“We desire to possess a beauty that is worth pursuing, worth fighting for, a beauty that is core to who we truly are. We want beauty that can be seen; beauty that can be felt; beauty that affects others; a beauty all our own to unveil.”  -Staci Eldredge

Since we were young girls, we grew up with a burning desire in our hearts to be pursued. We watched longingly on the screen as Prince Charming whisked away Cinderella from a life of dark abuse towards full freedom rooted in the love of a lifetime. There is something undeniably alluring in every Nicholas Sparks film about a strong man vying for the affections of a woman no matter what the cost. The reality however is that somewhere in the timeline between childhood and adulthood that desire was damaged within you. The ugly truth is often a side effect of life and each time it hits it feels a lot like a dream being chiseled away slowly but surely. Perhaps you watched the parents who once loved one another break apart in a nasty divorce. Maybe a man whom you once trusted coaxed and forced you into a sexual encounter you never asked for. And there is a solid chance that the dating scene you find yourself in feels a lot like a minefield of endless risk and heartache. 

And so you build up a wall to keep anyone and everyone out in fear that you will be known deeply and abandoned in the end. Maybe you even hide behind the noble banner of "feminism", swearing that you don't care to ever be in a relationship because you are so much better off with "me, myself, and I." The problem with building walls is that they never exclusively affect the people around you. You inevitably end up building a barricade around YOURSELF as well. So you may think you are secure and foolproof to pain when in reality you yourself are in a prison of you own making. 

I know the sharp and lingering pains of the struggle for love all too well because for most of my adolescent years, I found myself a victim to disordered relationships. Out of self protection, I was determined to play each short and long term relationship like a game of chess, carefully and strategically calculating my next move so that no man could ever call "check mate" on my heart. And this facade works fine as long as you scratch nothing but the surface.

It wasn't until I got married that many longstanding issues I never even knew had existed began to bubble up to the surface. I have to be honest; a big part of me expected that finding a lifelong love would fill all the missing holes in my heart. That just like in Jerry Maguire, my husband would "complete me." 

It didn't take long for my rude awakening. It was day three of our honeymoon in Mexico when the union we had professed to forever have and hold til' death do we part just days ago burst into a string of heated arguments. The marital fairy dust to fix all my woes seemed to have lost its spark and I was in a full out revolt in the name of self protection. In the climax of our fight I screamed in outrage at my husband "YOU NEED ME!" What he said next I will never ever forget.

He responded, "No, Nika. I love you. But I don't need you. And you don't need me. You were made complete the moment you were fearfully and wonderfully made. You are a daughter of the King; THAT is your identity and no man can take that truth away from you. Our marriage is a gift of grace, nothing more, nothing less. We are two individual people saved through salvation, giving one another the same kind of love we have already received from Christ; showing the world what it looks like to be known to the bottom and loved to the skies anyway."

That truth began to unlock years worth of lies within me and since then, I am proud to say that by God's grace I am no longer a slave to fear. I realize now that as a woman, it is okay to have the desire to be in a relationship and marry one day. God created us to be communal beings who crave fellowship. We know this because God Himself is part of a Holy Trinity that loves, adores, defers to, and rejoices in the others. That creates a dynamic, pulsating dance of joy and love. However at the deepest foundation of those desires must always remain the heart, soul, and mind knowledge that you are VALUED, TREASURED, SEEN, WORTHY, and ENOUGH. The King and Creator of the whole Universe is crazy in love with you just because He loves you, just because He loves you, just because He loves infinity and beyond! You are loved just by being you. 

This truth holds the life-changing key to freedom in your love life. In the eternal security you have in Christ, you are now free to boldly ask for the desires of your heart concerning your love life without fear. You are no longer shackled to your circumstances because whether or not you are given a lifelong romance, you know without a shadow of a doubt that you are made full and complete in the image and loving arms of Christ. The bonus is that any relationship you enter into rooted in this knowledge becomes an overwhelming deluge to express the love you have already been freely given.

Your vast desire and capacity for intimate relationships tells you of God's vast desire and capacity for intimate relationships. In fact, this may be the most important thing we ever learn about God -that He yearns for relationship with YOU.

"Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God." -John 17:3


Xoxo, Diwa Doll


Featuring Sachin & Babi


Photography: Luke Polihrom