Dear College Boy

Dowd Simpson

04 Jan, 2016

Dear College Boy,

What will it be about you that will make my heart race and my tummy turn? Why won’t I be able to suppress even the faintest of a smile at the mention of your name? How will it be possible that you can capture my breathe with just the slip of my hand in yours?

I think about you all the time. I wonder what you will be like. Will you be tall or short? Will you be funny or quirky? Will you be smart? Will you like basketball or football or chess or singing? Will you have majored in Economics or Archeology? I wonder what will you be like...

My hope is that you will be cool. Just the right temperature of cool. Cool with an undercurrent of confidence, confidence in the way God created you. I never really liked cool in the first place. Cool is never actually cool. That type of cool is boring. That type of cool is full of controlled talk and forced behavior. It’s too rigid, too expected, too acclimated to an atmosphere of conformity. Who is that, I would wonder? What’s underneath? I want to see the roughness around the edges, the not too put togetherness. I want to see the fray at the end. I want to untether and discover what lies beneath the box of vanilla. Where’s the originality? Where’s the uniqueness? Where’s the messy? My hope is that you will be cool, cool in a way that makes you passionate about life and people and the things that make you you. Cool in a confident sort of way. Confident without being cocky.

My hope is that you will be a leader. A leader who fights for what’s right and stands up for what he believes in. A leader full of wisdom and compassion. A leader slow to speak and quick to listen. A leader who encourages with words that are kind and not bullish. A leader who doesn’t push people around to get what he wants. A leader marked by strength in gentleness - a juxtaposition I know, but not one without example. My hope is that you will lead by looking to the Leader Himself. 

My hope is that you will be great. My hope is that you will be the best at for whatever it is you are created, whatever it is you want to do, whatever it is your heart desires. My hope is that you will allow me to walk along side you, to grant me the gift of that precious position deemed your best friend, and I promise I will treasure it with respect and in sanctity. I want to know you, to know your heart, your fears and your desires, your dreams and your wishes. I want to encourage you and support you as you succeed and fail, as you rise and fall, as you humbly transform and are sanctified into the image of our sweet Savior, for humility is the mark of true greatness.  

My hope is that you will be humble. My hope is that you will be humble enough to apologize when you know you’ve done something wrong, and apologize sincerely and succinctly, without the rail of but’s, because’s and if’s. My hope is that you will be quick to forgive and to forget, not holding grudges or resentments, not counting a list of wrongs held against me because I am certain you will have to forgive me way more times than I will have to forgive you. My hope is that together, we will always place the other’s joy before our own. My hope is that we together will seek the other’s good. My hope is that together, we will assume the best in one another, knowing that there is a foundation of love, built on Jesus and His gift of love and forgiveness to us, and in this knowledge, speak and receive words with the best of intentions, and in humility and grace.

My hope is that you will be a good listener. My hope is that you will listen intentionally and hear the thoughts that pour forth from my most guarded and sacred place, my heart. I imagine that in your greatness, you will mostly likely, almost always, know exactly how to fix whatever problem I am going through, and for that I will be thankful, but in that hope of greatness also lies that hope of humility, and my hope is that you will humbly grant me the generous space to share the entirety of my thoughts and feelings regarding whatever subject of the moment has me in unrestrained upheaval. In turn, I want to grant you that same freedom to share with me your troubles so that I may bear your burdens with you, carrying the concerns of whatever you carry.

My hope is that you will be a gentleman. My hope is that you will call me and not text me, that you will pursue me and not lead me along, that your words will be words of intentionality and not lackadaisical. My hope is that you will think of me often. My hope is that you will bring me flowers or bring me a picture you drew of a flower. I promise I don’t want much, just that you remember me. My hope is that you will take me out on dates. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but please give me the opportunity to dress up for you, to get nervous as you ring my doorbell, as your open the car door, as you pull out my seat at the table, as you save the last bite of dessert for me because you know I love the taste of chocolate, as you place your jacket over my shoulder because you know I always am slightly colder than you, as you hold my hand and walk me to my door, as you look into my eyes with the hope and anticipation of something longed for and dreamed about (and as I pray you cannot hear the pounding of my heart trapped inside my ribcage), as you lean in for what will be the first of many more goodnight kisses. 

My hope is that you will wait for me. My hope is that you will love the thought of sharing something with me, and only me, that you will not give it to someone else. My hope is that you will cherish the idea of the future with me more than the immediate, cheap satisfaction of someone else. Even though I may seem to be telling you one thing with my actions, what I want more than your physical affection is your promise to honor me by building bold boundaries for us. What I want more than your physical affection is your love that says that you want more of me than immediate gratification. What I want more is your love that says that you want more of me than the over-promising and under-delivering, cheap relief of physical touch. What I want more is your love that says that you want me enough to wait, that you want me enough to protect me, and that you want me enough to honor me. If you haven’t already, please do not give away any more of yourself, save what is left for me. And know that I forgive you, fully and without reservation, because we are loved by a God who forgives. We serve a God bigger than shame and regret and sin. We serve a God full of grace and mercy and forgiveness and redemption and hope. There is hope for you, there is hope for me, there is hope for us. My hope is that in the covenant of marriage we will experience intimacy the way God designed it, in freedom, growing closer to each other as we grow closer to Him.

Above all, my greatest hope is that you will need, that you will desperately need Jesus. Because in the end, even if and after you are all of my hopes from above, it still will not be enough, not enough for yourself and not enough for me. Not enough for you, because if you are the cool, confident and humble leader I desire, then what? You’ve arrived? No. And not enough for me because if you are the great listener and faithful gentleman I desire, then what? You’re perfect? No. My desires for you are pure and godly, but ultimately you will never be able to fulfill me if you are not fulfilled in Christ. And I likewise will never be able to fulfill you if I am not fulfilled in Christ. Your need, my need, our need together is only satisfied in Him. So, it will be more comforting to me to watch you need - to watch you fail and to fall, and then, to watch you run to the only One who can truly fulfill the need, the want, the longing, the emptiness, than if you were not to need or to fail or to fall at all. The greatest hope you can give to me is your need for Him.

I long for the day when these ideas that I hope for will become the man in front of me.


Your Future Bride