Feb 04, 2020 | Tofunmi Akinlalu
I’m not going to lie. I’ve spent most of my teenage life angry at you. Angry that you weren’t there, angry that you kept picking my friends over me, angry that each time I thought I saw you, you held my gaze for a few seconds and then disappeared.
So in my first year of university, we broke up. I abandoned crushes for co-op applications and traded dreaming about you for dreaming about differential equations. I decided that I just didn’t want you anymore. I thought that if I told myself I didn’t want you, it would be easier to stomach the fact that it was you who didn’t want me. It wasn’t. It isn’t.
The truth is, I’ve wanted you for as long as I can remember. I’ve been almost obsessed with you since grade school. I inhaled romantic comedies and love stories the way I pray to one day inhale Scripture. Disney Channel was my ultimate aspiration, but I decided I’d settle for a Sarah Dessen novel, or a non-tragic version of a Nicholas Sparks movie. I was in love with you. And so I searched for you in my classes, in between (and let’s be real) during church services, on vacations, at the mall, and in the library. I was always on the lookout for you. Although I did find many wonderful guys and had more than a handful of crushes, I never found you.
That’s why in my first year of university, I decided to stop looking. I was done with the rejections, I was done with crying in my room over boys who didn’t know I existed, and I was done with you. I would roll my eyes when people said that it is better to have had you and lost you than to never have had you at all. I knew better; I have not loved, and therefore, I have not lost. Soon after first year was over, I discovered that pushing away all thoughts of you and denying my desire for you was a loss. I lost sight of the freedom I have as a Christian to dream, to hope, and to pray for things that I care about. I lost part of my warmth and kindness. Because I “no longer cared” about you, I had little patience and compassion for those who did.
I don’t know why or when it was that I decided to start dreaming again. But before I knew it, I found myself actively looking for you everywhere; I started treating each sign of attention, each piece of affection, as the first page in my love story. And as more of my friends found you, my obsession with you grew stronger. I didn’t even care if my relationships with these potential boyfriends didn’t last, I just wanted to experience you.
But then, last summer, I heard a whisper, “You have. You’ve experienced me.” 1 John 4:8 states that God is love. Love had its origin in God, in Jesus. God, you are love. Love, you, in your purest form, are God.
Dear God, I’m not going to lie. I’ve spent most of my teenage life angry at love and quietly angry at you. Angry that you’ve kept blessing my friends with relationships and left me single and questioning if you even want me to be married. Angry that whenever I pray about guys in my life, all I seem to get are No’s in response. I’ve tried to pretend like this didn’t hurt me, God, but it did. It does. I know you desire only the best for me. I know that you care for me. I have many years worth of your faithfulness and providence as evidence of this truth. I have my testimony, I have your final redeeming act on the cross of Calvary.
But a part of my heart is still longing for a grand romantic gesture. As upsetting as it is to admit, deep down I think I believe that a godly man pursuing me would prove to me that I am the “type” of girl who could get a boyfriend. If this impossible thing could happen, then—my doubts about my worth and my beauty would be silenced. Then—I would be convinced of your care for me and your willingness to fulfill my desires. In my mind, I know this is insanity, but my heart is still not fully convinced.
So, I ask, Lord, that you would convince me. Would you show me the truth about love? Would you reveal to me the truth about you?
Would you make me secure and content in my relationship with you, not so that I would be ready for marriage, but so that I would be ready for eternity and ready for life each day with you? I know I have a tendency to see your will where it does not exist, so will you give me signs when the time is right? Would you make my husband a wonder? I recognize that I have no tangible reasons to believe that I will one day be married, but today and in the days to come, I choose to have faith in God and hope that one day I will marry. And I choose to pray as Paul prayed, to you who are able to do immeasurably more than I ask or imagine, according to your power at work within me. I pray that all the glory would be to you in my life, in my thoughts, and in my pursuit of romance.
Sincerely (and one day patiently),
A hopeful romantic
This article was written as part of the Writing Mentorship with our P2C-Students Editorial team.