Blog, Faith, Marriage, Relationships

Why You’re Worth the Wait

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In a little over a month, J and I will be celebrating two years of marriage. (Yes, yes, still babies to those who have been married for 10+ years with/without children – disclaimer duly noted) Yet, this upcoming anniversary has had me reflecting more and more on the ever-prevalent question of whether the wait for something “serious” is really worth it.

In a world where DM’s on social media, bad tinder dates, and even worse blind dates seem to run rampant – it’s increasingly difficult to hear things like “Don’t settle” or “Real love is worth the wait.” Well, while I will gladly be the first to admit that I am no relationship or love expert by any means, I hope you’ll allow me to add my voice into the chaotic choir with some personal background on my own marriage that will hopefully provide encouragement to you – no matter what stage of life and/or relationship you are presently experiencing.

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Y’all. This man. Every single day I am more humbled by how he continues to choose me and love me no matter what the season has brought us. The longer we are married, the more clearly I can see how God works through him to strengthen my faith and improve my character. Our journey has not been without its challenges, and we will surely have many more in the future, but facing those unknowns with him put my otherwise anxious-self totally and completely at peace.

Ironically, from the very beginning, of knowing him, I was so ridiculously scared of developing a relationship with J because I knew very early on that he was different. That something was different. This man didn’t play games. He didn’t manipulate my feelings or back out of a “coffee” date not date thing. He didn’t pretend to be someone he was not just because church-culture said he should show up wearing chaco’s while drinking counterculture coffee.

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Instead, Justin was so respectfully direct, honest, and consistent. I could be fully open and real with him, fully sharing everything about myself for the first time in a romantic relationship ever. Sounds wonderful to the point it’s almost magical, right? It was.

So it may surprise you that while all of this was happening, I was simultaneously thinking “Oh no, God. No. No. No. I’m not ready for this. I know I’ve been praying for ‘the one’ and I’ve also been asking to meet and know who ‘the one’ is ha but I was really thinking more along the lines of around 28 maybe even 32 years old, not 21. I can’t. I’m not ready.” Y’all, I panicked. Really and truly panicked. So much so that in spite of this honest heart knowledge I had of who Justin was and who he was going to be in my life – I gave into fear.

In September of 2014 I broke up with him. Never in my life would I have expected the way my heart responded to this – instead of the wave of relief I was expecting from the “stress” of such a serious relationship on my plate, relentless waves of THIS WAS NOT THE ANSWER crashed into and over me – to the point where I thought I would drown from them, barely an hour after having “the final talk” with him.

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As someone who is rarely emotional – this strong reaction furthered my fear. Like WOAH NOW hold on a second here, Carolina must have really done me in! I’m supposed to be this steady, ultra reasonable person. Why am I feeling like the entire world is crashing down? That’s so melodramatic and not even close to what is the norm for me. I remember calling my mom bawling from pure confusion combined with the mess of it – trying to understand – trying to grasp why the logical explanation was no where to be found. I was the one who broke it off so why am I suddenly feeling so broken? UGH MORE IRONIC DRAMA.

I can’t even express how incredibly well she handled this phone call. She listened with patience limiting her own opinions, instead allowing Truth to enter the conversation. There was neither judgment nor selfishness when she spoke to me. Through my mom’s loving support, I was provided with such peace, comfort, and clarity. I sincerely hope that one day, I will be as wise and unselfish as she has been, is, and continues to be for our family.

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After listening to my gurgled jarb of what happened, all my mom said was, “Do you feel any peace with what you did? Any at all? It’s natural for these things to be painful, but I need you to search yourself. Do you feel any bit of peace?” I paused. I searched my heart for anything other than the twisted storm inside me. “No. Mom, I feel like I’m drowning.” And all she responded with was, “Well, you need to call him now. Hopefully it isn’t too late, and hopefully he’s still in Chapel Hill.”

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So I did, hoping he hadn’t already left town and praying he would even answer my call. Little did I know that during this something, or rather, someOne, had made it clear to him that I too was worth the wait. I was worth the heartbreaking confusion, and I was worth the unimaginable patience that it took to sit in Chapel Hill and resist hopping in the car to begin the 2 1/2 hour drive back to Boone. SomeOne told him to be still.

Justin answered my call on the third ring. (Here’s yet another fault of mine I’ll publicly air on the internet, but let’s be real for a hot minute: Had the roles been reversed, that phone call would have been ignored faster than you could’ve blinked. See, here’s the thing: J doesn’t struggle with pride when it comes to grudges from being hurt like I have and still do at times. So the outcome was thankfully very different here.)

And y’all, until the day I die I will never forget how J responded, it was one of the most ultimate displays of grace he could have possibly given me in that moment. The first thing he did when he walked through the door was hug me. What had already been broken inside of me shattered in that moment. I couldn’t even get the words out to apologize, all I could think was, “God, not only am I not ready for this, but I am so not deserving of this kind of love. Holy cow I am so not deserving of this unfailing and steadfast love.”

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… fast forward to now, over 3 years later and I am still not deserving of this kind of forgiving, grace-filled love J chooses to give to me day in and day out. But man oh man, am I ever so immeasurably grateful for the heart and character of this man that God chose for me.

It’s a double-edged sword though, because, at the same time, I completely understand the apathy and cynicism related to the current state of dating. I seriously get it. The repeated, pacifying sayings, I know sound cliche, and I know y’all are so sick of hearing the same “Sunday School” answers – I thought the same thing for years. However, I hope you grant me this moment to share with you that a man who reflects how Jesus loves you in the way he himself chooses to love you… Well. He is absolutely worth the wait. No matter how painful, complicated, or confusing that wait or journey may be. He is so worth it.

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MOST IMPORTANTLY though, you need to know that you are too. God has an incredible plan for you and your life – no matter who you may or may not see running the race beside you right now.

You have not been forgotten. You are loved. You are known. You are valued beyond measure. You are worth being pursued & you are worth the wait. 

Whether you are currently seeing these truths through the actions of another person, or having to trust them on your own for now, their significance holds strong and true.

Christ chose you, and continues to choose you time and time again. You are worthy and you are beautiful. I pray that you come to see and be reminded of these truths in all circumstances and stages of this life. I pray that you come to know – if you don’t already – that you have already been chosen, and you, my friend, are absolutely worth the wait.

 

 

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One Comments

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    Debbie Williams

    May 2, 2017

    Beautiful beautiful story of true love!!!

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