In a series of letters to her younger self, Lysa TerKeurst recently dropped some serious truth on love, life, and God that women across the nation are gleaning valuable wisdom from.
Starting last month, The Proverbs 31 President began penning messages she has coined “Lysa Letters” to her 21 to 25-year-old self.
The first, written on the topic of love, was perhaps the most enthralling for Lysa’s followers, particularly after the rocky road her marriage has been on over the past couple years.
“This topic of love is hands down one of the most important,” wrote Lysa. “I’ve learned more about love the past three years than ever before. And though it’s been a devastating season, it’s also been a time of great revelation and redemption.”
News of her anticipated divorce from estranged husband Art TerKeurst broke in June 2017 after Lysa revealed her husband’s infidelity and substance abuse led to their relationship demise.
But about a year later, the once heartbroken Christian minister shared news of God’s redemption in her marriage as she renewed vows with her beloved husband.
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Then one day he whispered, “We must help others going through this. We must let God bring good from our story.” And I knew. I knew we had finally turned a corner in the long journey of healing. He wanted to lead the way for us to find purpose in our pain. And something about that honest humility gave my heart a soft place to land. Dear hurting one, we see you. We hear you. We read your comments. You are not invisible to us. Both… those who feel abandoned. And those who are trying to figure out restoration. We know the deep nuances of your pain. And as God leads, we are committed to inviting you in to what we’ve learned, what we know, and how to find the help you need to move forward. Make no mistake the light dancing in our eyes is not just a joy for us. It’s a wildfire, a battle cry, a high calling to help you…fueling something to come.
Clearly, Lysa’s love journey paved by devastation, tears, and heartbreak was far outside the one she ever imagined or hoped for… but would she go back and change it if she could?
The answer may surprise you.
“Don’t look at love as something you’ll get to right all of your wrongs and fill up all your insecurities,” wrote the 49-year-old. “Look at love as something to be prepared enough to give.”
She then shared a profound marriage lesson that took her decades to fully learn:
“Remember 95 percent of the time in marriage is learning to be life partners and companions. A much smaller percent of time is bedroom stuff. Attraction is important but character is what you live with.”
The Proverbs 31 President challenged her younger self to allow a man’s ‘actions today’ to speak to that character and reveal who he is as a person:
“Don’t date with wishful thinking. Changing him is God’s business, not yours. Let his actions today tell you who he really is and then be brave enough to believe him. An older, hopefully wiser, Lysa.”
In a second letter to her 22-year-old self, Lysa also cautions that the relationship decisions made today have far-reaching implications for tomorrow:
“When what you see in someone you’re dating today doesn’t line up with what you’re praying for your future, slow down and consider this. The decisions you make today are pointing you in a direction your life will go tomorrow. Make sure this direction isn’t a justification in disguise. Ask yourself, is this relationship truly in line with God’s word and His faithfulness.”
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So, the question remains, would the older and wiser 49-year-old still advise the naive 21-year-old of 26 years ago to choose the man she’s committed today?
Did his actions back then reveal that he would be a man who would serve her well today, in spite of his period of unfaithfulness?
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I’m writing these letters because I feel such a tender responsibility to speak life and truth into the generations coming behind me. And this topic of love is hands down one of the most important. I’ve learned more about love the past three years than ever before. And though it’s been a devastating season, it’s also been a time of great revelation and redemption. I would choose to marry Art all over again. After all, who he really is emerged most evident when he chose to come back home. Yes, we’ve been through the lowest of times. But 26 years ago, I saw a man who is humble enough to let God course correct him. And ultimately, one who chooses to do the right thing even when all the odds are stacked against him. #lysasletters
The answer is a resounding “yes.”
“I would choose to marry Art all over again,” she revealed. “After all, who he really is emerged most evident when he chose to come back home. Yes, we’ve been through the lowest of times. But 26 years ago, I saw a man who is humble enough to let God course correct him. And ultimately, one who chooses to do the right thing even when all the odds are stacked against him.”
You see, the key is not finding the perfect husband — one who never makes mistakes, fails you, or disappoints you. In that case, we’d all remain single ’til Christ comes again. It’s finding a man who, in spite of his shortcomings, allows his character and actions to be continually molded by the heart and hand of God.
Does Lysa’s marital wisdom resonate with you in your own marriage? Share how the man the “younger you” chose shines through in your relationship today.