You’ve written me many times; you have many different faces.
You’re blonde. You’re brunette. You wear long skirts; you have tattoos. You wear purity rings; you have wayfarer glasses.
You’re as diverse and vibrant as the autumn leaves: every shape and color, beautiful to those who see you twirling in the winds of life. You’re different.
But there’s a common thread that unites you; something that makes the many into one. You’re one dear girl worried about one hard thing:
Will a good man want me?
We live in a world singed around the edges with the black burning of sin. And not just singed but rotting at the core; not just touched by darkness, but dwelling in it. And then there’s you: the light-child, the one born newly with a lantern in her heart. You’re a difference-maker. But it’s hard to forget the scars, isn’t it? It’s hard to forget when you’ve been burned.
We’ve all been touched by that burning, whether we chose it or not. Sin’s fingers grasp our hearts from the moment we enter this fallen world, leaving marks we can’t erase by any good work of our own. And then we grow up, and can choose to let that grasp tighten on our being or let Grace break us free.
But even the free forget their freedom, sometimes. Even the free think more of their own scars than the scars of Him who crushed their shackles and broke their chains.
Dear girl, I know what you’re doing.
I see you in your room, looking at holy Words. You disbelieve the promises because a voice tells you the scarred and broken don’t deserve a second chance. You think good men come from a high and holy sphere, beyond the reach of the crumb-eaters and the robe-graspers.
But you’ve forgotten something. Good men are good by Grace alone.
You feel so undeserving of a godly love. You think that who you are dictates the hope of your future. But who you are has nothing to do with this, and if who you are has no bearing on your salvation, who he is has no bearing either.
The ground is level at the foot of the Cross.
You may think your story is too alarming for a good man to handle. You may think no godly man could love a woman with a past like yours. Listen: God’s men are draped in the same unmerited favor that you are. There is no favoritism. There is no better-than. But there is hope.
Dear girl, good men aren’t good because of what they’ve personally achieved. They are good because they are grateful for Grace. Because they understand the depth and height and breadth of the love they have received, they strive to live that love as the men God made them to be.
In loving you, God’s man will reveal God’s grace.
It may take time, meeting God’s man. You have to choose trust instead of hopelessness. It’s this testing-period we call singleness – a trial, really – that only becomes a gift when we see the strength God’s given us through dependence on Him. God isn’t using your past as His outline for your future – and neither should you.
I’m a married woman now, but I once stood where you stand. I’m not married because of any great thing I did, any prayer I prayed, or any 5-step program I implemented. I’m married because God saw fit to use a good man to teach me more about His grace. And right now, in this singleness-trial, He’s teaching you. Don’t let Satan speak condemnation over a daughter of the Living God. Don’t let him snuff out the lantern in your heart.
Dear girl, a good man will still want you, no matter what you’ve done. He won’t want you because of your past or in spite of it. He’ll want you because you’re God’s woman: the kind of woman whose attachment to Grace echoes his own. He won’t be looking for you to prove yourself. He’ll be looking for a hand to hold in this walk toward eternity.
Because to him, your love is the favor he didn’t deserve.