Saturday, July 2, 2011

How do you know...?

I received a text a few days ago from a kindred spirit of mine (that means a dear friend, in case you are not an Anne of Green Gables watcher). "So what made up your mind that Jeremiah was the person that you were supposed to marry?" I immediately thought, "This may take a while to text the answer to that question."

I must admit, when I began this post, the song from Enchanted popped into my head. "That's How You Know"  Therefore, I have provided the video so that it can be stuck in your head as well as you read. Please know that I am resisting the urge to run down my street swinging from power lines and mail boxes...It just makes you want to act like a Disney cartoon character.

The planning began many years before I met Jeremiah - from an early age, I watched how my dad treated my mom. I experienced the ways he respected her, heard the way he spoke to her, saw him help her and cherish her. I love the friendship that my parents share - In my mind, this was how all families worked. It was how I imagined my home would be one day. When I found my husband, I wanted him to be just like my dad. And I hoped to be the kind of wife that my mom was - She always said that she was dad's "cheerleader." I was excited about the day that I could encourage my husband in the same way.

Since my dad is a pastor, I heard him speak many times on finding the right mate. On one particular occasion, he gave a few lists to a group of teenagers to guide them in this area. I scribbled it all quickly in the back of my Bible. It was something I never wanted to forget, and it was a list that I frequently read.

When am I ready to date?
1. When I know what type of character pleases God
2. When I don't have to compromise my convictions to be with him.
3. When I'm willing to go single rather than go against God's will
4. When I'm concentrating on becoming the godly mate someone else is praying for.

Things I should know about the guy I marry... (Gen. 24)
    1. That he is a true child of God (vs. 4)
    2. That he is willing to live by faith (vs. 5, 7, 58)
    3. That he is God's choice for me (vs. 14)
                        I can't make something God's will. 

I was also an avid read of Brio Magazine, a magazine that Focus on the Family used to produce that focus on helping teenage girls develop in life and in their walk with Christ. Once such issue focused on creating a list when looking for a mate...not the type of list that includes all physical features (tall, dark hair, blue eyes...) but one that I could pray over. One that helped me to even begin to evaluate the friends that I was hanging around. I developed a list - including some of their suggestions and including some of my own. Over the years, I edited the list, making the last changes seven years before I got married. That list was prayed over, dreamed about, altered and reread.

Characteristics of My Future Mate – August 14, 2003
  1. Jesus is number one in his life – not just an ornament.  Mark 12:30
  2. Man of Prayer:  Knows that the key to life is private time with God. Col. 4:2
  3. His relationship with Christ is displayed in those people he chooses as friends.  Ps1
  4. Apologizes.   I don’t expect perfection.
  5. Humble enough to be taught and able to teach others.  Matt. 28:19-20
  6. Ministry minded:  where ever he is he’s available.  I Cor. 4:2
  7. Sensitive Spirit: in tune with other’s needs.  Gal. 6:2
  8. Not afraid to lead
  9. An encourager
  10. Challenges me spiritually. Stronger than I am.  Challenges me to dig deeper. Rom. 1:12
  11. Funny
  12. Musically talented or enjoys listening to it
  13. Family man:  Good with kids and treats his own family with respect.
  14. Follows through on God-given responsibilities.  I Cor. 4:2
  15. Gets along with my family
  16. Likes my style of music and has convictions about what is God honoring
  17. Is approved by my closest friends
  18. Asks my dad for permission
  19. Willing to watch “Anne of Green Gables” movies with me -  meaning, he's willing to put aside his preferences every once in a while
  20. Has goals and standards of his own and lives by them

I never dated in high school -- When I would become discouraged about why I wasn't holding on to some guys hand at basketball games or at the movies, I would remember the list and take the time to pray over it. I remember the turmoil  I faced over not having a date to my Junior/Senior Banquet (my Christian school's alternative to Prom). I will never forget my dad sitting with me in my room as tears flowed down my face. He told me that God had someone special in store for me, and he prayed with me - I survived Jr/Sr, and even hid behind a tree frog that I took as a date. I named him Frederick (sounded more sophisticated than Freddy the Frog), and when people would ask I told them proudly, "I am waiting for him to turn into my prince."

In January of 2005, I met the man who fit the list (I just didn't know it yet). Girls say that they want to be "friends first" with the guy that they marry, but often, that is not the case. You can't force yourself to be only friends if romantic feelings are already present. But it genuinely happened for me that way. We began hanging out together in the same group of friends. That friendship developed, and we were able to see each other as we really were, with out the rose colored glasses that love often places over our eyes.

We eventually began dating - and it was during this time that God began to confirm in my heart and mind that Jeremiah was the one. Had I not been praying over certain qualities and characteristics all along, I may not have felt so strongly that Jeremiah was the man God had chosen for me to spend my life with.
On March 13, 2010, I married the man on my list. He knew I had a list, but never asked what it contained. It made it more special to me, knowing that he was not trying to fulfill the items I had prayed over - the night before our wedding, after our rehearsal dinner, I handed him an envelope - it held the treasured list. I wanted him to know that he was the one I had prayed for all these years - God had truly answered my prayers. 

So for those of you out there still holding onto your "Frederick"s, waiting on your prince to come -- Don't be discouraged... God has someone perfect in store for you. Pray over what He would have for you. My dad used to tell me:

Run hard after God - then take a look at who is running with you. 
Believe the truth of Psalm 37:4, "Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires." (NLT) I've heard it said before that if your heart is focused on the Lord and you're dancing with Him, He'll let the right man cut in. He confirmed in my heart who the right one was - I know He'll do it for you. Hebrews 11:6 says"...He's a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him." Keep seeking the Lord. That's all you have to worry about at this point. He won't disappoint you.


  1. I cried reading sweet. I hope many of your college girls will read this and be encouraged! I love that last quote you highlighted from you daddy. He is such a special man. So glad you found your prince...well, that God led him to you is a better way to put it. ;)

  2. Thanks, Jennifer - I think my dad is pretty special too. Because of him, I set the bar high. Jeremiah more than met my expectations :)