The nations shall see your righteousness,and all the kings your glory, and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will give.

A friend and I have an ongoing conversation in which we always decide we agree, but in which I usually come back later with some grievance. He says that a woman who doesn’t feel lovely before marriage won’t feel lovely afterward, and I say that God loved us while we were yet sinners so it’s not too much to expect a man to at least try to follow suit.

I think we are both lazy in our estimation of what loveliness is.

You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.

It’s been a whole year since I’ve felt lovely. I know it exactly because it was the second week of Lent last year that the little lie crept in and began to strangle out the good and beautiful that grew inside of me. A year is a long time for a lie to fester, especially if you put off addressing the lie until 365 days later. Which I am now doing.

Last week one of my classmates read from Psalm 139. He read it through once, quickly, then teased it apart a bit for us, then asked us to close our eyes and imagine we were saying those hallowed words to God Himself.

Tears pooled in my eyes and I could barely breathe at the end of it all.

I could barely say those words to a friend, a roommate, myself, but to God?

Later that night I was telling a friend what happened and I was embarrassed, not to tell her, but to even confess it myself. Even before a word is on my tongue, He knows it. He knit me together in my mother’s womb. He hems me in, behind and before. I am fearfully made. I am wonderfully made? My days were formed for me?

My days?

Even the past 365 days?

You shall no more be termed Forsaken and your land shall no more be termed Desolate but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her and your land Married for the Lord delights in you, and your land shall be married.

It’s hard to not feel wasted inside, overgrown with weeds of lies and weeds of wishes. But that He formed these days for me? Every one of them? Crafted in secret, hewn in His hands, for His glory, these days?

Today I will disagree with my friend yet again: Christ loved me while I was yet a sinner, dead in my ways, covered over by thorns and thistles and lies as big as years. He saw that and called it worth loving, not because I was lovely but because I knew I would never be.

For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your sons marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you. Isaiah 62.2-5