Photo Credit: Costin Thampikutty at costint.com
I’m still not exactly sure why I started writing them. I wish I could say that I had some noble, romantic reason, but that would be a lie. It was more like a combination of frustration and distraction.
One night, I was trying to pray before I went to bed. I was really struggling with the fact that I was single while it seemed like most of my friends were happily married or dating. I decided that I would write a letter to my future wife (assuming she existed), just to pass the time and vent my frustration.
I didn’t have that much to say, mostly because I had no idea who I was writing to and no clue when she would get the letter. It was only one page, mostly to let my future wife know that I was thinking about her and praying for her.
A month or two later, I wrote another letter. Something cool started happening; writing the letters helped to keep me out of trouble because I wanted to be able to tell my future wife that I had been waiting for her and thinking of her since before we met.
Over the next three years, I continued writing the letters every few months. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I spent those years sitting at home waiting for God to deliver me a wife. I dated a few girls during that time, but I always had the letters in the back of my mind.
Whether I had just come home from a really great date or I was frustrated by disappointment, these letters helped to give me perspective. They were reminders of a plan bigger than the one I could see, and they helped me keep my heart and my mind set on the long run rather than just the excitement of the moment.
We live in a culture that feeds both men and women so many lies about what we’re worth and what life is all about. I knew that somewhere out there was a girl who was probably struggling with the same questions that I was, so I wanted to pray for her. It was okay that I didn’t know who she was, because I knew that God had known her from before all of time.
Twenty-two letters later, I asked Courtney to marry me. When I proposed, I gave her all of the letters I had written. We got engaged on October 1, 2011, because it was the feast of St. Therese of Lisieux and we had been praying the St. Therese novena together for our relationship. As our wedding date got closer, Courtney put all of the letters in a scrapbook.
A month before we got married, I was looking through the scrapbook. It wasn’t until then that I realized something amazing. I wrote the first letter, the one that was motivated by frustration and boredom, on October 1, 2007. Without knowing it, it would be exactly four years later that I would give those letters to Courtney.
I’ll never fully understand how God works. But I know that I can trust Him, and I can trust in His plan even when all my plans have fallen apart (Jeremiah 29:11-14).
While some of you are being chosen and set apart for the incredible call to the priesthood or religious life, most of us will be called to give our lives in the sacrament of marriage.
Don’t wait till you’re married to start preparing for your future husband or wife. Pray for them. Make small sacrifices offered as prayers to God for them. Or if you’re really bored, frustrated, or romantic, go ahead and start writing those letters. Just make sure you don’t include phrases like “I’ve been watching you..” There’s a thin line between romantic and scary.
If you could say one thing to your future spouse today, what would it be?