This is going to sound weird to most people, so I’m not even going to fluff it up and put a bow on it. Here goes…
I wrote love letters to my future husband for several years before meeting Russell. I wrote to him as “my dear”, “my darling” and “my love”, as his exact identity remained a mystery. It was weird, but I felt God wanted me to do it, so I did. God led me to buy the largest journal that the bookstore was selling, which I assumed meant I would be single for a REALLY. LONG. TIME. (Surprise – it was just a few years.) Whenever I wished I could go on a date with him or just talk to him, I would write a letter. Whenever I wanted to remember a really cool story to tell him someday, I would write it down. And on our wedding day, I was able to gift this collection to my husband. Prior to that day, I never spoke of this book to anyone, not even to Russell. It was just something I felt led by God to do, so I did it. What I would later find out is:
Nothing is ever a waste of time when it’s done in obedience to the Lord.
For the longest time (I’m talking years), I didn’t know why I was writing to someone I didn’t know. I thought it was weird and it would be even weirder if the fella wanted to read a big book of love letters. But something changed in me as I wrote each letter. Perhaps it was the changing of my own desires from a man of temporary charm to a man with good character. Or perhaps it was my faith being activated to believe God for more than what I could see. Or perhaps it was writing in this special book the real qualities I desired in my marriage rather than letting the glamour of dates steal my attention. Whatever it was, I’m so thankful for that time spent (read: invested) while waiting for Russell. It sucked at the time – don’t let me kid you. There was such an innate desire in me to be married. I wasn’t pining for any ole husband, but I was seeking the right marriage. In that time of seeking, I realized that the version of me I was at the time wasn’t able to sustain a good, godly marriage. And because of that realization, I began to pray more for God to change me into being the right wife for the right husband rather than praying that God would just give me a husband.
See, I don’t believe the God of the universe–who created galaxies and the sun and also created every hair on my head–needed more time to figure out how to cause Russell’s path to cross with mine. I believe God was using the years to grow me into the wife he wanted me to be, and the same for Russell–he was growing to become the husband God wanted him to be.
All of that said, I wanted to share our wedding highlight video with y’all. While I love the story and the beauty of the film work, I also love how our marriage has been the sprouting of years upon years of seed sown, including my book of love letters to Russell.
A very special thank you to Scott Patterson at Life’s Highlights for creating our video. We adore it, and we loved working with you! Thank you for telling our love story so beautifully.