Sunday, September 16, 2012

Love Letters: Part 3

This is part 3 of a series of letters that Josh and I wrote to each other during the semester before we got engaged. To start at the beginning, go to Part 1.

Because I included an old picture of Josh in the last post, he made me promise to use an old one of me in this one. So here I am with my friend Martha at Passion '05 in Nashville!

Josh, I got your letters mailed today! I’m so proud of myself! I learned that I can mail letters from Health Services, so it may take a day longer, but at least they’re getting out there.

I wish I had fancy schmancy-pants personalized stationery like you do… ;) I at least need to start writing with a pen ‘cause lead smears. I just keep forgetting to put one in my backpack. I’d wondered if it was going to be strictly a mail back and forth, 1:1 letter ratio kind of thing, but I don’t think it’s shaping up that way and I like that. I don’t know if that makes any sense, but basically I love getting letters from you.

Just to remind you, last night we had a convo on MSN about your confidence making me nervous, but I wanted to say again that you finally made me feel better about it. I am just so concerned about your heart. I hate the idea of you getting hurt because of me. And I know that you only view that chance as an opportunity for growth, but you have to understand that I still care about you and don’t want to bring you pain. I know you are praying for me and I appreciate that so much. I know that logically, being with you makes so much sense. You have such a heart for God and He is blessing you with wisdom, you care about me, you have been kept so pure which is absolutely precious to me and so rare these days, we want the same things… I’m just so no there, Josh. Maybe I say that too often, but I want to make sure I never lead you on or give you the wrong impression. Ugh… why do you have to make things so complicated for me??

I’m sorry… I’ll move on to something lighter. So in the mornings I’ve been listening to the Hope Harbor Show before work and lately he’s been talking about fear being a perverted form of faith. I’ve always been SUCH an extreme scaredy cat and I’m realizing that fear just comes from a lack of faith in God, and actually putting my faith in something else (like in the inevitability of evil). It’s been good for me and I’m learning a lot, but I’ve still got a while to go. Such very, very deep-seated fear is really hard to shake!

I know that you are praying for me and that means so much to me! Please let me know anything that I can specifically pray for you about. I beg God to protect your heart and to keep your focus on Him alone. I pray for wisdom and discernment for you and that you would be obedient to our Father.

Your sister,
Stacy Leigh Browning

January 26, 2005
Dear Stacy Leigh,
Up to now my letters have been mostly solemn and serious. I believe that all I have written has been good and perhaps even necessary; however, I fear that these may cause you to believe that upon coming to school, I have lost all light-heartedness, but this simply is not true. I am still very much my gay self (That’s right! I just described myself as gay!). To prove this to you I have set forth to write you a jolly letter reflecting my gaiety.

But first, I would like to discuss one matter of seriousness. I was utterly appalled at your disdain of my writing poetry. You seem to be victim to the 21st century stereotype that poetry is feminine. Yet, for millennia poetry has been a masculine art.

Is not Homer the father of poetry? And Shakespeare, a poet, is the most regarded figure in English literature ever to bring pen to paper, but you think yourself capable of declaring a male poet as odd and perhaps even sexually confused? Blasphemy!

Does not scripture itself accept poetry as a masculine art? Who can be said to be more of a man’s man than David, the shepherd, the giant-slayer, the renegade-warrior, the King even? But you, Stacy Leigh, would call David a pansy for playing the harp and writing poetic prayers! Would you reject the Psalms, even God’s living word, because of their emasculate author?

The space is not here to declare the greatness of the countless other male poets. The works of Cicero, John Donne, Lovelace, Marlowe, Byron, Longfellow, Poe, Frost, and the rest of the cloud of witnesses must speak for me here, and they do speak with endless words!

The poet,
Joshua Caleb Hutchens

P.S. I guess that less serious letter will just have to wait.

January 27, 2005
Dear Stacy Leigh,
I’m writing to you from class, Intro to Missions, which is great, but we’re just reviewing our reading and McClellan’s voice is soothing, lulling me to sleep. So, I’m actually paying more attention while writing you than I was before.

By the time you get this, I will have seen you again! Right now, I am boiling over with excitement. For me, it has been true that “distance makes the heart grow fonder,” and I have not received a letter from you yet. Who knows how much my heart will ache for you upon receiving one?

If your letters are delayed another day, I will write the US Postmaster complaining. He is on my radar and better watch out!

I have thought several times since I have been here that I wish I could just take you along with me everywhere I go. I wish I could take you to chapel and watch your reactions to the organ and the orchestra playing ancient hymns. I imagine myself looking at you and smiling during the good points of the sermon, or whispering to you irreverently about someone’s bad hair. A little odd, huh?

Well, I am odd. I am weird. You know that just as I know you are odd. That is one of the things I miss about you, all your oddities, but mostly I just miss you. That’s big. I miss you! Not merely companionship but your companionship. I miss you. This weekend is going to be good! I hope it comes quickly.

Missing you,
Joshua Caleb Hutchens
Here’s what I’ve decided is my problem – time management. I’ll have a couple of free hours here and there in late afternoon, but I usually waste them on the internet or doing something equally unproductive. I’ve really got to work on that. I’m in what my health 191 teacher would call “the contemplative stage.”

Speaking of class, my psychology class this morning absolutely fascinated me! We talked about neurons in the brain and how signals are transmitted and all the different chemicals in the brain that do certain things and I was just WOWED! It blows my mind to learn about how God puts our bodies together so they work like they do! I mean, it’s so detailed and precise… I really think He was showing off. I mean it’s just mind blowing! Who knew that I would be worshipping God in my psychology class this morning? It was great.

I’m excited about the time we’ll get to spend together this weekend! I wasn’t expecting to get to see you except at the Wildhorse. I’m sure we’ll have plenty of conversations on Friday (hey, that’s tomorrow!!), so there’s not really any sense in saying that much here, is there? You’ll be finding this letter in your mailbox long after you get back from this weekend.

Again, I apologize for the randomness of my letters. I’m finding that the only time I have to write (or at least the majority of it) is during my rec 101 class. Luckily for you, it’s not the hardest class in the league, so I can spare the brain power. ☺ Unfortunately for you, it’s not exactly the most focused brain on the block. You win some, you lose some I guess.

I would like to comment on the letters you write and let you know how much I appreciate them! I almost cried reading the one about you praying for me. I love seeing your heart for the Lord in each letter. You really don’t know how much I respect and admire your walk with Him! (And I know you’ll say not to, but quit being humble for a minute and let me pay you a compliment!)

I will see you tomorrow and I’m so excited!! Hopefully I’ll get this mailed this afternoon… I promise I really will try. ☺

In Him,
Stacy Leigh Browning

Continued in Part 4...

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