Due to feeling a little icky today, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to read through all of my future husband letters on my bedroom flooring while enjoy my fourth or something cup of coffee, which I have lost count of if I had to be honest, but I sat down on my bedroom floor, grabbed my box, and began to read through the four journals I have as well as the loose leaf letters, and I felt better while doing it, but I found one that I really loved.
This letter was written on January 12, 2018, and it was almost two years ago when I wrote these words, but these words still mean so a lot to me, and as a woman who has been through brokenness and suffering, it reminded me of the beauty of ashes, for though brokenness is not fun, it is heavy, and horrid, there is beauty to be found when we walk humbly to the throne while realizing that perfection isn’t possible, but grace is. As I read over that letter addressed to my future husband about imperfection, it resonated in my soul.
I never planned on sharing excerpts from my future husband letters due to them being for my future husband, but the last time I ever wrote a letter was in December of 2017, and in a world full of women who want the perfect side of a man, I think it’s time to see something another narrative, and it is a little long, but it speaks to me too much to cut it short in some parts. (I cut out the beginning due to it being personal.)
“I tell you this for a reason. Do not strive to be perfect. Strive to be all you can be for Christ. No one is perfect, and I do not expect you to be. I want you to be diligent, faithful, and I want you to realize that though you are not perfect, Jesus thinks you are enough. When I fall in love with you, I am also going to be falling in love with your imperfections. Our marriage is going to be built on the foundation of Jesus Christ; therefore, if Christ loves you in your darkest, then so can I.
No matter what you do, I will not give up on you, and I will always love you. You are a man who is not perfect, but by God’s grace, you are redeemed, and that is all that matters. Do not worry about me wanting a perfect husband, because I don’t. Instead I want you. I want you and your imperfections, you and your flaws, and I want you and your heart. I love you for you, and that will never change.” -January 12, 2018
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
Within that letter, I declared to do what the Lord did; love in the darkest, and if I want a man to be able to hear my story, no matter how painful it is in some parts, and still love me, then I have to do the same, and due to the Lord loving me in the darkest, then I will do the same, for His love outstretched to me, and I will be like Christ and love unconditionally.
If I want a man to see the beauty in grace in my life and story, I must love like Christ, I must bloom with grace, and I must see the beauty in ashes rather than the tragedy, for though brokenness is painful and crippling, there is much to be learned as Lamentations tell us, and Lamentations, though broken and shattered, shows us the beauty of being loved in the darkest, and that is my desire.
Therefore, that perfect Prince Charming was never an option for me as a future husband, and I never liked the Prince Charming role, for it was too perfect. Anyways, when I first began writing my letters to my future husband when I was 15. I did not imagine a Prince Charming. but I imagined something more different.
I did not imagine the bright and shining armor as many women do, but instead, when I was 15 and I opened my first journal write to him, I envisioned him as a man on a sinking ship holding a door shut to the waves out that were threatening to cripple him; that is what I saw, and for many years after, I have been writing to the man on the sinking ship, and I don’t know where that imagery came from, but most of my letters are written to that man, and so my letters were never the cookie-cutter, Prince Charming letters, for my mind always goes back to the man on the sinking ship when I was 15 years old.
You see, I have a story, and I have written about my story on several posts, and I am okay with that. I am okay with the broken pieces that happened, for if I worried about being perfect, then I would have never healed from the pain I went through. I have accepted and have allowed forgiveness into my heart, I have come to terms with what has happened, and I don’t want to change it even if I could, for I have learned to be more caring and compassionate because of things that have happened, and I believe that through my brokenness, the Lord has shown me the rawness and beauty in His love and grace, so yes, I want to be able to love this way and to love in the way Christ loves, for it hits home with me.
I have always desired the broken, fragile, and imperfect weakness of a man, for back in 2017, I wrote a post called, “Dear Future Husband, It is Okay to Be Broken;” therefore, I am glad that I never wanted that perfect facade, and I never will, but sadly, we don’t see this type of love, for many don’t want to love “difficult,” but many want to love easy people, and that’s not what Christ did when He died for us.
“And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”” 1 Peter 4:8
Due to this mentality of wanting this perfect Christian man who does no wrong, no one understands the beauty in a fragile soul that cries out to God in the weak moments, for though the pain of suffering can be one of the worst pains, I believe that there is a beauty in brokenness, for rather than me looking and seeing ruble of a person, I see beauty, for in the ruble and in the ashes, I see the Lord and His grace covering a multitude of sins while picking that person up and placing them back together in His love, grace, and mercy.
“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23
And that sinking ship shows how though we feel as if we are sinking, the Lord will not allow us to be consumed, and He will place us in calmer waters, which is another reason why I love Lamentations so much. Due to the man on the sinking ship and due to me being on the sinking ship, I know that though the storm is horrid, the Lord never allows one to be consumed, for His compassion is greater, and Lamentations is about the storm, about the darkness, and though dark, filled with grief, and depressing, the Lord was still faithful.
Therefore, I truly believe there is a beauty in broken people; a beauty many see as an unwanted thing. No, I am not saying brokenness is easy or light, for I have been broken, and it is not a walk in the park, and it is crippling, but I do believe that deep down, there is a beauty, for the most broken people are the ones who glorify God the most, for God is there when all else is on fire, grace is all they have during the storm, and as the ship keeps sinking, they stop holding that door shut even though they are afraid, and they grab His hand as they walk weak and frail towards His throne.
And that is beautiful.
That is humbling,
That is ashes being turned into beauty,
And I want to love that in the people around me, for I understand the ashes, I understand the pain, and I understand the sinking ship all too well. Christians are not perfect, and many of us battle different things, are broken, and are messy. Let’s be honest, we are messy, broken, and unworthy, but I think the messy and tear-stained people are the most loyal, dedicated Christians, for though they are unworthy, broken, and messy, they understand the healing of Christ more.
Broken people know how much of a healer God is due to experiencing His healing,
Broken people know the beauty of grace due to being weak and frail,
Broken people know the graciousness of the Lord due to seeing their sin that placed Him on the cross.
Broken people such as David and Paul were some of the most loyal lovers of the Lord; therefore, broken people have forever been precious in my eyes, and so I don’t want a perfect husband, and I never have.
For many years, I have written about the man on the sinking ship, the man who was imperfect, and the man who was defined by grace, not by shame, and yet legalism, perfectionism, and so many other things have warped the minds of many into thinking that broken Christians are “not good enough.”
People think some Christians are “worth it” and then others are considered “lost causes,” but I don’t believe that. I don’t believe in defining someone on their brokenness, but I believe in knowing them by name, knowing them by their love for Christ, for they have a love for the Lord that is ever so passionate, that it shines through the brokenness, and yet the are dimmed by the pain that others define them by.
“For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins [a]and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”” Hebrews 8:12
When the Lord died on a cross, He did not know us by shame, but He knew us by name, and I am ever so grateful for the grace of the Lord; however, due to poplar Christian books from women about Prince Charming to the prosperity gospel, we have made broken people or Christians who are imperfect not good enough, and I want to break that mentality.
I might not be able to change the mind of everyone, but I do know that I can control how I think, I can pray for an imperfect marriage where His grace is overflowing, and I can desire to go against the crowd, and with the grace that has been extended to me in my brokenness, I want to breathe that into the lives of others and within a future marriage.
I want a marriage that makes me pour out grace and that makes me love my future husband even in the hardest times, for that makes me become more like Christ, and I want to be challenged to love as Him, for if I am not challenged, how can I bloom with grace? If my future husband never fails me, how can I forgive like Christ? If my future husband never does me wrong or if he never sins, how can I grow in unconditional love and grace?
“The Lord is merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.” Psalm 103:8
It becomes a saddening when we refuse to love like Christ loved in the darkest, it becomes disheartening when we refuse to be humble and love the broken, and it becomes legalistic and lethal when we deem people as unworthy due to suffering, pain, sin, battles, or imperfection. We all deal with our own battles, our own struggles, and so forth, and I am no better than you, and you are no better than me, and that is the beautiful thing about grace, for as we were unworthy, Christ still loved.
I cannot tell Christian women to see the beauty of the soul of a broken person, and I can sit here and write all day about the beauty in broken Christians and how they are not different from anyone else, but one thing is for certain for years in my letters. There is a man on that sinking ship who’s letters have his name on them, and those letters, the letters I have written for a good amount of years, are not for a perfect “Prince Charming” with the bright and shining armor, but they are for that frail man, and I couldn’t imagine it any other way.
So the women can have the perfect Christian man, for I won’t compete, and so it’s one less woman in the race for that perfect man, for I want the one on the ship that’s sinking while grabbing onto the grace of the Lord as the wreckage around him is sinking, for there is one thing for certain, though broken, he is not consumed, and through the Lord’s mercies, we are justified and redeemed.
“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
In the end, the more humble and imperfect we, the more we realize that grace is what we need, that grace is sufficient, and that Jesus is worthy of our love, is worthy of us carrying our cross, and is worthy of our dedication, for He died for us as we were unworthy, and that is beautiful, that is grace, and that is vulnerable.
And that vulnerable, humble state is what we should all desire, not a picture perfect person.