Yeah, that day of the year.

Valentine's day.

It's funny how, a few years ago, it was all about getting two-cent Magic Schoolbus cards from (female) friends and little bags of cinnamon-flavored hearts that stung your tongue when you ate them. I'd skip home with my backpack full of pink Valentines and my tummy full of chocolate, and scream a shrill "Eeew!" every time I saw a kiss on TV (which would, inevitably, happen very often that particular day). How much things have changed since then.

It all started when I was about thirteen and began realizing that love wasn't all icky as I had previously thought. One by one, I began to revoke my childhood vows to never date, kiss, or marry. Then, I guess I read Little Women and Les Miserables several times too many, and they pushed me to the brink: I became a hopeless romantic.

Maybe "hopeless" is the wrong word. I'm actually a very hopeful romantic -- I hope that, someday, I will fall in love, get married, have children, et cetera. In fact, I don't just hope: I'm certain that this must be what God has in store for me. Why would he deprive me of the experience that so many people get to go through? The magic of knowing somebody better than anybody else on earth knows them; the magic of opening your heart to them and finding that they understand better than anyone's ever understood; the magic of bringing new lives into being and and watching them go from 'love is icky' to marriage; but, above all, the magic of joining somebody else to become a single person who embodies God's will better than either could alone. Love -- no one can deny that it's an amazing gift to us humans. Surely it must be in God's plan for me. And if it isn't, I'll muse over honeymoon locations and doodle wedding dress designs until he changes his mind.

Yeah, that sounds really bad -- blasphemous almost. But I might as well be honest: it's precisely what goes through my mind, subconsciously, when I think of marriage. I don't stop to ask God what role he wants love to play in my life. I just assume that, since everyone else has one, there must be a special someone out there for me.

But what if there isn't? That's the question that gets me every time. That's my secret weakness: the ugly insecurity and point of faithlessness that lies behind my 'sweet Christian girl' mask.

I was once talking to someone who was going through some romantic troubles with her significant other. "Today's our anniversary," she told me. "If I were him, I would have bought some roses or a card or something to show me that he wants to start over. If I were him, I'd walk up to me and say, 'Look, I want to make things better. I'm sorry for what I did.' I just don't see why he doesn't. If I were him..."

I barely restrained myself from answering, "But you're not him! You've walked into this relationship with expectations on exactly how he's supposed to act, exactly what he's supposed to say, and exactly what he's supposed to do. You want him to do what you want him to do, but that's not what he's in your life for!"

Did those thoughts ever come barreling back at me! I've realized since that conversation that I am treating God exactly the same way. I've walked into our relationship with conditions: "God, thy will be done, but it had better include a nice Christian guy, a honeymoon in Italy, and a family of adorable children whom I'll name Caroline, Bethany, Sean, and Paul." I sit around daydreaming about how I want my future to look, which is exactly the same thing as deciding what I would do in my life if I were God; just, "daydream" is a prettier way to say it.

Today, I'm feeling like God isn't the only one who's tired of that kind of attitude: I'm tired of it too. I've been holding onto this for too long, and it's putting distance between me and the true Love of my life. I have to let go. I have to open my hands and give up my desires and fall... fall into the hands of the real Prince Charming -- the Prince of Peace. His arms are ready to catch me and keep me if I would only release my grip on this world.

So gallant. Just the man I've always dreamed of.


Kaysie said...

This was BEAUTIFUL and oh so convicting for me today! Thank you for being so honest and sincere about your feelings. I was greatly blessed. I see through your words that I have put improper "expectations" on God relating to my desire for marriage/family. He is to be my ONE desire.

Thank you...

coeur bleu said...

Safe in the arms of Jesus,
Safe from corroding care...
Firm on the Rock of Ages
Ever my trust shall be.
- Fanny J. Crosby, 1868

The eternal God is your refuge,
And underneath are the everlasting arms (Deut. 33:27)

Oksana said...

Thank you both. :)

Cortney said...

I love your perspective! Maybe thats because I share your struggles and revelations? Let me share with you something I wrote about it... Reading your post made me think of it, because the last paragraph echoed my thoughts!

"I have found my Jesus to be the happiest Love of my life. He never leaves my side, and best of all, He helps me become better than I am. When the worries of this world distract me, my Jesus will woo me back to Him with a beautiful sunrise or a starry night. He takes extra special attention to make those yellow flowers blossom on the side of the road just so that I will smile when I drive by. He hid my shoes so I would walk to the driveway with my shoes off and feel the grass between my toes- just because He knows how much I love that  He knows exactly what I love, want, like and need, and he spares no expense to delight me!

Like a lover, He gallantly surrenders His life to those who would try to steal mine, just so I would be saved. He sends me love notes and messages via those around me (and the Bible) so I won’t ever forget Him. He holds my hand when I’m lost and brings me close when I’m scared. When I am so distraught I am bewildered and do not know what to do, He gently calls my name, puts His arms around me and carries me to the place I belong."


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I'm Oksana—Communication major, shutterbug, occasional blogger, incessant doodler, graphic design geek, and writer of sentimental prose. I am quite content to spend an afternoon with a pencil, a few blank Moleskine pages, and a playlist of indie folk. I love musical theatre, black-&-white movies, and Eastern European illustration. Conversations with strangers make my day. When it rains, I make a beeline for my mug of green tea and stack of 19th-century fiction. I'm vegetarian about 98% of the time. I'm extremely awkward and rather nerdy. I love the sea. My name means 'hosanna' and I'm having the time of my life living to praise the One who set me free.

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