A Letter To My Future Wife

Written By Shawn Quah, Singapore

Dear (Future) Wife,

It’s the day after our wedding, doesn’t it feel surreal? Watching you walk down the aisle in your white gown yesterday, I couldn’t stop thanking God for bringing you into my life.

When I was still on my own and feeling lonely, I prayed to God for someone to fill my life with meaning. Oh, how wrong I was to pray for that. Through a dear friend, God showed me that my prayers should center on becoming the godly man that my future wife would want to be with.

A long time passed before I noticed you. We were friends then, each serving God in our own ways. When we became close, I was overjoyed and I couldn’t help smiling (was I too obvious?).

God knew how much I needed someone like you, a person who was not just my source of encouragement but also someone with whom I could share my innermost thoughts and concerns. You were also great with my mum (I knew without a doubt that she would like you!) and your acceptance of my brother, who has special needs, touched me. The fact that you can cook up a storm definitely helped score brownie points with my relatives.

I must admit that you’re nothing like how I envisioned in my poems—in fact, you are so much more. You are someone whom God knew would challenge me to be all that I could be.

Through the months leading to our marriage, I had doubts about whether we were compatible—we both know how different our personalities are. Yet you never failed to remind me that this is a journey we are taking together, and that ultimately, Jesus is the one who will see us through it. That was how we managed to work out those arguments and disagreements. That process also gave me a better insight into your habits, quirks, concerns, and love for me. Sure, we had our difficult moments, but I would never trade those precious lessons for anything else.

You must have noticed how I choked up with emotions while saying my vows (I saw your cheeky smile then). That’s because I couldn’t be happier than I ever was in my life. I look forward to growing old with you, warts and all. I look forward to every mess in the house (when we have kids, hopefully), every laugh, every complaint, every tear, and every tender word we share with each other.

It is my prayer that God guides me to know Him more each day, so that I will be the husband who can lead you, love you, and cherish you the way God intended.

Your (Future) Husband
February 2016

Sentimental, as I see the leaves fall,
Winds sweeping through fields I stand on,
In the distance, the noise seems so small,
Right here, I close my eyes and long,
For that someone my heart belongs.

Fleeting, almost like a faded song,
That familiar feeling I thought gone,
I slowly opened my eyes to the dawn,
Trusting not in what my heart longs,
But where the Lord would have me belong.

EDITOR’S NOTE: What qualities do you want in your future spouse? Share your thoughts in the comment section!

Click here to read A Letter To My Future Husband

Poem: A Life Transformed

I took a journey one day,
Looking ahead, I was on my way,
But lacking purpose, meaning, not much to say,
Walking through this life, wondering as I go,
Somewhere out there has what I need to know.

I found the answer, on one Easter,
Lost and lonely, but one step closer,
I wasn’t alone, no not for a moment,
Such peace I felt, never to be forgotten.

To be blessed, to be living,
Guided on my way, such joy in knowing,
Lead me oh God, so that I may see,
My Savior, my Love, my King.

This life I live,
Precious is the gift,
For this I know, I would walk where He leads,
Till the day, my true love, I meet.

Where would this journey lead?
I wondered when I sought.
Now in turn it is I who greet,
Those who pass through this door,
That what they would meet,
Is a life transformed, by my God, complete.

What if God Takes Away My Gift?

I love writing poems. It’s my way of expressing my feelings, thoughts, and frustrations. My very first poem was about a girl (as you may already have guessed). She was someone I had admired from afar but never dared to approach. Poetry gave me an outlet to pour out the deepest feelings of my heart and soul, and helped me come to terms with what I was going through.

Through the years, I have written many poems about different facets of my life. I felt that God had blessed me with the gift of poetry. But lately, I’ve been finding it difficult to write poems with ease, which led me to wonder: Have I run out of inspiration? Or worse, am I losing my gift?

That thought troubled me deeply. At times, I found myself trying to come up with something as I listened to music—anything that I could call poetry. But nothing came. I started to wonder what artists did to prepare for grand performances and how writers of popular songs always seemed to be able to come up with wonderful music. I also began to ask myself questions like: How can I get more inspiration? What had inspired me in the past?

The questions finally led me to bigger questions: Had writing poetry become so important to me because it defined who I was? Did I feel I needed to come up with more poems because people expected me to? When did something that started as a way of expressing myself turn into something that I needed to do, upkeep, and believe in?

Then the answer dawned upon me: in itself, poetry did not matter in the grand scheme of things. Instead, what really mattered was how God wanted me to use whatever He had given me at the present time for His glory. The musician who started off as a performer, for example, may over time feel that he wants to move into teaching others to appreciate music. His roots in music are still there, but the way he manifests his gift may evolve.

But what if the same musician loses a limb or his eyesight, and is no longer able to perform or even teach? In times like these, we can only rely wholly on our Almighty Lord and trust that He has a purpose and that He will continue to work in our lives. Job is a good example. When God allowed him to be stripped of everything he had, Job recognized that all he had was from the Lord and refused to curse God and die, even though his wife told him to. Instead, he came humbly before God and proclaimed: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”(Job 1:21)

In my case, I no longer write as much poetry as I used to. Instead, I express myself in other ways, such as through writing articles, and leading and mentoring others—things that I would never have imagined doing 10 to 15 years ago. And while I do not know the future and where the Lord will lead me, I say this with confidence: There is always a purpose for everything, and in everything a purpose the Lord has made.

Empty of inspiration and thought,
Head down as I pondered on this,
Eyes closed as I prayed to God,
What have I not seen or missed?

Empty of all that I had in my gifts,
I could not help but believe in this,
That whatever comes of my lot,
I chose to walk believing in God.

When Trials Come: Fight or Flight?

I have a tendency to take on more than I should. At times, it’s to prove to myself that I can handle it. At other times, it’s to please someone and gain recognition for my efforts. This sometimes leads to stress and in a worst-case scenario, depression.

When I was an IT consultant, I was tasked to work with a high-profile client and be a go-between for my company. I took on the assignment with gusto, thinking that this might be my time to shine. However, the client’s demands proved to be more than I could handle. And when push came to shove, the company chose to side with the client and try to meet his unreasonable requirements rather than stick to what we had originally offered in the contract.

As you can imagine, this led to many problems and internal squabbling, with some of the staff refusing to do anything outside their scope of work. I remember walking into office one morning, opening my laptop and staring at the blank screen for a good 5 to 10 minutes, thinking to myself: What was I doing here?

That was a difficult time in my life and it led me to ask myself whether I could avoid all these problems by taking on something less stressful instead. Perhaps, I thought, I could find a job that didn’t involve dealing with difficult people and difficult situations.

But then I realized this: Was this even possible in our fallen world? Perhaps it was, if one lived a life of solitude and avoided all contact with others. That, however, was simply not practical. Clearly, I could not run away from the challenges I faced in life: I had to deal with them.

Which left me with the question: How?

The book of James in the Bible tells us how we can respond in the face of trials: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds” (James 1:2). Joy is probably one of the emotions we’re least likely to feel when we face challenges, yet there is value in this advice. Training ourselves to look at things from a positive point of view is far better than being trapped in a vicious circle of depression.

But why should we feel joy? The author of James explains: “Because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance” (v.3).

And how can we persevere? James tells us next: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault.”

I often regret not persevering in my job. But I’ve learned that these words apply to every phase of my life. I’ve come to see that trials are meant to teach me perseverance in my faith: When faced with a trial, I should not despair, but pray that God will help me to persevere. I can keep trusting Him through the experience, so that I can better face the next challenge that comes my way.

Let us continue to seek God and pray for His wisdom to help us through our struggles and challenges in life.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”—James 1:2-5