I didn’t want to be that girl. I didn’t want to be the girl with the ultra-precise (and long) list of must-haves in a man. The pages and pages of physical and personality traits that ranged from exact height measurements to enumerations of which musical instruments he must have proficiency with.
Before you think I’m an amazingly generous human being, let me say that generosity and boundless love for all members of the human race did not motivate me. Mostly I just found those girls incredibly annoying. Also I didn’t think limiting my options was a good idea. I wanted to have as big a pool to pick from as possible.
Now before you do a 180 and think I was a standardless, slut-bucket, allow me to disabuse you of that notion as well. I had a list, but I tried to keep it short and essential. It went something like this:
- Compatible religious convictions–within an acceptable range of denominational variance.
- Not previously married/no kids. This one may have changed if I had stayed single longer, but in my early twenties I didn’t want that drama, and I didn’t feel qualified to raise someone else’s kids. So no kids, no baby mamas, no ex-wives.
- No criminal record.
- Employed, self-sustaining, not living with his parents.
Pretty basic, I know. Number one did cover a lot of ground, but that was the point. And number four wasn’t initially on the list until after I saw friends finding fellows without it, and I decided I did have to specify that.
Those were the essentials. I had other things I wanted like hotness and taller than me and funny and smart (I was really worried that I would end up with a total moron, not sure why, but I was. So worried that I didn’t even dare put it on the essentials list, which in retrospect, I should have.) And then there were the things I wasn’t really even comfortable wishing for. On that list was poetry.
I love words and poetry and the well turned lyrical phrase. One of my favorite classes in college was British Lit Part One where we learned to analyze poetry, which is a wonderful, completely unmonetizeable skill. (One of my least favorite classes was Poetry for Elementary Teachers see above regarding my fear of stupid people.) I thought it would be difficult to find someone who appreciated poetry outside the rarefied environment of college days, especially someone who met Essential Quality #4.
Then one day I met this good looking guy (non-essential list, but really hallelujah) who worked (EQ#4!) as an engineer (smart–fist pump) and when we first met carried on a coherent conversation about Russian literature!
So when I doubt that God wants to give good gifts to his children (Matthew 7:11), or when I am afraid to ask for something because I think it’s too much, he reminds me from time to time that he is able to do unspeakably more than we can ask or hope for (Ephesians 3:20). I don’t need to worry about the things I’m not getting, or the things that seem too much to ask for. God delights to do good for us, but it doesn’t always look the same.
His good may not be exactly what or when I want it, but when it comes it will be better than the best thing I could have imagined. So I ask for big things, but rejoice in the things I have now. Don’t let the blessings of today tarnish because they are not the good gifts of tomorrow.
Valentine’s Day for me is a reminder of God’s faithfulness and lavish kindness. It gives me the chance to think on the excessive goodness that’s been poured into my life… and to eat chocolate and read a little poetry.