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Dear future husband,

When I was a little girl, I didn’t have a father or brother who looked after me. In place of love, protection and respect was physical and emotional abuse, abandonment and anger. I was scared growing up, and I remember being locked in a dark closet one day, face drenched in tears and shivering in fear. Heart hardened with self-loathing, I turned to many men, hoping to find a love that I had never known, hoping with all of my heart that a man will rescue me from my dark past and ultimately, from the depression I was spiraling down.

Needless to say, it deepened the void in my heart and I felt even emptier than before. Every time I turned to a man, he would treat me like garbage. He would use me and abandon me. It came to the point where, if a guy was interested in me, I would turn him away in total fear that he would leave me like so many others did before him. The hurt deepened, and the walls I built so laboriously around my heart grew higher and higher, to no avail. At the end of it all, what I had left was a war zone of destroyed walls I had intended to be indestructible.

In all honesty, I’m scared to death. I’m scared because my heart has grown back crooked and deformed, beyond my recognition. It has been hurt, torn, beaten and twisted apart so many times that every time I try mend it back together, it doesn’t grow right again.
I’m scared because I am angry at you, and yet I don’t even know you. I’m angry at all men. I’m angry that I’ve been treated like a piece of meat for entertainment, that my breasts have been groped and my bottom pinched more times than I can count, that I’ve been abandoned just because he liked the look of another girl.
Most of all, I’m scared of being abandoned by you.

I’ve grown and changed, in good ways and bad. I’ve learned to not depend on a man for anything, that anything they can do, I can do for myself. I’ve learned to love myself and build a self-esteem that was once non-existent. I’ve learned to rescue myself and be my own knight in shining armor. I’ve come to a place where if a man wants to offer me the world, I would be able to say, “No. I’ve got one of my own.”

Although I haven’t had a boyfriend yet and it hasn’t been official with anyone, I still wonder to this day why. When people ask me, my response always changes because there’s no concrete answer. It could be a multitude of answers: I’ve never felt that anyone was good enough for me. I’ve never really needed a boyfriend. I’ve set too high a standard for myself and have become really picky. But, I feel there’s more to it than that. Like a loving father guiding and protecting his daughter, so God has done for me. I look back and I feel thankful that things never worked out with any of the guys along my path, even when it really hurt. I believe God was looking out for my best interests, and when he took away the man who I loved so dearly, he did it because he was going to replace it with someone far greater than I could ever imagine.

It’s you. I’ve been waiting for you, dear husband, for a long, long time. I’ve heard so much about you. I’ve heard that you will change the way I feel about men. I’ve heard that you will restore people’s lives with me, like I am so passionate about doing. I’ve heard that you’re coming soon. And I don’t need you to rescue me, to heal me or to give me the world – God has taken care of that perfectly. I just need you to be the man God has called you to be, for I know that whoever he has chosen to be my other half will fit perfectly and beautifully into my heart and will respect, love and care for me with all his being. Husband, just by being you, you will be worth the seas of tears I’ve cried, the sleepless nights of heartbreak and the times I’ve felt like I’ve lost faith in men altogether.

Although you will not be my first love, you will be the only man to have all my heart. And because I have never been able to love a man in a relationship, there’s so much more love in my heart to give you now. Boy, am I going to love you. I will happily give you as many kisses on your face as you need. I will make playlists for you which we can cuddle to on sleepy Sundays. I will hold your hand when you’re feeling nervous. I will make you laugh, even if it means doing the hoedown in my pajamas. My day will brighten if I have made you smile. And I will listen to you, support you and try to understand you, for whatever path you walk down in life, I will walk right beside you.

But understand that in all I will do for you and with you, the most precious thing I can give you is a heart that is vulnerable and defenseless. And though my heart has become crooked, and though I am afraid and broken and flawed, I know that your love God will one day bless me with will find the grace to accept it. One day I will look in your eyes, and there will be no fear of my past or fear of our future.

I don’t know you yet, but I trust the God who is going to bring us together. When that time comes to finally meet you, when our paths finally cross, I’m going to be ready. And I just know, when I’m looking at you on our wedding day with my hand in yours, it will feel like coming home.

Yours completely and always,
Jenny

Image via With Grace and Guts