A decade of prayer, and I’m here. Finally. Let me rewind.
Ten years ago almost to the date, I began intentionally praying for my husband, who at the time, was a distant stranger. I began praying for him for a few reasons. I was saddened after a breakup. I was longing for marriage. And I was lost. I felt like I had no direction and it seemed all of my other friends were in serious relationships and getting married. And there I was the newly single friend. But I felt such a clarity at that time, ten years ago. I knew God was good on his Word as I had seen his faithfulness so many other times. I was 21 years old about to finish college. I thought I knew so much. And in some ways I did. However, looking through my lens now I see how God shaped a 21 year old girl who was unsure, lonely (at times), confident yet paradoxically insecure and molded her to be a woman that prayed for her biggest dream.
You see, ten years ago, in my singleness, I hit a point where I was desperate. Not desperate to be married or in a relationship, but desperate for God’s direction for that area of my life. I couldn’t understand what God was doing, but I was convinced that God had a man out there somewhere just for me. I was convinced that God gave me that promise. I was convinced that God would show up. Granted…I didn’t think it would take ten years. I didn’t think I’d have to wait so long.
Then again…neither did Abraham and Sarah.
You see, they had a dream. And they were heartbroken probably for a long time because their dream seemed to come up empty. Then God showed up and made them a clear promise that they would not only have a child, but a legacy far greater than they could have imagined. They had to wait a lot longer than I did to see their promise come to fruition. During their time of waiting, they tried making it happen on their own. I wrote about that more here when they settled with a surrogate to God’s promise, a counterfeit. A fraud. God still used their mistake for his glory. And then one day…the promise came. After decades of waiting, and in their beyond-elderly years, Sarah became pregnant. It had to have felt like a dream. It must have been surreal for the dream to now be tangible.
And that is how I have been feeling for the better part of a year, but especially the past month. You see three weeks ago I married the man that was beyond all the prayers I had prayed for my husband. He exceeded expectations. When the Bible talks about God doing abundantly beyond what we can ask or imagine, I can honestly say it is actually what God did for me when it comes to my husband. Ten years ago when I began praying for my husband (forgive me as I am still excited to actually say “my husband”), I began something else very intentionally. Ten years ago, on a plane to Israel for my study abroad, I had a journal. Anyone who knows me well enough knows that I not only love writing, but I process things when I write. I have prayer journals that I have written in for almost fifteen years. They’re basically my prayer genealogy- prayers prayed and answered. It’s incredible to look back and see what God has done. But this journal was different. I took a leap of faith. I was trusting God with my most vulnerable part of me- my heart. I longed to be married and become a wife and live life, ministry, adventure, and more with my husband, a man of mystery. So I decided since at the time I didn’t know my husband, and I was very single, why not journal letters to my future husband. He could still hear (read) about my life and things that were happening. He could still be a part of the years prior to our meeting. And then I met my husband for real. No other man in my life, past or present, was like him. And it was almost instantly (a few weeks honestly) that I felt that he was man that I had been writing letters to all these years. Nine years before meeting him. I prayed everyday for my husband.
What blows my mind about this and why I constantly feel so humbled is that God was faithful. He not only was faithful in a dream I had, a prayer I had, and a hope I held deep in my heart, he showed up and surprised me with someone far greater than I imagined. Friend, I don’t tell you all of this to brag about my life. I tell you this as someone who went through every seeming emotion over the course of nine years of singleness, one brief but terrible relationship, and still held onto a prayer. I tell you this as someone who held that prayer before God every day because I believed he would do something. I even prayed that if God didn’t want me to be married, he would give me peace in the indefinite singleness. And for a while that’s exactly what he did. Friend I tell you this because three weeks ago I said “I do” as the finality of a long season of waiting and prayer and preparation for a dream that God did all to still believe it was worth it. It was worth every day waiting. Every day wondering “when”. God not only was faithful in his word to me, he surpassed my prayers. You see, God didn’t have to give me a husband for me to be serving him still. I learned through that season that God was good despite my circumstances. I learned that God loved me massively beyond what I could comprehend. But I also learned obedience and prayer, and though I may have struggled at times, I believe God saw my heart and knew his promise, much like that of Abraham and Sarah, and decided that now was the best time for me to see it come to pass. And what’s amazing is that this isn’t even the end of the story. It’s just the beginning of a new chapter.
Wherever you find yourself tonight, trust that God has a plan for you and story he is writing that is far better than one you could write on your own. We are not our best storyteller or writer. God is. And I can tell you that waiting on God’s promise is beautifully humbling. Trust him, and the only way to do that is to get to know him. Spend the time to get to know him. Spend the time to learn his Word and see what he has to say in your life. And then be obedient. Let him lead your life. And when you do, I can promise you this: it will be worth it in every way. After a decade of waiting and trusting God, and now seeing his handiwork, I can absolutely tell you it is worth every moment of following God.