One of my favorite stories of God’s grace in my life is the story of how I met my husband. It was a total God thing and I have told it to many single friends to encourage them. But, I was not always a believer in praying specifically for the husband I wanted or even for the husband God wanted for me. I was actually pretty sure that I could determine who the right guy was on my own and that if it was “meant to be” we would somehow cross paths. Dear friends….I was very, VERY wrong. You absolutely can pray for the husband you want and God will 100% deliver in His time.
Remember when you were a kid and your mom would tell you things like “if you keep making that face it’s going to freeze that way” and even as a clueless five-year-old you knew that it wasn’t true. That was how I felt every single time I heard someone say that they prayed for their now-husband. I attended a Christian university so I heard things like this on a regular basis. I knew girls who were praying every day for the man that they wanted to meet and marry. And even until the day I graduated I was nothing short of skeptical and quite honestly annoyed with the whole idea. Much to my own surprise, however, was that it wasn’t at all like mom saying my face would freeze. It was actually more like her saying that if I went outside in the cold with wet hair I would catch a cold…yes it could happen…but I would likely have to be outside, in the perfectly cold temperature and stay out there quite some time. Basically, it was possible, but the timing and circumstance had to be just right.
Before I began praying for my husband I had pretty much hit rock bottom in the relationship realm. I was living alone in a new town, just moved into my first apartment on my own, and though I was excited about this new chapter of life and my first post-grad job…I felt so lonely. My family and friends were far away and my heart had been broken about 3 times that year so men were the very last thing on my list of priorities by that November. But one night, alone in my apartment and at the end of my loneliness rope I broke down and….I literally screamed at God!
Yes…I screamed out loud at the creator of the universe because I blamed Him for my loneliness. Though I was the one refusing to persevere and pray for a future husband, I blamed Him. So I yelled at God for a little while; some audibly, some quietly in my heart. I asked questions and begged and pretty much had a complete and total breakdown.
I remember sitting on my floor, my head in a chair, and realizing how crazy I must look in that moment. And then I felt God nudging my heart and suddenly it was His turn to speak. “Why have you doubted me?” “Why haven’t you asked me for the one you want?”
And then I cried. A lot. Because He was so right. Why was I blaming Him when He promised in His word to give me everything I will ever need (Phil. 4:19) as well as provide me with the desires of my heart (Psalm 37:4) if I simply humble myself and ask Him (Matt. 7:7) while also being faithful and obedient (Matt. 6:33). That night began the remarkably short prayer journey to meeting my husband.
I dried my tears, after uttering my many regrets and apologies to the Lord, and reached for my prayer journal. And there, where I wrote all my longings and ponderings and prayers and frustrations, I made a list. A fun fact about me? I LOVE MAKING LISTS. I have been a crazy organized person from birth and lists are the only way I function. But this list was perhaps the most important I had ever made. I made a list of all the things I wanted in a husband. And I started praying over that list.
That was right after Thanksgiving and by December 13th that year, I met David.
So what was on my list?
Well, I prayed for things I knew I needed in a partner and then I prayed for things I simply wanted….even the petty things! I wrote it all down and promised myself that if the person I met did not have everything on the list that I would know he was not the one God wanted for me. I asked for someone who followed Christ so faithfully that I would be able to see Him shining through. I asked for brown eyes. I prayed for someone who enjoyed fitness because I need accountability in that area. I asked for someone who worked in a similar field as I did and could fully support my career. I listed glasses as an added bonus because I love a man in glasses. I prayed for someone who would love me for everything I am and everything I am not. I asked that He would be able to handle all of my crazy emotions and be able to understand my very difficult struggle with body image and food.
I think on some level I made the list in hopes that it would keep me from any more broken hearts because no man could possibly meet every requirement on my list. Yet again….I was wrong. (May I just say that as a stubborn and needs-to-be-right-all-the-time kind of person, I am not enjoying how much I need to admit I’m wrong in this post.)
I was sure I was crazy for making that list. So I was blown away when I met David that December night. The first thing I noticed about him? The light that shown out of him. The light of Christ that I prayed for. By the end of the night I had checked almost everything off of my list. He was a runner, worked in home restoration, and had 5 sisters so he was well equipped to handle my emotional break downs and body image issues. The only thing missing was the glasses. But I figured 99% of everything I wanted was pretty good and that there was no way I would ever meet anyone else like him. Of course the night of our first date, exactly one week later, I walked in and there he was…WEARING GLASSES. GOD ANSWERS PRAYER. And sometimes He goes so far beyond anything we ever believed would happen just because HE CAN. Just to show us what He can do. Just to reveal to our doubting hearts what a personal God He is. Ya’ll, where in the Bible does it say that I deserve to have the brown-eyed boy in glasses that I dreamed of? Nowhere! But the same God I screamed at that night for not getting my way is the same one who placed His hand on my life and changed the course of my story with a tall, brown-eyed boy.
So, I tell you all of that to say that you can have it too! You can pray and get the husband that you want and need. Yes, I believe God intends for certain people to be together and that He can make it happen no matter what. But, I also believe that God greatly blesses those that are fervent in prayer and faithful and that He will write their stories with a little extra magic. Don’t miss out on your magic! Pray. Believe. Obey. Be Faithful. And He will give you everything good that your heart desires. Does He have a plan of His own? Absolutely! But if you truly desire what is good then you will also desire what He has for you. And when your wants align with what God wants for you…amazing things will happen!
And it may take time. Don’t be discouraged if it starts to feel like God is silent. Delay does not equal Refusal. David prayed for me for SIX YEARS. I prayed for THREE WEEKS. So God’s timing is different for everyone because He teaches us different lessons. He taught David patience and how to trust in Him. He taught me about the power of prayer and believing that God can do amazing things.
Maybe you have been doubting or maybe you have given up or maybe you have prayed for what seems like forever. Dear, sweet friend…there is a lesson in that! Our Creator uses every situation He can to teach us more about Himself and to better prepare us for His calling on our life. Stay faithful! He will come through for you in His time.
Maybe some of you feel like your mom is saying the whole frozen face thing all over again as you read this. If that is the case, may I just invite you and challenge you to seek God and His plan in a new way. Maybe that means you make a list of your own. Maybe you commit to praying for one full hour every day. Maybe it’s even as simple as starting to pray that your plan begins to align with His. Whatever it might be, just try it. You will be amazed by what He can do with even the smallest amount of faith (Matt. 17:20).
One very important part of this story that I beg you not to miss is the final part of my prayer that night and every night that followed. I prayed over that list and did my best to believe that God would make it happen. I prayed that He would make me the person and wife I needed to be for whoever my husband would be. But I also knew that in that moment of breaking down and being lonelier than I ever had before that He knew exactly how I felt. He knew my loneliness on a whole different level and every ache in my heart felt just as real to Him as it did to me. And because of that, the final part of my prayer was “Lord, even if this never happens. Even if it’s just you and me from now until forever, I am okay with that.” I had to get to the point, even in the midst of longing and hoping and list-making, that I would still be joyful if no husband ever came and the only love story I ever had was the one I have with Jesus. Because, after all, isn’t that the greatest love story any of us will ever know?
So, friend, whatever the longing of your heart is. Whatever your dream is. Whatever it is in your life that you would spend hours and days and weeks praying over…DO IT. Pray. Let God show you what He can do. And while He is working on that part, I ask you to sit contently in the love He has for you and try to come to a place of knowing that if every dream you ever have is shattered that He is still good and still loving and that the story He is writing for you is so carefully and uniquely penned that He wouldn’t let anyone else have it but you. Come to a place of knowing that being in love with Him, that having forever with Him, is all the love story you will ever need. Because it’s in that moment that He starts to write something truly breath taking.