but if you’d like to be in charge of the budget I’m totally okay with that because I hate math and will always spend too much if left to my own devices (but I’m working on that – 2016 goal sneak peek). I actually did learn to cook and I’m pretty dang good at it. It would be nice if you’d treat me, and all ladies, like ladies. When I’m acting crazy you can tell me everything’s alright if you want to, but you can also gently remind me that I’m being crazy. You can – and I hope you will – tell me I’m beautiful whenever you want to. After fights we should probably both apologize, not just you, and I am wrong often. We can disagree. Making time for me is also cool since my love language is quality time and since we’ll be, you know, married. We can see your family more than mine, but I’d like to claim Thanksgiving with mine at least every other year. We do Thanksgiving well and fairly drama free. I’m flexible on which side of the bed is mine, but I’d like you to be on the side closest to the door in case anyone breaks in so you can punch and/or shoot/stab them or something. I’m not good at those things. You can open doors for me if it’s convenient and you aren’t carrying things or I am carrying things, but I’m probably going to kiss you whether you do or not. Classy is good. And I honestly don’t care too much about rings and carats or even real diamonds, but rose gold is good, and/or a tattoo because that’d be cool, but rose gold something please (I’ve already instructed a couple of people to give you the rose gold specification when the time comes, but just in case they forget, it’s here now, forever, so make good choices, unless I change my mind, which is possible).
Okay we’re done with that song. DONE!!
But for real, here are the things I want to say to you/about you in no particular order with no sort of organization.
I don’t know who you are. I don’t know where you are. I don’t know if you’re near (in proximity and timing) or far. If I’m honest, some days I don’t even know if you exist. I don’t know if I’ve already met you once or twice or several times or if our paths have even crossed yet. I don’t know if I met you in a coffee shop, if we met at a wedding once, if we went to college together and will reconnect someday, if our mutual friends think we’d be perfect for each other, if you have a beard, how you like your coffee, IF you like coffee, or ANYTHING.
I know nothing.
Well… I do know what our wedding will be like and what we’ll name our kids. Too soon?
I don’t know if you’ll actually meet the three Q “requirements” that one of my RAs made me come up with (she had three Ds) – quirky, quizzical (wise), and quixotic (the only q word that could summarize my “huggable” preference, some of the definitions are negative but I chose to go with the “extravagantly chivalrous or romantic” one, hugs are chivalrous and romantic, it’s a stretch, but just let me have it!). I don’t know if you will be any of the things I wrote on “The List” in the back of the future husband journal that I started my freshman year of college in 2002 that I haven’t written in since Valentine’s Day 2007 when I penned that I hoped I’d meet you before the next Valentine’s Day (spoiler alert – that didn’t happen). I haven’t been able to bring myself to dispose of that ridiculous journal. I like going back and seeing how much I’ve learned about life since than, cringing and laughing at the ridiculousness, AND noticing how much my writing skills have improved, but seriously, you’re never reading it. Ever. Literally almost everything my naive younger self wrote in there is ridiculous and I take most of it back. In particular, I would like to say loud and clear that I DID NOT mean it when I said on April 3, 2002 that I wanted us to date for a year and then be engaged for a year before we get married. We’re 30-ish something now, let’s get this show on the road!
Seriously though, my April 3, 2002 self was crazy and clearly didn’t know that 14-ish years of additional life lived would have a major impact on the appeal of dating. I kind of hate dating and the idea of dating you scares the heck out of me. If there was a reality show about arranged marriages set up by friends, I’d be on board. Some parts of dating are fun and I wouldn’t want to miss out on them, but some parts? Let’s just skip it and get married okay? Okay whatever, I know that’s not feasible. But if we have to do this dating thing, please have people that are going to coach you through dating me and make sure I have those people too. I don’t want to mess things up with you, but I’m absolutely terrified that I will. Dating is hard! There’s the whole uncertainty thing EVERYWHERE. Not knowing who likes who or officially or how much or blah blah blah that is enough to drive even the sanest person crazy (and due to my flair for the dramatic I’ve never held that title). And then all the rest – the formalities and pressure of trying to be impressive and your quirky self at the same time and saying things too soon or not soon enough and the fact that we’re 30-ish and have lived enough life to make enough mistakes we’ll have to talk about at some point. And then the risks of potential heartache and rejection. There’s a lot! I know it’s worth it, but I’m just scared. When you like me, just tell me. If we’re dating but it’s ambiguous because no one has said that word, just tell me. If I’m your girlfriend or you want me to be, just tell me. JUST SAY THINGS! Don’t leave me to guess and be confused because I promise I’ll probably guess wrong. Convince me that we can do this dating thing and do it well, okay?
We have to work out. I’m a really good cook and I’ve been waiting to cook for you my whole life, or at least since I got my first Easy Bake Oven circa 1992. Picture proof below. Also, I still make this face when people make me take pictures with the gifts they got me, but I really was excited.
But really, I’ll cook healthy things most of the time, but I’m going to want to blow you away with my cooking skills so that you’ll brag about how your wife is the best cook ever. That means I’m gonna use butter sometimes. And desserts. So we have to work out. Together, separate, I don’t care. There just has to be some accountability and push there or we’re both gonna gain weight.
I apologize in advance for rearranging the dishes you put in the dishwasher. I want you to load the dishwasher, and I promise I don’t think you’re doing it wrong. It’s just a puzzle I have to figure out and make pretty and I can’t stop myself. I have to make it pretty (and filled to the maximum capacity). And the fridge. And the cabinets. And maybe your side of the closet. I’ve never shared a closet (other than college when I hadn’t discovered my love for organization yet, don’t talk to my college roommates about my cleanliness back then, especially Brownhair), so I don’t know my limits.
I cry a lot. Happy. Sad. Mad. Confused. Traffic. Hanger. Tired. TV shows. TV commercials. Radio commercials. Adele songs. Babies. At the gym. At work. Because I don’t like my hair. Because I don’t like my outfit. Because I spilled my coffee. Baby animals. Any military reunion video. Any movie about sports (or if I’m forced to watch real sports and not movies about them). You can laugh at me, I don’t mind. Unless it’s a mad or sad cry then maybe just laugh WITH me afterwards when I’m experiencing the after cry happy high after you’ve hugged me. Just embrace it and don’t be scared of it. I’m a cryer. Just let it happen.
Waiting is and has been pretty dang hard. I know you know this too. But it really is! I love love. I have been loving love as far back as I can remember. I’m not one of those Singles Awareness Day/let’s wear black on Valentine’s Day/over love and couples kind of girls. I love couples, marriage, hearts, hanging out with couples, watching movies and shows about love, and even Valentine’s Day. I celebrate it for others and think it’s beautiful. I’m not obsessed with having it or finding it, I’m not bitter towards others who have it, I’m not full of angst about not having it, but I’ve never been opposed to it. I confess that many times I’ve felt sinfully entitled to feeling like I deserve you so we can be each other’s family and create our own family to redeem broken family stuff. I also confess that in those hard counseling days, one of the biggest lies I clung to was believing that if God didn’t give me you, it meant He lied about the abundantly full life promise. Week after week my counselor tried to get me to say that my life could and would be great with or without a husband. I wouldn’t say it. I’d say back over and over, “I like my life now, and I’ve had a great life, but I don’t think I can keep loving life forever without a husband and family.”
With the utmost sincerity, I really do believe now and forever that my life will continue to be abundantly full and beautiful with or without you. Thanks to a lot of hard counseling work freeing me up from shame and feelings of unworthiness, I was in a place where I was able to be forever changed in the way I think about sin and unbelief by what I learned from my Gospel community and other wise people. The past year or so of life, I’ve been on a forever journey of realizing that sin and clinging to lies is less about behaviors and more about an inability to believe fundamental truths about God – that He’s good, great, glorious, and gracious. When we believe He’s good, we don’t have to look elsewhere for satisfaction. When we don’t, our idol becomes comfort. When we believe He’s great, we don’t have to be in control. When we don’t, our idol becomes control. When we believe He’s gracious, we don’t have to prove ourselves. When we don’t, our idol becomes power. When we believe He’s glorious, we don’t have to fear others. When we don’t, our idol becomes approval. (These are called the 4 Gs and they are from Tim Chester’s book You Can Change.)
I struggle with all of those things at different moments, but there was one that was a blaringly obvious idol in my life. I didn’t believe God was good. I really, really didn’t. Satisfaction was found elsewhere, mainly in the idea of you and a future family. If I didn’t get those things, I couldn’t believe life would continue being good. I feel free from that now. I absolutely hope you exist. I miss you even though I’ve never met you. I wish you could hug me. I wish I could hold your hand. I wish I wish I got to pick out Christmas presents for you and use all the lovey dovey stationary I’m hoarding from my stationery subscription to write you cute notes. I wish you would have gotten to meet my dad. I wish I could pack your lunch. I miss you on holidays and when I have to move heavy furniture or fix things. And with 100% confidence I already know I’m going to love you (hence why you’re worthy of one of these 31 people(s) I love posts). But, I also know that even if I keep hoping forever that you’ll come and you don’t, God is still good and so is my life.
To wrap this ridiculously long letter/post up: I say a lot of things (good grief I just wrote 2500 about a person that I don’t know yet…), I make a lot of lists, I think and overthink almost everything, I have a lot of ideas, but here’s what really matters more than anything else – I need you to love Jesus more than you will ever love me. God is love. And I don’t want any sort of version of love that exists without God. We need the Holy Spirit in our corner fighting our battles, keeping us holy, interceding for us, and doing the changing of our insides (hearts, brains, souls, habits, etc) – work that we can’t do ourselves. Jesus has to be the center – the everything. You can’t lead and love me like Christ loves the Church and I can’t submit to your leadership and love without Jesus. We can’t forgive 70 times 7 without remembering the depths of our wretchedness that Jesus died to forgive and redeem. I am certain that it will be impossible for you to love me forever without the Holy Spirit on your team (and vice versa, we’re flawed humans!). Marriage is a picture of the Gospel, and we simply can’t do it without being wrecked every day in all of our moments by the power of the Gospel. Love Jesus and let’s always push each other to Him. ALWAYS.
PS. I like beards and hugs and I’m not getting rid of all of my pink decor.
Can’t wait to hug you forever,
Your Really Awesome Future Wife
Note: Should I ever start dating someone, can everyone remind me to revert this post to a draft??
This is part of my 31 People(s) I Love series. I’ll be writing about 31 people/peoples that I adore! Click here if you would like a list of all the posts in this series.