I knew what I wanted. I was very clear and direct with my prayer. “God, I’m ready to start dating to find my wife.” While this prayer might not seem like big deal to someone else, it was HUGE for me. At that point in my life, I was trying to dig myself out of a hole. I was struggling with credit card debt and at the beginning of what would be a 140 pound weightloss journey. I was also in transition, as I had to make one of the hardest decisions in my life – to move out of my two-bedroom bachelor pad and back to my grandmother’s house. It was the best financial decision and I needed something to change fast. I hadn’t been in a long term relationship in over four years and the way my previous relationship ended, I thought all women were crazy. I knew that I’d rather be alone than in a toxic relationship.
Although I always believed I would be a great husband and father, the relationship aspect of that scenario was a little fuzzy for me. Could I trust someone with my heart? Was I stable enough to be a good husband and take care of my family? Did I know how to love a woman enough that she would have no problem respecting me and meeting my needs? I had no example of what it meant to be a real man and living without a father only made my identity struggles worse.
The only relationships that I saw in my life were filled with dysfunctional, unhappy, co-dependent people who did not know who they were outside of a relationship. I grew up in a house where I witnessed verbal and physical abuse on a regular basis. It was not healthy and ultimately caused me to be particularly sensitive about who I chose as my partner in life. It also caused me to have serious emotional issues, including anger, fear, low self-esteem and anxiety. I was concerned that these issues would be problematic in a romantic relationship so I chose to be alone until I dealt with my issues. I didn’t have much relationship experience in my teens and the one girl who I ended up in a long term relationship with while in college had her own cup of crazy to deal with. It was a bad break up but it was necessary.
However, when I prayed and told God I was ready to start dating, that was after I had spent much time in isolation dealing with my issues. I spent time facing giants in my life. Debt. Weightloss. Figuring out how to live as a man of God and how to walk as a Christian with integrity. I had forgiven myself for letting my life spiral out of control and I forgave people that I felt caused me a great deal of hurt in my life. I was actively pursuing God and his presence, which allowed me to heal and mature. While there was still residue, I was walking in freedom and ready to find my soulmate.
When Sondra and I went on our first date, I knew she was the one. Well…I knew she liked me for the man who I was and that alone was big for me. During our courtship which was only 4 ½ months before I proposed, God spoke clearly to me saying, “She is the one you’ve been praying for.” I felt free to love Sondra with everything in me. I saw my future and in my vision she was right beside me.
As she walked down the aisle on our wedding day, I was overwhelmed with emotion. As the tears flowed, I experienced an amazing feeling of gratefulness. God had done it again. My prayer was answered. From the time I prayed that prayer until our wedding day, only 18 months had elapsed. In that short amount of time, my life changed when I met and fell in love with the most amazing woman in the world. All of that to say…prayer will change your life. Be intentional about your prayers. Make your requests known to God and He will answer. His timeline is different than ours and once we submit our plans to Him, we can trust that He will line things up in our lives better than we can imagine.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Proverbs 3: 5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.