Before I went off to college, finding a husband was always on my mind. I had shared that desire with a friend who was married and she suggested I start writing journal entries to him during the waiting process. It had helped her a lot.
I was all over her advice because I loved to write and reflect anyway. I had five spiral bound journals I’d written in since middle school. Yellow legal pads were always laying around our house, so I got one out and wrote my first entry on Dec. 16, 2001:
Hello ___________! As of tonight I’ve decided to write to you every once in a while. As you’ve figured out I am a very random girl and maybe you could say this is definitely random. However, it is also extremely special and I can’t wait to meet you one day. I’m committing myself to pray for you each day. I want to tell you where I am in life right now…
I went on to write about what God was doing in my life. I shared my hopes, desires, dreams, frustrations, and I prayed for patience in waiting on God. I prayed that God would keep us both pure while we waited on each other.
At first it was strange writing to someone I’d never met. And ultimately, I didn’t know God’s will. Would I ever get to meet the “husband” I was writing to? Or would it be a waste of time?
A Bold Prayer
The desire to be married burned wildly in my heart. I began to trust that God would answer my prayers so I wrote like crazy and I closed out the first entry with these words:
Thank you for motivating me to start this. You are my husband and I want to give you everything I can. You know how much I value writing and letters and to be able to just write this to you now is a blessing. Thank you for reading my heart.
As months passed by, I wrote about my struggles as I watched my closest friends have serious relationships. My roommate during all three years of college had graduated one year early to marry her husband.
My roommate my senior year of college had been dating her boyfriend for several years and they had a healthy, fun, God-centered relationship that inspired me. I was often the third wheel and never felt uncomfortable. I wanted a dating relationship just like theirs.
I’d dated guys here and there and liked one guy on and off for a very long time, but nothing ever worked out. I was also frustrated with the dating scene and being attracted to guys that weren’t necessarily marriage material.
I started to pray that God wouldn’t bring anyone into my life until I was ready for marriage. I knew it was a bold prayer. But I knew that if I trusted the Lord, he would honor my request.
From Nashville to Virginia
A few years passed by and in 2004, I graduated from college. That summer I lived in Nashville for a publishing internship. I was interested in a guy at church who seemed interested in me. I thought he could possibly be the one. He just didn’t know it yet! Oddly enough, a few weeks passed by and I never saw him at church again. I heard he was going to be out of town for most of the summer.
I remember giving God a few words that day:
I’m done. I need to be content in you and not worry about finding the one.
I meant this prayer with everything in me. I knew I had to be content in the reality that God’s plan might not be for me to marry. I had to be okay with whatever his plans were. My life was his. And his will was always right.
The very last week of my internship, after much wrestling with God and praying through what to do, I felt led to go to seminary. After praying through the many choices and seeking counsel, I went back to the seminary of the college I’d graduated from in Virginia.
It was like pulling teeth because I wanted to settle and make a life for myself in Nashville. But I trusted God’s leading and ended up getting a full scholarship. I knew it was God’s plan and that it would be an adventure. When it came to dating, I wanted nothing to do with it. I was content for once in my life!
And little did I know that God’s ways are often not our ways. A few weeks into classes, a young man in my Church History class named Jeremiah asked me to go to lunch and from then on we were inseparable. He was the whole package I had prayed for. He loved the Lord and had a heart for people. He was even tall, dark, and handsome!
After having the “DTR” talk a month and a half later and Jeremiah asking my Dad for permission to date me, we courted for seven months. He popped the question at the Jordan River on a class trip and we were engaged for six long months. During the rush of planning our Christmas wedding, I continued to write him letters and one night I noticed something really special:
I found out an extremely ironic thing yesterday. The date I started writing journal entries to you was on Dec. 16, 2001. Can you believe that? One day from the date of our wedding. I would not say that was coincidence. I can’t wait to surprise you at the rehearsal dinner. I was going to surprise you on our honeymoon night but I was encouraged to surprise you in front of everyone. I love you.
Sure enough, that night arrived. Our wedding party, friends, and family all celebrated with us at a romantic Italian restaurant. After we ate the groom’s cake, I presented all four years of entries to Jeremiah in a small black and white treasure box, along with my True Love Waits card I had signed in high school. Everyone smiled and clapped. He was so surprised and tears welled up in his eyes.
I was so grateful for the four years of writing to Jeremiah because it helped me persevere through some of the hardest years of my life—singlehood. Presenting the box to him was not only a beautiful moment but it was a tangible reminder of God’s goodness and faithfulness in bringing the two of us together.
Today, almost six years later, the letters have moved everywhere we have. We keep the treasure box on the nightstand next to our bed. Every once in a while we read the entries out loud and reminisce together about our love. And we laugh. A whole lot!