my heart will never not be His

There is not a depth that can reach the deeps of the excellencies of Christ. Not a friendship or a family or a lover or an ocean avenue view; not a single created thing can plumb the depths of His glory or compare to the riches of His grace.

There have been times when I've wondered if I lack a very womanly and essential thing. I've wondered why I am not more emotional or more dramatic or more anticipatory about love in this life. I have wondered and worried why I am not wooed by the chick flick storyline, waiting for my world to shift when a dapper young man spills his drink on me downtown. I have wondered why I am not a hopeless romantic.

I have, up to this point, credited the amazing men in my life as largely responsible for my (mostly) reasonable approach to relationships. They still get kudos, but I realized recently why there is a steadiness in my step that is anchored as deep as the unplumbable depths: Christ.

I'm not trying to explain the pinterest-popular slogan, "a woman should get lost in Christ so a man has to seek Christ to find her" or some other version of the same idea. What I mean is... I am just content to be lost.

I do not need to be found by anyone else because the depths of Christ's love are too deep! They go on and on and on forever. I am not singing with Beyoncé, "all you women, who independent throw your hands up at me," so hear me out before you point and question my biblical view of complementarianism.

I am questioning the encouragement we give women to get lost in Christ as a means to an earthly end in a man. I was running around Gray's Lake recently, considering my contentedness and questioning my relationship readiness when I realized,

"my heart will never not be His"

I remember my dad gave me a locket when I was thirteen. We were in San Diego on the "girl trip" that my sister and I took individually with him to mark our "coming of age." It is as embarrassing as it sounds (well, more embarrassing was the camping trip I blushed my way through with my mom to listen to all of Dr. Dobson's tape series on sexuality). The "Dad and me" version in San Diego was embarrassing (isn't everything at 13?), but it was so very special. It was rare to have occasion to fly anywhere, but his being on the board of directors on the little rural electric cooperative made it possible for my sister and me to accompany him to (what we thought was) paradise.

He had left the details of our coming of age to the "tapes" (as us kids now call them), and instead over a nice dinner one night gave me a heart shaped locket. I don't remember the exact speech, but I'm sure he labored over every letter. What I remember is something like this,

"Caroline, your mother and I love you very much. But God loves you more. This locket is a symbol to show that He will keep your heart safe until He sees fit to share it with someone else."

I'm embarrassed to say gold was not my color as a junior high girl. The locket sat in a little chintzy heart shaped porcelain container on my shelf for years. But, that night when my dad shared his and God's love for me, I started to understand what it meant to have a heart that is guarded and protected. I had trusted Jesus as my Savior at a young age and junior high was the first refining fire I blazed through, so knowing my heart was held in the hands of my Maker could not have been better news.

Though I can't say high school and college were without drama, I rarely shouted girl power anthems with windows down and fists pumping the air. I think deep down I knew and believed that God had my heart and that was the safest place for it to be. I was secure, protected, loved, and cherished - even if those weren't the words I would use to express it.

Now, running along Gray's Lake in the too-bitter chill of Spring, I have peace that my heart will never not be His. Even when I do get married, my love for Christ and Christ's love for me is the only and best anchor for my soul.

Marriage is one of the most beautiful pictures of God's love, but it will always only be that: a picture. God's love is the only thing that can reach the unplumbable depths and secure my spirit with an anchor that won't disappoint.

My heart will never not be His and I trust Him to share or not share it.

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These reflections come as I read through Gospel Deeps by Jared C. Wilson and as I consider unmarried life at 28 years old. Read this related post: seeking the greatest Treasure.