After finding my way back to organized religion at the end of undergrad, I worked as a campus ministry intern. Part of the commitment for the intern year was to put dating on hold. This was ideal for me since in the seven years prior, I’d left a wake of failed relationships and carried around a lot of baggage because of them. In the spring of the school year there was a specific calendar date when all of us interns could officially date. There was a lot of build up to this moment. Were any of the interns going to date students? Who’d been eyeing who over the past eight months?
Although some of the students were mighty cute, there wasn’t anyone who I planned to pursue. I was perfectly content not dating and even communicated to close friends I was interested in continuing the “don’t date” policy, personally, to give my head and heart more time to settle into this new rhythm of faith I’d fallen into. One of these friends was outspoken about how ridiculous he felt it was. “So you’re telling me if God dropped your husband right into your lap, you’d say “no thank you” just to prove a point.” There is A LOT I can say about that but for not I’m going to skip over most of it and share what happened after hearing that, over and over.
As someone new to following Jesus, I questioned myself and decided my longtime Jesus following friend might be right and I should open up myself to dating opportunities. One of his friends began pursuing me (no recollection on the details of how this actually got started) and we started dating. This guy moved from 0 to 90 million and was already talking about our longterm future after a few short weeks. Having never dated a Christian guy before, I convinced myself this is what I needed. He was a great man, loved Jesus a lot, was doing radical things in urban ministry in Birmingham so why not?
I kept it up for a while but Spirit led me to end it rather quickly, pretty soon after he went in for a kiss and I wanted nothing to do with his lips. Not because I was a prude and not ready for that (I’d been FAR from a prude in the previous relationships) but because I just didn’t like the guy. We weren’t a match. We had nothing in common, except loving Jesus. Having never had a Christian relationship, I’d convinced myself that “loving Jesus” was the most important thing in a relationship so I ignored everything else.
In that short month-ish long relationship, I attempted to make it work with him. I was a young Christian hanging out with a mature one who was attracted to the idea of me and liked the way I fit into his future plans. I started talking like him, using his Christian-ese words, judging people for their un-Christian like behavior, trying to get passionate about the stuff he cared about. I did everything I thought I should do as a future Christian wife (because that’s where he talked about us heading) and I totally and completely lost myself. I lost friends. I lost credibility. I lost my grace-based reputation. I lost my direction. I lost my focus. I lost trust in myself.
But what I gained was clarity. Before dating this fella, I’d only dated fellas who were not what I wanted and since deciding to take my life in a different direction, I thought all I needed to find was a fella heading in that direction, as well. I pendulum swung from “no Jesus” to “all Jesus” and learned the “all Jesus” guys can be just as….well, not what I wanted or needed…as the “no Jesus” ones. The clarity I gained is that just because a man says he’s all about Jesus. Just because he walks the walk and talks the talk and is an amazing man, doesn’t mean he’s automatically going to be an amazing man for ME.
Thanks to some amazing mentoring by a woman who’d married the love of her life, I wrote out a list of what I dreamed for my future husband. She challenged me to write it all down, every little thing, every big thing, that came to mind. It was seven pages in my journal. It was four pages typed.
Months after writing that list, I walked into a season of life that really rocked my faith. The old “no Jesus” choosing fellas once again became a target for my affections and it took a while to settle into again wanting an “all Jesus” man. At some point, the above list got printed out and used as a beacon to not date whoever came my way. Two years after the list was written I met the man I thought was going to marry me, only to be earth shatteringly heartbroken when he broke up with me via email while I was living in a foreign country (not my favorite season of life!)
Some time later, the list was ripped to shreds and thrown away, my hopes for finding someone who loved Jesus AND loved me, who I was, not some assumed version of me, feeling like a pipe dream that would never become a reality.
That same friend who coached me to write the list, coached me, in 2015, to write in a “husband journal” which I later handed over to the man who put a ring on my finger at the top of a lighthouse on August 13th, 2016.
Five years after the list was written, he matched everything and more of what my heart dreamed up that June 11th day.
What I’m willing to wait for — I have faith that the Lord will bring this man to me!
June 11th, 2011
- he HAS to make me laugh
- he has to be the faith leader- he has to trust the Lord with every single aspect of his life- he has to be willing to let go of security and comfort if God calls us as a team to do so (there was NO security or comfort career wise in the first year of our marriage!)
- he has to be responsible with money- cause we know I’m not (but I am now!! I got good at money the next year!)
- he has to command the attention from a room- I want to have people look up to him and admire him and me get to say, “That’s MY husband!” (if you’ve ever met Lukas, you DEFINITELY know this is true!)
- he has to be competitive, but not with me- he has to be okay with me winning, at least some of the time
- he has to enjoy cooking and want to share in that duty (ehhh, “enjoy” is a strong word here, Lukas can follow a recipe perfectly and absolutely will help me cook if I’m running a late errand with the kids)
- he has to have an attitude of confidence that teeters on the line of cockiness- I’d much rather be aggravated at him for being cocky and arrogant than “too sweet” or “mousy”
- he has to be willing to fill me in on random details of his life- like texting me random funny things or things he saw that remind him of me
- he has to love (or at least respect how much I love) pictures and how important they are to me
- he has to be good at and knowledgeable about sports- he also has to be patient and helpful in teaching me about them
- he has to be smart like my dad! I want him to know how to fix things or at least a desire to figure it out if he doesn’t know- ignorance is NOT bliss (give him enough time and YouTube videos and Lukas can master ANYTHING!)
- if I’m asked the question, “If you were trapped on a deserted island and needed to get off, who is the one person you want there?” I want him to be that person (currently my dad is that person)
- he has to love rap music and it he knows lots of rap lyrics- even better! (can’t say even I love rap music these days but we will get down to Ice Ice Baby in the kitchen)
- he has to take pride in his appearance- I do not want to dress him!
- he has to love quotes and lyrics as much as I do- understanding that sometimes I’d rather share a song with him than sit and talk about my feelings (I’ve gotten way better with talking about my feelings so song lyrics aren’t needed anymore as a communication tool)
- music has to be so important to him- car rides should never be just silence
- he has to love Jesus more than he loves me
- he has to love kids- and not just out own
- I hope he has had a close friend who has died so he can relate to me about Jacob instead of getting jealous of how high I hold him in my mind (Lukas has experienced extreme loss and grief, we didn’t have to have the same type of loss to lament and empathize with one another)
- he has to be willing to make decisions against his parents, if necessary- as his wife, he will respect my opinion or needs over theirs
- he has to be my teammate — we need to have a very partner in crime, Bonnie and Clyde, us against the world, attitude
- he can’t be scared to jump around during worship
- he has to find delight in teaching me things and watching me learn and master stuff
- he has to think I’m the most beautiful thing that has ever graced this planet
- he has to put a priority on taking care of himself (mentally, physically and spiritually) he has to understand that we are no good in ministry if we are burnt out- he has to understand how important and healthy a balance is
- he can’t want to carry on a whole conversation with me in the morning (this made us both laugh out loud — mornings are STILL not my thing)
- he has to love dogs and hate cats
- he has to have a family who is important to him
- he has to love to go to the beach and be willing to play horse shoes with me or Frisbee or run around in the water with me
- he has to be willing to play on a play ground with me
- he has to be able to dance- for real
- he has to be able to dance—-this one is OBVIOUSLY super important
- he can’t drive like an old person (Lukas kind of drives like an old person when he’s not paying attention…)
- he has to have an adventurous spirit- whether that’s sky diving or climbing the tree in our backyard (this is one of my favorite qualities about my husband!!)
- I really don’t want him to drive a car, I’d much rather prefer a truck or SUV
- he has to be tall enough for me to wear really tall heels and still be taller then me
- he has to know how to play the guitar or another instrument and be interested in sitting around and jamming with my dad and brother
- he has to be grace giving and be a cheerleader for people who are the underdog
- he can’t get upset that I’m not really a “holiday person”, there won’t be any listening to Christmas music in November (or he has to be a giant Christmas elf that convinces me to love the holiday as well so our family starts listening to Christmas carols in SEPTEMBER)
- he has to have a “messy” past so he and I can relate on how good God’s grace is!
- he has to always drive the car when I’m in it, whether that’s his car or mine (AH! One where God gave me what I NEEDED and not what I thought I wanted. One of my anxiety coping tools in high stress situations like going to social events, traveling on trips, etc. is me being able to get behind the wheel of the car so I can feel a sense of control when I feel out of control. Lukas is totally fine with that and I’m happy to have a husband who doesn’t need to be behind the wheel at all times)
- he has to not be afraid to discipline our kids, understanding how important a father’s role is to a son AND daughter
- he has to have a desire for improvement and growth in his life — understanding that there’s always room for bettering ourselves
- he has to encourage me to work out and stay healthy, not by his words, but by doing it with me
- he has to be okay with me having “VA introvert” time
- he will have a nickname for me (too many to count but I’m “White House” in his cell phone — we’ll let him tell you why)
- he has to be able to sit in silence with me
- he has to want to serve at church — understanding how important community is
- he has to have a mentor and also someone he pours into
- he has to be into technology (like FB and Twitter) but be honoring with me through it — no intense friendships with women via social networking (little did I know I’d get off social media and stay off indefinitely. If you’d told me that a decade ago, I would have laughed at you!)
- he has to be okay about me blogging about him — but understanding that I would never vent or rant about him on there
- he can’t be afraid to confront me when he’s upset, he can’t be afraid of a little yelling every now and then (or he can be patient enough for me to walk through a whole lot of therapy to learn how to not yell!!)
- he will chase me around the house trying to tickle me (umm… if he actually did this now, I’d probably roll my eyes out of aggravation! He sticks to tickling the kiddos)
- he will share cool things God is doing in his life — things God is teaching him, etc. — he will also tell me about cool “grace gone wild” moments
- he will want to travel, viewing our world for what it is… HUGE!
- he will have a perspective that is beyond small town life
- he will love well but not put anything or anyone about our marriage
- he will love old houses and want to fix one up with me (while reading this to Lukas we both laughed out loud at this one since we just purchased a brand new house after learning, at this stage or life, we both very much do not like spending time on DIY house projects)
- he will be able to see potential in people and encourage them to reach it… including me!
- he will have goals for himself, our marriage and our family
- my brother will like him
- he will talk Jesus with my mom
- he will understand that my identity isn’t in him and on the days that it begins to look like that’s happening — he will loving remind me who I belong to!
- he will take pride in our home and help me take care of it
- He will acknowledge that I need to be needed by him
- when he goes on vacation he will keep me updated on what he is doing and tell me he misses me (or work trips…)
- he will tell me not to worry and I will stop worrying because I trust him that much
- when he hugs me, the world melts away (absolutely)
- he will have such an interest in my life and hobbies and likes and dislikes and will also have interest in those things about our kids
- he understands the importance of the little things
- he will grab me and we will dance in the living room, kitchen, all over!
- there will be such a passion between us, that is very sexual but goes far beyond that to a deep intimacy
- he will tolerate my reality tv addiction and he won’t hog the remote (we both enjoy a good cooking or baking show but he leaves Married at First Sight for me and his mom to watch together!)
- he will like scary movies but only because he likes me to cuddle up next to him (I now HATE scary movies and want nothing to do with them)
- he cuddles with me on the couch and I fit perfectly into the crook of his arm
- if we’re in bed, he will make sure at least our feet are touching (after being married for six years it’s more like “don’t touch my feet dude, I love you but that’s YOUR side of the bed”)
- he isn’t into PDA but will do little things like a wink while we are in a big group
- I am the very first person he call with news — good or bad
- we pray together and often and he is the one who initiates it most of the time!
- he has an attitude of never giving up!
- he understands that when I’m upset, I need him to listen and THEN fix it
- he is a flexible planner — okay with making plans but flexible enough not to get mad if they change
- he is spontaneous but understands I’m really not into surprises
- PROMISES are so important to him and he won’t make one if he knows he can’t keep it
- he encourages me to be the best person I can be
- he loves when I dress up nice and acknowledges when I do but doesn’t expect it on a regular basis
- his laugh makes me so happy- o yeah, and he thinks I’m funny
- did I mention how funny he is?!
- he doesn’t have to put other people down to lift himself up
- he will have at least one tattoo and be 100% open to me getting or having one, or a couple (we’re planning his first ink…maybe for his 40th birthday?)
- I’d love for him to have dark hair (or no hair…)
- material possessions aren’t important to him — I can buy clothes from a garage sale and he won’t be weirded out
- he won’t be pale skinned so we can be out in the sun for long periods of time and he won’t burn (thank you Italian genes!)
- he appreciates that I spend money on my nails and hair
- he loves going to concerts
- he doesn’t drink more than two drinks in a setting and he will never drive intoxicated
- he won’t encourage me to drink and will respect what a big deal alcohol is in my family
- he will know how to cook on a grill… WELL!
- he doesn’t panic in stressful situations so I will stay calm
- he HAS to love Auburn or at least NOT like an opposing team (we wear both Auburn and Georgia Tech colors in our house)
- he will be well educated — I want to be able to brag about him!
- his job will never, ever, ever come before important family events like dance recitals, school plays, etc.
- his job will or could make money so we can live comfortably… not pay check to pay check
- he is a very hard worker and has an excellent work ethic (times a MILLION!)
- he is well spoken and can hold his own in many different social settings
- I will be his queen and he will be my king!!!
One thought on “willing to wait”
I have never seen this list and if I had I would have asked him more questions when he asked me ‘permission” to marry you. The beauty is I didn’t have to ask these questions, God had it covered! After talking with him, I knew in my heart he was perfect for you and that has proven to be true. Thank You Lord!!
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