Friday, June 22, 2012

Love Notes: Letters to My Future Husband


{small ways to show great love}

It never gets old: no matter how easy emails and texts are, there is nothing in the world like a handwritten letter.  Nothing!  Even if it's the simplest, shortest sentiment, there's something so special about knowing someone took the time to put pen to paper for you and pour themselves out, uninhibited--after all, there's no backspace key.  The days leading up to your marriage feel like the perfect time to get some snail mail going.


In 8th grade, I heard Jason and Crystalina Evert give one of their chastity talks, and I was so struck by their message and their loving relationship (at the time, I had no idea that a fire was being planted in my heart for much later, when I'd spend a year as a chastity speaker myself).  Maybe you know Crystalina's story: as a teen, she incurred many wounds from empty sexual relationships and experienced a deep brokenness.  One day, not long after a retreat that would slowly convert her back to the One who loves so gently and unconditionally, she decided she was through with her current lifestyle.  To fight the temptation and ease of falling back into it, she wrote her first letter to her future husband, telling him that she hoped she could resist her struggles for his sake; for love of him.  She continued writing to this unknown man over the years, experiencing the healing mercy of the Father and growing in strength through His love, and ultimately through Jason's, as well.  The letters were a secret until their wedding, whereupon Crystalina could present her brand new husband with the contents of her heart from before they'd ever even met.

Beauty.  This story always stuck with me, and I wrote my first letter to my husband during high school, saying that I wanted so badly to meet him and that I hoped I could prepare myself well for whenever that first meeting would take place.  That first letter was pretty upbeat and hopeful, but as I continued walking around with that intense longing for love (up until college, I'd never even had a boyfriend), some were way more of the despairing, endlessly wondering kind.  Writing a letter to the man I'd one day marry was such a consolation to me through my first broken heart, my frustration that the Lord seemed to be taking his sweet time, my envy at watching my sister and my friends enter into happy relationships, and through joyful times, too--times I wished he could share in with me.  I still want to either cry or burst out laughing when I stop to think about how well I've come to know and adore the man He has entrusted to me.  For so long, I was just living my ordinary (but still wonderful) life, aching for someone I didn't even know yet.  I'm kind of embarrassed to admit this--for a while, in high school, I had an actual list of qualities I hoped my husband would have.  I am in total awe when I consider the ways the Lord prepared us for each other, and how Andrew possesses so, so many qualities that I never could've imagined would be so perfectly suited to me.  Love really is a miracle.

I decided, like Crystalina, to keep my letters a secret from Andrew until I gave them to him on our honeymoon (Side note: this was no easy feat, since I was telling this story in chastity talks all over the East Coast three or four times a week.  I kept almost spilling the beans!).  During our engagement, I continued to write to him, adding the letters to my old pile.  I wrote down all the details of our proposal so we'd remember, told him when I was struggling and upset with myself, and penned one last, anticipatory note a few days before our wedding.  He told me it was beautiful to know he'd been loved by me before I knew who he was, that he was sure he'd received graces against temptation and despair thanks to my prayers, and that he felt so honored.  It brought me such joy to give him a glimpse into my soul in such a special way.

So, what are you waiting for?  It doesn't matter if you don't have a stack of letters you've been working on since you were 15; you can start today!  Think how special it will be to record your memories of important days, your hopes and prayers for your marriage, and even to exchange notes you can both read as you're getting ready on the big day.  They're words that'll last all the days of your life and become such a treasure.


3 comments:

  1. Stephanie,
    This is beautiful! I too heard Jason and Crystalina speak when I was in high school and was touched by her story of writing love letters to her husband. Those letters are something I have no doub that you and your husband will treasure for the rest of your lives, thanks for sharing =)

    In Christ,
    Amanda

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  2. Writing love notes for him or her is indeed a great way to express your feelings to them. Very romantic and personal.

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