Fathom Mag

Published on:
September 17, 2019
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2 min.
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Lovely in Every Way 

When we were dating, it was mostly long-distance. Texts, facetime, and phone calls. I still have screenshots saved on my phone from our first few video chats where you can see both our expressions, side-by-side. We were nervous, but excited. There is something completely terrifying about trying love after loss. 

Long-distance relationships are hard, as thousands of songs, poems, and real-life stories can attest. But Evan did something that helped. In all my fear and recently-dumped insecurity, he created a constant. Every single morning he texted me the following:  

“You are lovely in every way. Your faith is the best of you.”

It’s just that sometimes our past shouts louder than our present.
Rachel Joy Welcher

And this morning, almost two years into our marriage, he did it again. It reminded me of the profound impact of faithfulness - something I write about often - because my trust is still on training wheels since my divorce. I seem confident to most, but my inner-dialogue can get pretty dark: “Maybe this is the thing that will make him stop loving me.” These thoughts aren’t based on the reality of who Evan is or has been. It’s just that sometimes our past shouts louder than our present. On good days, I can muffle it or tell it to take a hike. But on overcast days, I invite it in for tea. 

I am not lovely in every way, but I have someone who loves me like I am. And his faithfulness reminds me of something even greater. I have a God who loved me before I had the chance to take a breath. He made me righteous in His Son and, somehow, I am a saint even though I am still a sinner. When God looks at me, He doesn’t see a towering pile of self-centered thoughts and motives, or the insecurities that I let hurt those around me. He sees a spotless child. A rag-tag rescue, washed clean and covered in robes of light. He sees His daughter.

You might think that texting your friend is insignificant, or that hugging someone every Sunday at church isn’t much of a ministry. But I am telling you that is is. Faithfulness is healing magic. It is like an arrow, in neon lights, pointing to the gospel. Every time Evan tells me that he loves me, something happens in my heart. A brick that had previously crumbled is reformed and added to a foundation being rebuilt under my rib cage. I am strengthened for another day. And I believe with the choir in the “deep, deep love of Jesus, far surpassing all the rest. It’s an ocean full of blessing, in the midst of every test.”

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Rachel Joy Welcher
Rachel Joy Welcher has her BA in writing, spent a summer studying at Oxford, and is currently getting her MLitt in theology at The University of St. Andrews. She teaches high school English, is a published poet (Blue Tarp, Finishing Line Press), and has written poetry and essays for magazines such as Cordella, RELEVANT, and The Gospel Coalition. She loves northern California, hymns, hand-written letters, and hot tea.

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