When I was a zitty, hormonal 14-year-old, I began praying for my future husband. Someone, either my mother or a church youth leader, gave me this idea, and I thought that was about the most romantic idea I’d ever heard.
I tried unsuccessfully to imagine him, his face always becoming Luke Perry or Donnie Wahlberg, which even in my hopeful teenage mind seemed unlikely. Eventually, I was able to settle on the idea of him, and in a feat of strength, was able to resist throwing in a prayer that “Hey God, if someone has to marry these celebrity heartthrobs, why not me?”
My prayers were always generic, as I assumed (and based on the boys at school, fervently hoped) that I hadn’t yet met the father of my future children, and I didn’t really know what kind of prayers he needed. Health, happiness, and all of the other boring, yet vitally important prayers were thrown his way, and I kept that up for most of my teen years.
I prayed for him more when I was single, and in the fickle way of a high school girl, I forgot about the fuzzy idea of my husband when things were going well for me in the boyfriend department. Besides, some of the guys I dated needed their fair share of prayers, too, and Future Husband would have to wait patiently. Come to think of it, some of those old boyfriends could still use some divine intervention.
Sometimes I think back to those times when I would be trying to find the perfect words to help guide God’s hand in my beloved’s life. I understood the power of prayer, but I didn’t really get how asking God for things would make him go, “Oh, yeah. Amy says to give this kid health, so I’ll do that today.” Honestly, I still don’t really get how He makes decisions, but I have faith that my requests are at least heard, and that is meaningful to me.
What I didn’t know back then, when I was praying that my kids’ future dad wasn’t drinking and driving, or doing any of the incredibly stupid things that teenagers do, was that he needed my prayers. His father died when he was 12, and he, his mother, and his siblings had a rough couple of years.
I hate that I never got to meet his father. I hate that I couldn’t be there for him when his life was turned upside down in a way that no child should experience. But I love that I was doing something. I love that while I never felt connected to him before we meet, maybe my prayers were a connection.
I’m grateful for that corny suggestion of some adult in my life more than 20 years ago, and I don’t even care that my husband rolls his eyes when I marvel at all of this. He doesn’t need to know that I currently have our kids’ future spouses on my prayer list, or that I’m considering adding my unborn grandchildren to the mix. Or that, for a time, I wanted to marry Dylan McKay and live simply while spending his fortune tastefully.
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