The sun was peeking through the curtains, warming up my tiny bedroom on Blenheim Street. On this particular morning, the usual commotion of my college roommates was replaced with stillness. This morning, I woke up with a song in my heart. Leaning against my oversized comforter, lyrics began to swim peacefully around in my head, effortlessly spilling words into my spiral notebook. Melodies danced on my tongue and floated to the black and white keys of the basic Casio I kept beside the door. I knew immediately that this was a special song that few people would hear until the time was right.
Liberty University had a lot of catchy phrases that had little to do with education but contributed largely to the spurring on of a young girl’s lively daydreams- sayings like, “ring by Spring,” and the welcomed opportunity to major in the “M.R.S Degree.” For some reason, whether to protect myself from let down or insincerity, I had a deep sense that I would not be receiving the coveted M.R.S. Degree during my stay in the great city of Lynchburg, Virginia. But my heart still yearned for an unconditional, covenant love story that I saw being written in the lives of dear friends all around me.
As the growing sun continued to warm my little room, my mind flashed back to freshmen year and the pages of a book I had read by the light of a tiny lamp clipped to the rail of the bunk bed in my dark dorm room. It was a chapter from the book, “Set Apart Femininity” (try saying that out loud), where Leslie Ludy was writing about the Proverbs 31 woman, with specific focus on verse 12 that says, “She brings him [her husband] good, not harm, all the days of her life.” The natural question was posed- “How can a woman love and care for her spouse all the days of her life,” barring the unlikely chance that they were love birds since birth? Ludy went on to say that this narrative is one of the woman whose character is upright and lives faithfully for God and for the good of others (including her husband) even before she meets her husband. And this kind of faith-filled living in singleness is the greatest blessing a woman can bring into her marriage. My school girl heart yearned to give the gift of patience, prayerfulness and purity of body and mind to a husband one day and the realization that these virtues were the ripe fruits of deep dependence on God thrilled me and pressed me into the loving arms of my true Groom (Isaiah 54:5).
This song that was birthed that inspirational morning remained a quiet, unsung anthem in my heart for five years, driving me to my knees in pursuit of the satisfaction of unconditional love found in Jesus alone that compels a life of patience, purity and goodness to others, even to the husband I had not yet met. Then on a sunny April afternoon, at a vineyard in Bealeton, Virginia, a dream came true as I sat nervously at a white piano in my wedding dress and sang the promises of hope and kindness to the one whom my soul loves and had already loved.
Seeking to do good and not harm to my husband each day meant and still means a continual pursuit of and resting in Christ, who loved me when I was yet a sinner and continues to pursue me despite my ugly and offensive flaws. Prayer on all occasions must never stop and the commitment to always love is steeped in much grace from God, who gives all good gifts and has equipped us for a life of godliness through His divine power (2 Peter 1:3).
“We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19