I was supposed to share with you my Free Will post today. I have been working on that post over the last couple of weeks but have not been satisfied with it. Sometimes the Lord will divert us from our plans by providing a better plan. I think He did that over the weekend.
When I woke up early Saturday morning, I found an email from a girl who keenly captured the frustration she is feeling while waiting for her spouse. I get a number of emails…. but this one really captured my emotions.
The author is a blogger who wants to remain anonymous. She wrote a candid letter to her future husband. It is raw and filled with frustration. A level of frustration that I think we can all relate to.
The significance of the topic of this post is not lost on me as today is the one year anniversary of The Veil of Chastity blog. The purpose of the blog is to share the wisdom and power of Chastity. But it is also to offer support to those of you who are feeling frustrated and reassure you that others have walked this difficult path. We have not forgotten.
I have already responded to the author and received permission to post her letter. Next week, I will share with you my response to her.
In the meantime, please see her questions below. She is wondering if she is alone in her perspective and frustration. Comments to her and encouragement for her are welcomed.
God love and bless you all, Cindy
Her Questions: Do you think there’s value in this perspective? Do you think that other girls might feel like this and don’t think the single life is so glamorous all the time, but are afraid of saying it?
Letters to My Future Husband
So today I was having a ‘spot of tea’ with my friend discussing life, the future, the past, living in the moment, World Youth Day, her gorgeous children, the problems with the Church, the things that make us want to punch people in the face, etc… We got to talking about my future spouse and the frustrations in waiting for him – which if you know me in real life or read my blog you don’t even need to imagine the extent of that in my life. And if this is your first time, well, welcome to the inner workings of my brain, you’re in for a real trip.
I have been reading (not participating) in this Not Alone Series over the past 8 or 10 weeks in combination with maybe a hundred or so blog posts I’ve read in the past regarding the single life, hope, waiting, not waiting, the joy, the agony (well, not many people write about the agony, but anyway), etc… And I’ve heard a hundred times (and I’m certain you have to, if you live in America and have ever seen a religious blog post about the single life) about writing letters to Your Future Spouse before you meet them.
Confession time, I’ve done it – but it’s always awkward. I mean what do you say?
I’ve loved you since I was 15 and started praying for you.
I think I met you today. (and then a week later, well that wasn’t you)
We had our first date. (but there wasn’t a second)
Seriously? That’s all crap – although I do pray for him – if he even exists, who wants 15 years of pathetic letters that all say the same thing, “I’m praying for you, and I miss you.” When what I really want to write is:
Where the hell have you been? I’ve been waiting over here for a while now. I’m trying to be as patient as possible, but I’m getting a little upset.
What are you up to this weekend? I really hope you’re not out gallivanting with some random girl who won’t matter to you tomorrow, or for that matter, who won’t care for you past a few weeks.
What are you doing that is more important than hanging out with me? I mean, if someday I’m going to be the love of your life, why aren’t you seeking me more earnestly? You really make me want to punch you in the face!
I really could have used you today. I had a hard time at work, I began to question my true purpose in life, and basically, the entire world blamed me for their problems. I needed a shoulder to cry on when I got home and a pillow just wasn’t cutting it this time. I could have used a hug from you. I needed you and you weren’t there.
I’m disappointed that it’s taking more than 28 years for our paths to cross, are you seriously that bad at asking for directions? Should I be praying you find a GPS or lose some of your pride and just ask for help?
Seriously, is there any courage inside of that chest of yours? Are you not asking me out because I look ‘scary’ or because maybe I’ll say no? Be a man! Stand up and fight for something – fight for me! All of this beating around the bush is not very attractive. Know what you want and go after it – it just takes a little courage! You know, I would have said yes, if you would have asked!
Today I met these little twins. They are the cutest thing you’ve ever seen and have the best parents in the world, but I wish I was holding our baby. I hate that you and I don’t have a baby together, that we aren’t sharing our love with the world.
I’m losing hope that you are out there. I believe in a God who can do anything. Anything is possible. If he wants to put me on the moon to live for the rest of my life, He can. But he won’t – that’s not probable or practical. And I believe He can bring us together because He’s God and He can do anything, I’m just doubting that He actually will. It’s easier for me to believe that Jesus Christ was both fully human and fully divine than it is to believe that you exist, that you will love me, and that you even want to love me for the rest of my life. I think this letter is written to a ghost, and it’s a real shame because I’ve been working on myself for you. I’ve been trying to turn my vices into virtues, take my faults and reform them into blessings, and make my areas of weakness stronger. For what? Apparently for nothing, and that really peeves me.
But I can’t write those things – I mean, the ‘writing letters to your future husband’ movement is all about writing him this journal and then giving it to him as a testament of your love when you’re engaged, married, or sometime later in life. Then he’s all like, “She’s always loved me. I know that God has meant for us to be together for all of eternity.” BLAH- writing that down makes me a little sick, to be perfectly honest.
Yes, I have always loved you – in a very abstract way, in the I want to be with one man for the rest of my life and I can’t wait until I meet you. I also believe that The Lord has a plan, He has to. I mean, look at the world – this did not just happen to end up like this. There is a greater being at work. I also think that God has a plan for us – he has work for me to do. I just don’t really know what the work is most of the time. Maybe it’s raising children, maybe it’s not.
But what would my new husband say if I handed him a book of letters that were more like the other ones. Basically where the hell have you been all of these years? And I’m waiting for an answer! They just sound pathetic and angry, and I’m really not either of those things. Frustrated with the world maybe, but not pathetic and angry. I just hate the process is all. I hate the waiting game. I can’t stand needing to have patience.
Those letters are a book full of disappointments. I’m disappointed that I haven’t been able to share these moments with you because I have such a desire to know you and be with you. I mean, what do you do with a book that is filled with these notes? Does he say, “I’m sorry. I didn’t know I was hurting you.” Then, we move on from there. Or does he have a book filled with the same kind of letters? Am I as much of a point of frustration and disappointment to him as he is to me right now?
I really have no idea, I mean, I haven’t done this before. I don’t know the man who will be my future husband – or maybe I do, but we aren’t dating right now. Maybe this is just the swift kick in the pants he needs to muster up some courage and ask. Maybe he is just a figment of my imagination and the Lord wants something different from me. Maybe I need to move before we can meet. Maybe he needs to. Maybe a million other things…
I’m just so tired of the ‘maybes’ and the ‘what ifs’ and the rest of it all.
Pingback: Katie Herzing :: An Interview with a Single Woman
Preach, sister! I love your humor and honestly. (While I know you were not trying to be humorous, I promise, I am not laughing at you- in fact, I feel more like I am nodding my head in agreement with you & laughing amidst face-palming due to the truth of your frustrations, or even that I am laughing at myself, as such feisty yet painfully honest words have come out of my mouth…and actually are in a journal to my future husband. We’ll see if he actually is allowed to read that someday ;).
Thanks for the feedback on this post from a while ago (letter writer here) … I have a better grasp on my frustration, but still, those letters ring true on many, many days. We’ll see if that guy (if he ever gets here) can read these sentiments!
So yes… Many of my letters to my Furture Husband did sound just like that. I think it’s 1000% ok to voice those things, they are a true and honest part of the process. Plus it makes finding him all the better when you realize that God created this man to answer these very desires of your heart! In my book, Woman In Love, (based on how to write letters to your Husband To Be , while sharing the story of my prayers for my future spouse aligning with his conversion though we wouldn’t meet for years) I really try to help my readers know that these feelings are real, but that your love story starts now, not when he shows up. Not to mention that these lettes might be for the Man who is big enough to handle all your fears and pains should you be called to be a Bride of Christ! Keep your eyes on the prize, God is faithful.
Katie Hartfiel http://www.womaninlove.org
Thank you so much for visiting and for your comment! I found your comment in my spam folder and am so sorry that happened. You book is fantastic and, as you know, I highly recommend it. Thank you again and God bless, Cindy
Sister, I am with you on this one. I feel your frustrations, I experience them on a daily basis, and it sucks!!!! It’s truly hard to find people “in-real-life” who share in my frustrations and the Not Alone Series, coupled with hundreds of other posts (as you said) has been really helpful. I have no advice for you, because I still haven’t figure it all out either. Just know that you’re not alone, and that there are many single ladies here in the blogosphere you can reach out to for conversation and prayer 🙂
Thank you for your comment! Praying for you, Cindy
I feel your pain, frustration and anger. I’ve never written the letters (the angry, frustrated ones) but I have had those talks with God, what is the hold up, my journal is also a catch all for my angst. I was reading the letters and thinking so many of these could easily be written by me. You meet a guy, hold a baby, have a HORRIBLE day and think why isn’t he here yet. I really need someone right now who isn’t my sister, mother, cousin, female best friend, I need someone who is not here and I have no idea when or if he will get here. I continue to pray, hope and work on myself.
I’m all for a support group.
Thank you for your comment and for all your support on this blog! Praying for you, Cindy
Um, i LOVE this! 🙂 What you have said here… is just so true. I have never had the desire to write my future hubby letters… but what you say makes complete sense. It IS frustrating sometimes… all of this waiting. That is what I relate to. Do I pray for him? Absolutely. I don’t think I need letters to prove that to him.
I hope the Not Alone Series has brought you more hope and feeling less lonely. Sometimes I worry that it’s just another avenue to be all pessimistic and sad-like during this season of our lives.
I think Morgan said above, if you have any suggestions of things to write about, let us know! Even if you feel like it’s insignificant, but wonder MAYBE someone else feels this way too. Most likely we have, in some way. Or if you really want to write about something, but don’t want to put it on your blog, do a guest post!! You have an awesome writing style and I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to hear more about what you’ve got to say. Morgan and I will put your post on one of our blogs.
Prayers for you! You are, indeed, not the only one going through this. We are in it together in some way. If you want another ear to listen… email me anytime! jennifercox.rn at gmail dot com 🙂
Thank you, Jen! Praying for you, Cindy
Wow! Talk about weird timing. I really feel like God is saying something to me, to all of us, through this theme of frustration/frustrated desires. It could be something interesting. What is it?
I mean, JUST LAST NIGHT I was having one of those frustrating, existential angst nights – procrastinating before bed, delaying sleep, because what’s the point of going to sleep alone? Ok, you get enough sleep, you wake up feeling rested… but for what? For whom? What’s the point of it all?
Yes I have a few guys on my mind, and I know I’m on their minds. But they’re not asking me out. Or they have, but it’s not right for a number of good reasons (i.e. really long distance). Or, they just want me to fluff their ego. That’s nothing new to me, that’s the status quo in my life as an adult, 30 year old female. Disappointment and frustrated desires. I have more tools in my emotional arsenal to deal with this abiding condition than in dealing out actual acts of love and service, sadly. So previously I’d let myself get totally carried away by the idea of someone who came into my life. Lately, I’ve been trying to put a leash on that tendency and not get excited, not tell anyone about an exciting prospect, managing my own and others’ expectations.
So I started to give myself this stern pep talk, supposedly from God’s perspective, along the lines of: “tone it down, don’t want too much. God gives marriage to certain people but not to you yet, don’t question his timing. Don’t think about guys too much, don’t want this man too much. In life you usually don’t get what you want, and you just need to deal with it. There are so many other worse things in the world. Be grateful and don’t complain.”
And then I kind of broke down because it was so sad, this mean little God that was telling me these things! The God of pure Desire Himself, telling me to not want too much? The God who created the wild untrammeled universe out of pure Desire, telling me that too much Desire is a bad thing?? I realized then, this is not the God I believe in!
Then I heard a gentler voice underneath that mean little one, and it said: what’s wrong? Tell me your desires, your wants. Show me what you are lacking. Show me who you love.
I think that in playing this waiting game in the way we think we SHOULD, there is a danger of turning God into a mean little spiteful God, who withholds and frustrates and waits until we are doing exactly what HE wants to give us a little joy.
This is not the God I believe in. No, the God I believe in wants me to WANT, to tell him what I want, AND to ask Him to purify and strengthen my desires. He wants to enter into a relationship with me, and through that relationship transform the world! And during nights of frustration, He is not the one commanding me to “tone it down”, and criticizing me because I am too emotional and vulnerable. He is the one eagerly waiting for me to tell Him everything I’m frustrated with, and then to protect and strengthen me in my feminine weakness/strength of loving a lot, and of desiring the beauty of romance in my life. This is the God who makes all things New, and who uses our emotional input to redeem and transform the world in ways we totally couldn’t predict or imagine!
I’m not sure what all this adds up to. Just saying that I understand your letters of frustration!
Thanks for your response. When I wrote that post, I had the same emotions (and still do a little) as you. The last few days have been a source of relief just knowing that someone cares (Cindy had the sweetest and most thoughtful remarks) and that others are feeling the same thing as me.
All of my married friends say that it’s just days from happening, etc… But the reality is that it might, and it might not – the unknown is what’s killing me.
I don’t think I have any advice either, but I understand how you feel.
Hi Michelle Marie! Wow, this is a beautiful comment, thank you!! I have added you to my Divine Mercy Chaplet prayer list. Looking forward to hearing more from you! Cindy
Thank you for this post! I picture God that way too sometimes, and it is sad. Thank you for reminding me of this!! “He wants to enter into a relationship with me, and through that relationship transform the world! And during nights of frustration, He is not the one commanding me to “tone it down”, and criticizing me because I am too emotional and vulnerable. He is the one eagerly waiting for me to tell Him everything I’m frustrated with, and then to protect and strengthen me in my feminine weakness/strength of loving a lot.” Right on.
No advice… just sharing your frustrations. The problem with the waiting is that I inevitably think that something is wrong with me. Or I question the standards I have for who I date. I, too, wonder if I will remain single forever. Because I know people who are in that situation – and why should I think that I will be any different?
Julie, I hear you – people say all the time about how they just know I’ll get married someday – and I want to say, ‘how do you know?’ Do you have some crystal ball that explains it all? Because I know some lovely women who never got married even though they loved the Lord, were open, remained vulnerable, etc… I don’t have advice, but I appreciate you sharing in my frustrations.
YES! At some point I always question whether my standards are “too” something. Too high? Too Catholic? I don’t know. And then I stop and think and throw up a prayer and realize that NO. I AM worth it. It’s not ok to settle. It’s not what God wants for me. Ugh.. but, I struggle with this, too.
Yes, this is true. I have added you to my Divine Mercy Chaplet prayer list. Thank you for sharing, Cindy
Oh sister, I feel ya! Why don’t more people talk about this?
I’m 19: Catholic, never dated, sophomore in college. And I started writing to my HTB over 3 years ago.
Thinking about my letters, there are definitely a few that are like “Why u no show up NOW?” (like those memes with the weird face). I’ve definitely vented a little, but I also tell him about my hopes for the future, and dreams for our time together. And I pray for him. I sometime include prayers in my letters that I’ve found online. Sometimes I go a long time between letters too, but I don’t think it matters too much.
Honestly, if the letters are too hard to write, just don’t. Don’t beat yourself up about it. You don’t have to give your HTB a journal of your love when you finally meet and marry. You are enough. But also don’t worry too much about what you write. Your HTB will hopefully appreciate every bit of you, including your venting sessions 🙂
There were many times during the last year where I stepped back and realized that “Hey, you know what? I’m really not ready for this kind of a relationship.” I knew there were so many things I needed to work on personally before I could offer my future spouse a worthy partner. Now I’m feeling like I’m more ready. Maybe not, I don’t know. I’m a lot younger than you, and I can’t imagine being in the same position in 9 more years.
I know you probably know this, but just work on trusting God. He has a plan, and it will happen in his timing (which REALLY isn’t ours sometime, huh?). He knows your heart.
Work on becoming the woman of your dreams, and he will lead you to the man of your dreams. Run toward Christ. At the right time, you’ll look to the side, and guess who’s going to be there. Yeah. Your hubby. *Cue a hallelujah choir*
I know it’s hard. Keep your head up, rosary used, and trust in God.
P.S. Check out more info on Sarah Swafford (emotional chastity and waiting) and read the book “Woman in Love” about writing to your HTB if you want.
Trust – that’s the really hard part. Well, trusting in the long term is the hard part – remaining trusting! Thanks for your comments, I appreciate the support from my letters.
Thank you, Laura! I have added you to my Divine Mercy Chaplet prayer list. God bless, Cindy
You surely are not alone! Thank you for so eloquently putting into words how so many ladies have been feeling lately. A friend reminded me to bring all of these feelings to God. He has put these desires in our hearts and by talking to him about our frustrations it may help us figure areas He is wanting to strengthen in us before meeting our future husbands. You and all my fellow single ladies will continue to be in my prayers. *hug*
Thanks for the prayers.
Thank you for your comment, Anjie! I have added you to my Divine Mercy Chaplet prayer list! God bless, Cindy
Oh my gosh. Yes.
This captures my point of view to a “T”. I’ve written my future husband multiple letters, but there are many months between each letter (like right now…I don’t think I’ve written since April? maybe March?) because all I can say is:
“Dude, it sucks not having you here. All of my friends are married or in a relationship and I hate it. I’m happy for them, but I wonder what’s taking you so long to friggen get a clue and find me. You’re annoying…PS I love you (*barf*)”
Blah. Sometimes I write those letters. The ones withe the hurt and the annoyance shining through….maybe I’ll never give those ones to him, or only given them if he really wants to see them…but I find that it helps to get it out of my system. Plus, I feel like someday I’ll want to be able to show my husband that vulnerable part of me…I don’t want him to think that I was perfectly content being single for X number of years, you know?
Essentially, I want you to know that your feelings/viewpoint/perspective is shared. Really it is. With the NAS, we try not to dwell on talking about only topics that leave us feeling frustrated and upset, but maybe we need to dig deeper into that…I try to write openly about my grievances outside of the NAS too. However, I’ve found that while I’ll always have those feelings of despair, etc…embracing single life (for now) is actually really great (sometimes). It’s not all wonderful, but I’m trying to enjoy my “now” so I can better prepare for the future 🙂
Please feel free to email me at mvmcfar(at)gmail.com if you have suggestions on how to make the NAS more beneficial to you….Jen and I choose topics based on what people suggest but not many people have been sending us suggestions lately! (or if you’d prefer to remain anonymous, I’m sure Cindy would be willing to pass suggestions from you to me 🙂
Sorry this is long…know of my prayers for you! And truly, love, you are NOT alone in this.
First, thanks for doing the Not Alone Series – it really has helped me see other ladies in the same situation.
Second, I’m not sure what else to write on, but I think I have a desire for women to be able to rely on each other for support. I think blogging does that – I do it a little, but it’s mostly for my own record keeping – and now my family is a frequent reader (probably my only reader) and I don’t know about sharing this information with them, as they aren’t really the people I talk with it about.
It think there is a need for a ‘support group’ if you will – but literally just being supportive of each other, reminding us of God’s Love and that the Lord always has a plan – and now that I type that – I just think a need for single girls to have other single girls as friends. I love my married friends, and I so enjoy spending time with their children, but it’s difficult to explain how I feel or what to do – they always just tell me to be patient!
I am being patient – that’s why I’m still single!!!
If I was being impatient, then I would probably have started going to bars and taken the first drunk guy to ask.
Anyway, if I come up with any other topics, I will surely fire them off to you!
Thanks for reading!
I love this idea of a support group! How do we start? Can I help?
I LOVE chatting with my girlfriends at school about these things, but I’m with you in that I’m not comfortable blogging about it all. My family reads all of what I write, and I don’t want them reading about this (Um, hi mom and brothers? No thanks.). Is that weird? I don’t know. I would really like to blog about this, and would have really enjoyed being part of this series with ya’ll, but just couldn’t do it. Any suggestions? Should I start an anonymous blog just for that?
And kudos to you for remaining patient. God sure does have a bunch of patient gals on his hands by having us all waiting here….but what a beautiful opportunity to learn how to place our trust in him.
could a facebook group be a place for that? I don’t know about the anonymous blog (for me) because, honestly, it seems like too much work!
Oooh, Facebook group, maybe! I would only do that if it were ultra-private, though. Anyone know of a good place to do something like that?
I don’t think I’d go the anonymous blogger way either simply because it would be a hassle and I’d get frustrated. I would love to be able to share this all and join you on my own blog, but just don’t feel like I can. Oh well. We’ll just have to start some sort of something together here!
Thank you for your sweet support, Morgan!
Join the club, girl! I think it’s ok to have frustrating thoughts like this (*says the girl who just came out of that phase haahaha), I vent to all my girl friends and get to a ridiculous phase where I swap between laughing at myself for being so frustrated (and that is truly something to see), being angry at the guy who is “obviously” a chicken and not trying hard enough to find me and crying/trying to understand why it has to be this way.
And then I pray (and possibly throw a little Bible roulette in there in sheer desperation to see if God wants to tell me something directly – doing that most recently I turned to a passage about circumcision, don’t know what he was trying to say with that hahah). But basically, the prayer part gets me back and focused. I can move back from the whole thing and say “Ok, I know I’ve still got some stuff to work on” or “I can see it may not be the best time for the dude to come now” (of course, a little ranting to God on the sidelines of this still exists just to let God know I’d love it if he could explain Himself).
Best piece of advice I’ve recently received from a priest was to use my head. Obvious, right? Not for me. I’m a full-blown emotions kinda girl ( which means I’m hard at work on emotional chastity). Rationalizing relationships and feelings is not (or was not) my thing. He basically said to step back from every emotional reaction I have and think/pray. So yes, rant on, sister (God knows we need it sometimes) but then stop and talk to God. His love is pretty awesome and after a conversation with Him, you’ll probably realize some stuff that will make plenty of sense (heads up : your heart probably wont be on board with this at first) 😀
P.S. write those angry/frustrated letters, God sees and aswers all. It might just be the kind of prayer your future hubby needs right now. You know, a “kick-up-the-behind” kind of prayer. He might be missing the courage to do something and you’re basically telling God “Please, move him along from his laziness/cowardness/any-other-kind-of-ness. Ain’t nobody got time for that.”
sorry for the long comment XD
Thanks for the support for my letters and helping me see the frustration. It seems so simple, that advice your priest gave, but trying to leave my emotions of it sounds appealing. Not checking out entirely, but just thinking with my head and reminding my heart what my head knows (that God loves me, He has a plan for me, and whether that includes marriage or not it will always include his love for me).
The advice has been working for me so far, it’s definitely taken the edge of my frustration. I got the advice recently when I was getting a bit carried away with my emotions for this one guy. It definitely helped me put things in perspective :)) I have a feeling you have a beautiful life ahead of you, just enjoy the ride God’s planned for you 🙂 God is love ❤
Having said that, get busy with life :)) the worst thing I found myself doing in times of frustration is sitting at home and basically running that frustration in an endless circle with questions of why, when and who.
God bless you ❤ I'll be praying for you!
Thank you for your comment, Josephine! I have added you to my Divine Mercy Chaplet prayer list! Blessings, Cindy
Thank you, Cindy! I’ll be praying for your ministry :)) you’re doing an awesome job here! I’m from Croatia, I’ve made sure my girlfriends here read your blog, it’s truly insightful! God bless!
What an honor to have you and your friends visit here from beautiful Croatia, Josephine! Thank you for your prayers! Cindy