(Photo Cred: Kaitlin Shelby via pexels.com)
The king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she won grace and favor in his sight. (Esther 2:17, ESV)
Y’all, I wanted a cool, first post. I wanted to dazzle you with words, and then paint murals for you in sentences. I wanted to give you something tweet worthy, but as I opened up the document to write, God chimed in. Esther 2:17 is planning on repeat in my heart right now.
Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve waited on the day I would get proposed to. I’ve pictured it out in every scenario: long walks in the park, snowflakes and mittens, a sparkly ring, and a handsome man on one knee. I’ve imagined what it would sound like: the crunch of snow, the eloquent lines that could put Jane Austen to shame, tears and laughter, and a love filled yes. I’ve even obsessed far enough to imagine the feelings: the happiness, the joy, the excitement, and the goosebumps that were either caused by the feels or the cold.
I’ve held that picture perfect moment in my heart, constantly going back to the living room to dust the frame. It was a moment that I was proud of, something that I longed for, until just recently when I took the dream down. I fell in love this year, with what I thought was the perfect guy. Tall, freckled, hot as a tamale, marine. When he walked into the room, my heart had all the feels, my stomach developed a talent for somersaults, and the only function that my brain could process was drooling.
This guy was #perfect. I was determined. This was the one that God made for my heart. He was my soulmate; I just knew it. If an instance came up where he didn’t line up with the things that I desired in a husband, I would simply change those qualities. If there was an Emily that I thought he would like better, I changed myself to become that girl. If he wanted to talk, (he was stationed overseas) I would twist my schedule to make it work and still try to function at my job.
Y’all, it wasn’t until he just stopped talking to me, and then several more months of venting later, that I realized how messed up that entire relationship was. It wasn’t until Thanksgiving that I acknowledged how far from God I had become in the process. As I’ve made my way back to God, He’s showed me something about that lonely year of disappointment, about the ringless ring finger, and about broken hearts.
You see, I’ve walked around for months in great sadness, and in great pain. Wasting so much of my life and my time, watching helplessly as voids and cracks formed in my heart, wondering so deeply where my beloved warrior-poet was, and why God was allowing me to feel this lonely pain. I wondered how such a passionate, loving God could let me face this kind of pain. How He could let my heart be broken and rebroken again and again. When was He going to let my True Love step in? I cried out to God for answers. He answered in a voice and tone that I’ve found true time and time again.
A still whisper fills the breeze, so quietly at first that I almost miss it.
“Emily, let go. Let go of control. Let go of the pen, and look at what you’re doing to your love story.” I look down at the pages to find the places where I wrote this guy into my story, but I realized that I wrote him in before his character was complete. I looked in horror at the ink splatters, wrinkles, and my scraggly scrawl. I studied the pages that I tried to turn too quickly, not giving my ink time to dry.
“What happened to me writing it Emily?” He asks, and I’m ashamed to tell Him that I think His timing is less than perfect, because deep down, I know that I’m wrong.
“Emily, do you know why I let you experience this?” He says, and I wait for His answer. “I let you experience disappointment, because I know who I designed for your heart. And I can see your future, and you are going to be such a strong lighthouse for my glory. You and your husband, you’re going to move people. And your love story, oh Emily, your love story. It’s so sweet, that, you wouldn’t believe it if I let you read it.” And I smile, because I know what He’s saying is true.
“Can you fix this mess?” I ask Him, and He only chuckles.
“Just watch my child, just watch.” I peek over His shoulder and watch Him write His love into all the broken places smoothing over the wrinkles and filling the voids in my heart. And then He continues on and I watch as He writes my character into a beautiful relationship with the Master Electrician, the Great King, and the Adoring Father.
You see God only allows us to face disappointments to show us how much better His plans are for our stories later on. To teach us how to appreciate what He has so kindly given us. That’s what storms are for I realize, to teach patience and appreciation.
Esther’s story comes back into mind, because when the photos pop up on Instagram and the save the date’s flood in strong enough to make me consider building an ark, I know I’m only seeing the cover photo. We’re so quick to quote the flowery verses in Esther’s story, that we often forget that it didn’t make any sense to her at first. We forget that she was taken from her home and family. We put away the fact that she probably felt so lonely until it was her night with the king. We forget those things and skip down to part where the king couldn’t take his eyes off of her.
Just as Esther’s story doesn’t start at the engagement/wedding, neither will ours, and as difficult as it may be, we have to trust that God has got this area under control, and He’s got someone out there who enjoys 2am taco runs, Netflix marathons, and dogs as much as we do. Your story is so precious to our Father, and trust me when I tell you that He isn’t taking the responsibility of writing it lightly.
The King is captivated by your story darling.
Grace and blessings,