When my parents moved to Florida, my mom gave me a box and some random stuff, labeled “Andrea.” This was a few years ago and I JUST opened the box while cleaning out the storage room. I am so glad it took me all this time to open it. There are a few 1st place ribbons from swim team. And other colors, surely for first place as well. The gloves Granny Lucy wore to her wedding and then gave to me. A sterling silver piggy bank. And a collage I had made from my trip to Austria. I was putting the frame back when a folded up paper fell out of the back of it. I opened it and couldn’t believe my eyes, or my heart, or our God.
The memory came back vividly. I was 13 at the time and crying to my mom that no man would ever love me. “How will I know when I meet my husband?” “What if I pass him by or he never loves me back?!?!” OOOOHHHHH the deep hormonal pit of despair!!!! My mom (who is a huge fan of putting things in writing) told me to sit down and write a specific list of what I wanted my husband to be like, to look like, etc. “Andreita, write it down and offer it to the Lord.” And I did. My list: -Tall, at least 6’4” -Strong -Hazel eyes -Freckles -Good person -Helpful heart -Loving. I remember folding up that piece of loose leaf paper, holding it in my hands and asking God to hear my prayer.
For those of you that don’t know him, Jason is 6’4” with hazel eyes and freckles. He was the quarterback of the football team and a baseball pitcher in high school and college. Also, his name means “healer.” And my giant, good-hearted husband is a snuggler. There’s more. Jason lived in my neighborhood, rode the same school bus, graduated the same year, same high school; and we NEVER talked to each other. It wasn’t until 1998 that our paths would cross…. In our neighborhood… at a pre-prom photo opp of his sister and mine. Crazy, right? I wrote my “dreamy husband” list 5 years before that meeting. I offered up my sincere, specific prayer and it was answered… to the last freckle! I LOVE that I found that letter for so many reasons.
Because here I am now, ready to put another very sincere and very specific prayer request to God. I know He hears me. I know He loves me. I know he will answer me. And I know it will be in His timing. And that is the sticky part for me. Maybe it is for you too. Wait, “sticky” is not the word. Ummm… annoying, frustrating, hard, slow, too quick, NOT MINE? Yep, that’s better. The prayer is mine but the power and timing and answer is all His. Proverbs 16:9 says “in their hearts, humans plan their course but the Lord establishes their steps.” Dang it. And Hallelujiah! This is the hard part!!! Looking back AGAIN, I see how good and right and knowing God is in my life.
And the timing couldn’t be more perfect, more holy… This past year, advocating for Joseph became a full-time job. I was either on the phone trying to get somebody to help figure out what is wrong with him or I was traveling to 3 different hospitals (luckily all close) to get the latest measurements and results or I was maintaining communication among the team of docs, taking notes, submitting forms, scheduling next appointments, feeling the rollercoaster of “it could be this or it could be that” and all the while keeping Joseph calm. I have done what I can. I am still learning.
I opened the book of Ephesians and got just what I needed. Paul wrote a letter to the people of Ephesus, offering encouragement on how to “walk the walk” of faith. Have you read it? You should, again and again. It’s a major pep talk in just a few pages…
You were chosen before creation 1v4 Just makes me imagine God getting all excited because he planned you
You are called to Hope 1v18
You are asked to make the most of every opportunity 5v16
After you have done everything…STAND 6v13
I am so grateful for the trust of my 13 year old heart. I am so grateful for celebrating 18 years with my husband who checked everything on that list and more. I am grateful for the stamina of this past year to fight for my boy to get to the right place, at the right time. Can I pray for you somehow? Pray for me please to trust in the process and the timing, to let go and let God. Pray for me to remember I am planned, I am called to hope, to make the most of every opportunity and at the end of the day to stand on that truth.
Dang it and Hallelujah!