Eight days ago the man I love asked me to marry him, and I said yes (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) I'm in awe of God's goodness, amazed at His plans and His perfect timing, rejoicing in what He's given, and thankful doesn't even begin to describe my worship and adoration of Him these days.
I'd like to write about something God has shown me through my fiancee these past months. That is, love makes beautiful. I read it first in a marriage book- that a husband has much power to make his wife beautiful by the way that He loves her and cares for her. Kind of like tending a garden. I didn't understand it much at the time, but I think now I see the truth of this in two ways.
First, love makes beautiful because it begets joy through the knowledge that we are accepted and beloved. I'll be honest here and say that I've rarely in my life felt beautiful. I've struggled with lies about my worth and my identity and a host of other things. From the very beginning of our relationship, this man accepted me. In the beginning I found it hard to believe, and wondered if he would leave when he knew me better. But slowly I let my guard down, and I let him see even the ugly sin inside of me. I began to let go of fear and believe that this man really loved me for who God had created me to be. And I realized then, for the first time in my life, that I felt beautiful. It's a joyous thing, the knowledge that you are cherished.
Love also makes beautiful because it involves our sanctification. God demonstrates His love for us by His redemption of us. He doesn't leave us the way we are. He is rooting out sin in us, and the more we become like Him the more we reflect His beauty. True love doesn't tell you that you are perfect. It asks you to change things that need changing; it encourages you to keep struggling against sin and running again and again to Jesus.
So these things I'm slowly learning. Love begets joy, and joy makes someone beautiful. Love involves sanctification and redemption, and this makes us beautiful as we become conformed to the image of His Son. God has been showing me a faint but beautiful reflection of these truths through my fiancee. So I am praising God and asking Him to keep my eyes fixed on Him and His goodness. Because I find in this love the faint echoes of the deep and furious love of God for us. My identity and my worth are found in Christ. God's redemption and forgiveness of us demonstrates a love I can't even comprehend. His faithfulness toward us is unending because it is sealed with the blood of His only Son.
For the Lord takes pleasure
in His people
He will beautify the afflicted ones