Waiting on anything is hard.
The waiting -no matter what for- can be anxiety inducing + is often not fun. I promise it is worth it, though. Whatever you are waiting for, it is worth the waiting. Like a good aged red wine, patience pays.
This is our story. My story of waiting. Mine and Paul’s story story of redemption + grace. I hope it encourages you. I hope it reveals something for you. I hope more than anything it shows you how much God loves us.
Ever since I was a very little girl, I can remember longing to be a wife. I would sit and fantasize about who my husband would be, what he would look like, what he did, and what I would look like as a grown up. I had high hopes of us being rich and famous, having a large white home, driving a nice car, and having lots of puppies. (That’s not a joke.) Of course, as I am actually married now, the ideals and day to day life of being married look a lot different. We are not famous, certainly not rich, and though I have a puppy, there are far greater worries in life than playing with a bunch of dogs all day. (Can you tell by childhood fantasies I was always an animal lover?) One thing that did stay the same the 20 plus years I waited to meet my now husband is that I prayed for him intensely. Every night I would lay in bed wondering what my future husband was doing right that moment. I would sometimes feel an urge to pray that he would be ripped up from temptations he was encountering that, now looking back, I fully believe were happening in that exact moment. I know this sounds kind of crazy and makes me come across like a looney, over spiritual bible hugger (I guess, really, there’s nothing wrong that), but I swear I wasn’t. I was as normal of a teenager as they come, I suppose. I didn’t sit and talk all the time about how I was praying for my husband or anything, I just did. In fact, I probably could have talked about it more but back then I was embarrassed about it.
So how do you pray for your husband? What does that even look like? How do you pray for someone you do not know?
I firstly begged for God to bring me a husband. I know being married isn’t something everyone gets or even desires, but I knew deep down it was something I wanted in my story. So, I would pray for him, knowing also that if God didn’t bring me a husband, I would be just fine. I would ache for him to be protected from sin, and I asked that God would not let me fall in love until I met the man I was meant to. I swear, I was a crazy little girl. Who prays that? But, I remember asking for that specifically when I was around 13 years old. I even went so far as to ask God to make me sick to my stomach on any date I went on so I would know not to waste my time. In case you are wondering, he did. Literally, every single date I went on throughout high school and college, I would come home physically sick. How much does God love us that he would answer such a specific (SILLY) prayer simply to show off how real he is? I would sit in anxiety and know I couldn’t date that person. Of course, there was always some apprehension and there are stories of me fighting what I knew the Lord was telling me, but it ultimately protected my heart. I am not ashamed or embarrassed to say I waited in every way possible for marriage. I wanted to save my body and full heart for my husband. It wasn’t easy, but it was something I felt a burden for. The waiting is not an easy place to be. I understand that fully.
You can scoff and say, “Right. well, you’re 23 years old and married, so I don’t want to hear you talk about “the waiting.” But, as I started thinking about a husband at age 5, I can say I do know what it’s like to wait. Being burdened for something and someone so early in my life, waiting was real to me. Age 16, 17, 18 while all my friends had serious boyfriends, I couldn’t even like someone consistently for more than a week. In response, I would just drag around the same couple of guys to make me feel normal when in reality, I wasn’t. Bottom line, if you’re praying for your husband at any age, you’re really not normal. To take that even further, if you simply love Jesus, you are set apart. You aren’t normal. We are, as believers, just different. It is the way we are designed.
So then, there came the day I actually met Paul Morrison. When a week came and went, and I wasn’t disgusted by the thought of Paul, I knew this guy was something important. After three weeks, I was certain this had to be the guy I was going to marry. See, my story has a lot of puzzle pieces to it. In addition to the Lord protecting me exactly as I had asked for him to growing up, I also experienced attacks as a young woman. Not physical, but emotional. I was disrespected by men greatly, which only made me strive more for purity. I hated men, I felt violated by men and I really began to think maybe the reason God made me sick to my stomach by men was because I wasn’t meant to ever get married. I closed myself off to the world older in my teen years much because I was afraid of being spoken to poorly or even having to fear for my life, always watching if I was being followed. I had a lot of pain to work through before I met Paul. Paul came in at the perfect time, though, of course. That’s how God works, right? Even if you don’t believe in the same God I do, we can almost all agree on things happening for a reason and at the right time. Paul was different.
Paul and I have very different stories, very different families, very different pasts. Yet, our stories fit and combined, extending grace where we have baggage and restoration where walls were rugged and falling over. Much of my story is that, though I wanted to be married, I waited and didn’t settle. Ladies, do not settle. Do not date just to have the thrill of dating. That, too, is settling.
Our stories are different. I don’t expect them to look the same. I don’t judge stories different from mine. All I hope for you is that you can prepare your heart well for what is to come. And, remember, there is always more grace to be had. Because this could be read in a way I do not want it to be, I will be really frank when I say I don’t write this thinking I am above anyone else or with a “holier than thou” attitude. Believe me when I say there are areas of my life and pieces of my story much grace and forgiveness has been needed. Places where I have had a terrible, harmful view of myself. Places of anger and temptation. But for whatever reason, God made this my story to share. If you take anything at all from this story, do not let it be my marriage. Marriage is hard, I hope you hear we aren’t perfect. We certainly do not nail it everyday. But, more than anything, I hope that you hear me when I say I serve and love a God who loves us so deeply, he answers the most specific of prayers. Not always and definitely not because we deserve it, but because he is a God who cares to show how real, big, and sovereign he is.
You are loved. Do you hear me? Sometimes waiting can be lonely, you aren’t alone. Whatever you are waiting on, you are not alone. My door (or inbox) is always open. I love hearing from you, I love your questions, I love giving you answers to the best of my ability. I am here.