I didn't date until I was 20, and my first and only boyfriend became my husband a couple years later. He is the only guy I've ever kissed; he's the only one I've ever slept with. And somewhere along the line, without even realizing it, I assumed that had earned me some brownie points with God.
After all, I'd "kissed dating goodbye". I'd saved myself for my husband. Subconsciously, I thought that guaranteed an incredible, lasting marriage.
But then he cheated on me.
In some ways, it feels like I'd saved myself for nothing... Like none of it mattered.
I know, at least on some levels, that that isn't true. I know that even my "all things" are intended for my good, even when it's impossible to see. I know that He is redeeming, restoring, rebuilding me, for His ultimate purpose.
I also know that redemption doesn't usually look like we think it will.
And that there are no brownie points to be had. There are no guarantees, no obligatory blessings, no automatic protections or provisions.
Life is just plain hard. Even though God is good.
Even though God is good.
And even when I "kissed dating goodbye".
I hope to someday see the bigger picture. The full circle. The "none of it mattered" transformed into "every bit of it mattered".
But even if I don't, even if I won't, I'm still called to trust Him. To live on the truth of what He says and who He is.
Because then and only then...
All of it mattered.