Daily Delight

Monday, March 12, 2018

A deep love for the Lord is the most attractive feature a man can possess.

If you told me this in my high school days, I would have given you a soft smile and nodded my head, letting it flow in one ear and out through the other.

Yep, I was that girl. I grew up in the church and loved God, but I lacked an intimate relationship with Him because I failed to acknowledge that the intimacy my heart craved could not come from anyone but my Father alone.

My ignorance of this truth led to bad decisions.

During my freshman year of high school, I found myself dating a senior. My fourteen-year-old heart prided itself on this “achievement”. I felt on top of the world. On the surface, this was a picture perfect relationship. But beneath it the toxicity levels continued to rise. For nearly three years, I lived this way. From the outside, you would have had no idea that I struggled with body image or suffered from abuse. If you passed me in the hallway, the smile on my face was nothing but a cover for the harsh reality of my circumstances. I was lost and truly miserable.

I had no idea what relationships were supposed to be like. I also had a tiny bit of understanding of the worth my Father placed on me. I continued to dig my way down a black hole of darkness until one day I just could not take it anymore. I was broken, bruised and battered. I was not only ready to see the light, but to walk in its freedom and beauty as well.

I begged and pleaded with God to shine His light into my darkness; to lead the way out; to rescue me. And He absolutely showed up. He gave me His hand and I held it with everything I had left to give.

After my rescue, I surrendered the broken pieces of my 17-year-old heart into His hands. I allowed the Lord to stitch my broken pieces back together with the life-giving, love-founded truths He speaks over His children. I embarked on a journey of finding deep intimacy with my Father. As my understanding was being transformed, I couldn’t help but feel foolish for spending years of my life (literally) seeking this intimacy in all the wrong places. God was delighting in me, and I, finally Him.

Maybe you’re like me and have struggled/are struggling with intimacy and self-worth, too. If so, I want you to know this: When God created you, He didn’t just settle for you. He molded you into who you are with every good and right intention. Your heart is extremely precious to Him. Don’t just hand it over to someone who does not value the worth that is within you!

I am 24 years old now and happily married to a man who is the answer to all my prayers. When I met him during my senior year of college, the first thing that stood out to me was his heart for the Lord. He was a worship leader for his campus ministry (yall, he sings and plays guitar) and had a sense of humor that could keep anyone laughing for days. He was just a guy trying to live for the Lord and honor Him with his life the best he could. And I was just a girl, seeking to do the same. I had no idea we would become best friends who would one day unite as husband and wife. But here we are, married and so in love. Now, we lead worship together for our church family. fa

He’s not perfect, but he’s a man after God’s own heart that is seeking and striving to be his absolute best. He’s a man of humility and strength, a leader, a fighter, a servant, an apologizer, a good forgiver, a protector, and he loves me with that agape kind of love (Agape is a Greek word used to describe the love that is of and from God).

The smile you see on my face today is no longer a lie. It’s symbolizes genuine, pure joy and an intimate, life-giving love that is a sweet taste of my Father’s love for me.

Ladies, you were made for more than “just a relationship”. You were made for the real thing. I am confident that if you trust God and wait for it, He will deliver it to you. He is working in the waiting. You are the woman someone is praying for. So hand your heart to God and let Him place it in the hands of a man who deserves it.

{photo: @glenaigilbertphoto}

About the Author

Emily Lauren Cardel

Elle is a 24 year old, sweet home Tennessee kind of gal who is fiercely passionate about chasing the call of her Creator. She lives in Murfreesboro, TN with her husband Michael and their precious pup Tucker. 

She founded Daughter of Delight in 2014 and is filled with great joy to see God's plans for this ministry continue to unfold within His greater Kingdom story. 

In her free time, she enjoys spending quality time with her besties, snuggles on the couch with her hubby and pup, listening to #girlboss podcasts, writing, and drinking Fair Trade coffee in its purest form...black! 

You can find her on Insragram here and join the Daughter of Delight family here



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