May I give you some sisterly advice?
My heart hurts for girls about my age. We get so many mixed messages; figuring out early adulthood is much harder than anyone ever told us it would be. Navigating the relationships we’re forming during this chapter can be touchy, even perilous. I hurt for my brothers, too–but I don’t share all of their experiences. Some things about being female are unique to us–whether these elements are societally driven or not, they exist, and they’re challenging.
I wish I could look every girl I know in the eye and tell them this:
I thought I heard the voice of God. It wasn’t. No matter how much I wanted it to be, it wasn’t.
He told me over and over again that our relationship was heaven-blessed. That we were destined for each other. He was kind at first, charming and handsome. It was easy to believe him at first.
Never mind my parents’ misgivings. Never mind my friends’ warnings. Never mind my own nagging sense that something about our relationship was horribly, horribly wrong.
“Don’t listen to them, Emma,” he’d say. “Don’t listen. They can’t possibly understand. They don’t have what we have. They’re just being stumbling blocks. Don’t let them get to you.”
Never mind that I had no peace.
At that time in my life I believed that the man I married would fit certain criteria–the itemized list I’d heard repeated ad infinitum as I grew up. He fit every item on the list–or at least he seemed to. He played the role of the Ideal Husband. He became what I thought I should want. At least until he thought I wouldn’t leave.
But when someone tells you to lay down the talents and abilities God gave you just to make him happy; when someone tells you to tune out that inner voice that keeps you walking in the light; when someone downplays your achievements and belittles your dreams; when someone uses the words of God to tell you lies–
Once he gets close enough, there’s no telling what damage he will do.
No man’s voice is the voice of God. A man may try to play God. He may try to convince you that he is the god of your corner of the universe.
He is not God.
Don’t let him try.
No one person can fulfill you. That is too tall an order for any human being. No one may demand superhuman strength from you while simultaneously demanding you put up with his flaws. Anyone who asks you to compromise your principles or bruises your conscience is not the partner you should choose for the rest of your life’s journey.
If you tell a boy that your relationship with Christ comes first, and he still shoulders his way between you and your Redeemer–
Run to the Rock that is higher than you. Listen to the still, small voice of the One who loved you enough to give up everything for your eternal joy.
Darling girl, walking the road of life with God alone is far better than braving that journey with the wrong person. You may fear being alone, but believe me when I say there are far more fearful choices.
Don’t be afraid to say no. Don’t be afraid to walk away.
That is my sisterly advice to you.
Given in love,