Who hasn’t looked back and thought, Oh the calamity! If only I’d known! If only I’d realised!?
I do that plenty, but particularly about romance. Usually, it’s late at night with a block of chocolate, a glass of baileys and some pumped-up Disney music. And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one!
But then I think, actually, I don’t wish I’d known or done some things differently.
I don’t wish I hadn’t fallen for some incredible young men. They showed me how attractive holiness is and made me what to be as faithful, joyful, and passionate as they were.
I don’t wish I’d wanted a boyfriend less. It clued me into the fact that my soul was made to love a Good Man far greater than any cute guy on the bus.
I don’t wish I’d known that a boy can tell you he loves you, but only a man will actually love you as you deserve. I think you have to learn that one the hard way.
I don’t wish I’d never struggled over boys. My falls from grace over boys did more to wake me up to the ugliness of sin than anything else.
I don’t wish I’d followed all the rules to “guard my heart”. My heart is whole because, like its Maker, it can bleed and pound and be broken in real love. Our scars — even the scars of silly, girlish crushes and foolish, naive dreams — make us beautiful.
I don’t wish I’d had a guy to tell me how beautiful I was. (Oh who am I kidding? I do! But… but!) If I had, maybe I would have believed my beauty came from what he thought of me.
I don’t wish I’d known how things would have turned out. If you’d told 16-year-old me that at 24, I’d still be single, I might have jumped off a cliff — or more likely, I would have thought “aw hell no, I’m not waiting that long for anyone!” and gone and done something truly stupid.
I don’t wish patience had been easier. It was my impatience that made me pray when nothing else would.
I don’t wish I had more “experience”. I don’t lack experience (whatever that is anyway), I possess the original purity God created for me and the confidence of a hard-won chastity.
I don’t wish I’d had a boyfriend in my early twenties. Can you imagine the ruckus if me, nice Evangelical girl, was dating a nice Evangelical guy when I was suddenly like, “Whoops! I think the Catholic Church is the one true church founded by Christ Jesus and I believe everything She teaches!” That could have gotten messy!
I don’t wish I’d known the right way to “fall” in love. There is no one right way and anyone who tells you otherwise is bonkers. Love, and do what thou wilt, said St Augustine.
I do wish I hadn’t sinned in any of my thoughts or actions, but even then, God has brought just good out of it all. I can’t wish God’s plan for me had been any different. He is the Master Craftsman, the Divine Architect, the Truly Wise One who is piecing me back together in ways more incredible than I could ever have imagined.
Because all things — even the romantic misadventures of overly emotional young women — work together for good for those who love God. (Romans 8:28)
This post is linked up to the Not Alone Series, hosted at Jumping in Puddles and Follow and Believe.
You can read other posts from the amazing NAS girls here.