There is no magic cream or boyfriend that can take the place of what the Holy Spirit instills in our confidence and countenance. God sees you, He hears your prayers, and He is in love with you more and more as each laugh line deepens or rejection comes.
Dear “future” self,
Before this letter gets too far, I just want to say to “current” me just how proud I am that you’ve come to the end of January 2024 in one emotionally sound and thawed-out piece. I say this because I know how most Januarys go. Riding off the high of December with its parties, dinners, gifts, and merriment to be jolted back into “reality” as the dark, cold, bitter winds of January snake around my mind, heart, and extra dry hands is no easy feat. Every year I think, “This January will be different,” and every year it turns out to be pretty similar to the last.
January brings up a lot of feelings in me. This past month I’ve worked through some internal doubts, fears, and insecurities that will be shared in a bit. And as much as I wasn’t surprised by this January, I’ve learned what works for my mind, heart, and body to make it through. I hunkered down with my Bible reading plan and devotionals, had to take a break from some apps, and made sure physical exercise stayed one of my top priorities. For me, my mental, spiritual, and physical health are very closely tied.
Now I am skating into February, the infamous month of love, feeling like I have a hold of myself...at least enough to not slip on any ice. But who am I kidding, I didn’t accomplish some big feat here—it was God. That is why I am writing this letter to my future self in case I forget in the next 11 months what God has reminded me of. That the feeling of being invisible or unwanted is not true. So, “future” Mandy, keep reading and let me spark your memory for a bit.
One of the recurrent questions I have, as a 41-year-old single woman, is “Does anyone see me?” and in true Godwink fashion, God has sweetly answered this internal ache I carry in more ways than one. From what I’ve learned from other friends and vulnerable souls out there, I am not alone. Feeling invisible is not an uncommon feeling for people. And before my “future” self starts to think I am having a pity party, I know I have a significant impact on the world around me. I know my blessings, how precious life and my days are, how blessed I am to have a wonderful job, my family, and my health, and how loved I am. But I just can’t help but have those days where I feel like the supporting actress of my own life instead of the main character.
The word that God has been pressing on me from the end of last year to today is “gentleness.” I am reminded of the verse in 1 Peter that states what our beauty should be characterized by: “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight” (1 Peter 3:3-4). I love giving myself haircuts and buying a new top, but the truth is my identity is not dictated by what I wear or how good I look but by my faith, my heart, and my spirit.
I don’t know by next year if I’ll be in a relationship, but I know that no matter if a man is pursuing me or not, I am loved, valuable, and seen. The world, and quite frankly the church as well, might not know exactly where I fit as a never-been-married woman in her 40s, but I know I fit perfectly in His plan. And maybe part of my plan right now is to remind myself, and anyone else reading this, that we matter. There is no magic cream or boyfriend that can take the place of what the Holy Spirit instills in our confidence and countenance. God sees you, He hears your prayers, and He is in love with you more and more as each laugh line deepens or rejection comes.
A phrase that God kept echoing to me last summer of 2023 was “eyes that see.” I had been tossing and turning about a singles series I wanted to do on my blog and that phrase kept coming at me. I started praying that all of us single women, and men, would have “eyes that see” the truth about people and what God wants for us. That the mirage of shiny, glossy images and the possible allure of something shinier coming just around the corner would dim and we would see each other as the blessings that God has given us for this exact time.
But who is telling me that I’m unwanted? Isn’t it just Satan trying to get me down and whisper lies to me? Yes, and his puny schemes along with my imaginative brain can concoct some really hard lies about myself. “Future” self, please keep fighting these lies! I have begun to say out loud the truth about me from the Scriptures so that I can hear it and Satan can get a whipping. Some of these scriptural truths I have personalized are as follows:
“Get away from me, Satan!” (Matthew 4:10)
“I am fearfully and wonderfully made!” (Psalm 139:14)
“I am the light of the world!” (Matthew 5:14)
“Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world!” (1 John 4:4)
“God works all things out for my good and His glory!” (Romans 8:28)
“If God is for me, who can be against me?” (Romans 8:31)
God is so sweet to let me know that He sees me, that I am not invisible, and that I am dearly wanted. Just in the past few weeks, He has blessed me with some dear and sweet Godwinks, and I wanted to share at least one of them here so I don’t forget.
Ever since December 2023, I have wanted to re-watch one of my favorite movies, P.S. I Love You, and after weeks of just never getting the DVD out of the cabinet and into the player I finally did on a late Sunday night. Well, the very next morning, I opened up a devotional I’d been reading called “Prayers for Your Future Husband” by Tamara Chamberlain, and it said:
“I've never been one for a sappy romantic movie, but one I truly enjoy is P.S. I Love You.”
I’m sorry, what?! The movie I had heehawed over watching for a few weeks, which I finally watched on a late, cold Sunday night in January, was in my 90-day devotional the very next morning...on Day 45?! For a long while that morning I sat in complete joy on my couch wanting to savor the feeling. I was in the exact place God had been waiting for me to arrive to give me a little Godwink and nudge to keep up the good fight of faith and prayer. That day was also referencing “A Man After God’s Heart,” and I am currently reading about David in 1 & 2 Samuel in my Bible reading plan too, which was the icing on the cake.
This is just a small example of how much God sees us. “Future” Mandy, I bet if you walked over to your refrigerator you’d see the “Mandy” name card you have stuck to your fridge’s front door that you’ve had since you were a little girl, and you’d remember just how special you are. Let me remind you that our name means “Worthy of Love.” And while many sweet sentiments could be attributed to this meaning as well, let’s remember the verse that the creator of this name card from the 90s felt was suitable for such a name:
Yes, that’s right, Mandy. We are worthy of love. We are important. We are commanded to be strong, courageous, and not afraid or discouraged about anything because God is going to be with us wherever we go. No matter what the world thinks, how many suitors are interested in us, our age, or season of life, He never changes and loves us so much more than we can ever fathom.
Mandy, remember this for the little girl we were who fell in love with Jesus and started dreaming big dreams, and for me now, at age 41, listening to God, praying intently, and inching through each day with childlike faith, and for the future us that will be even closer to being in His presence one sweet day.
Dear “future” self, please don’t ever forget:
God sees you.
Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Eerik
Mandy Smith started her blog, My Joyous Heart, in 2011, began freelance writing in 2013, and is now the proud author of Almost There: A 30 Day Journey Where Tomorrow’s Uncertainty Takes a Back Seat to the Promise of Today. Mandy is single, currently working as a full-time speech-language pathologist, and lives in Atlanta, GA. Communication in its many forms has been a major part of Mandy’s life thus far personally, professionally, and spiritually. You can read more of her writing at www.myjoyousheart.com and connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube.