I prayed for his wife.
Day after day, teenage me sat on my bed with the sun pouring in over a handwritten list of prayer requests. His name was on it and I prayed for him to find her. I prayed that he would find the love he so desired, and so deserved. I prayed for her to be good to him.
In those days, our phone would ring. An old yellowed actual landline with a cord that seemed to stretch a good 15-20 feet. I loved to answer especially when I heard his teasing voice on the other end of the line. He wasn’t calling for me, but he called me nicknames and we shared moments just the same.
And I kept praying for his wife.
Then one evening, when I was 18, he told us he had found someone. While my undeveloped, nothing-more-than-a-crush affections were set elsewhere at the time, my heart I said, “No, that’s not right.” I imagined what it would be like to see him at his wedding. Because, of course, I would go.
Then I added her name to my list.
I prayed for them and I prayed for his wife.
Months passed, and it wasn’t meant to be for them. It was sad and hard.
I stopped praying for him and I stopped praying for his wife – because I had pretty much stopped praying, period.
A year later, my phone would ring. My very first cell phone, a little flip Samsung phone that played a happy “Caribbean Cruise” every time he called. Our conversations over the course of a few weeks went beyond teasing and banter and we got to know each other in new ways.
Then it was over as quickly as it began and I wondered what was that all about. I tried to put him out of my mind, but after a few months I realized I was still waiting for him to call. Sometimes, I would even play the ringtone, just because I wanted to hear it and feel some connection to him.
And I started praying again for him and for his wife – and this time, I wanted her to be me.
Nine months later the phone rang, and he told me he loved me. A year later, I went to his wedding – as his bride.
And I prayed as his wife.
Now, six years later, my iPhone sings this when he calls:
“And this journey that we’re on – how far we’ve come, and I celebrate every moment
And when you say you love me – that’s all you have to say; I’ll always feel this way.”
Sometimes I groan because he’s called when I’m up to my eyeballs in three-year-old life or dishes or a blog post or while I’m out with a friend. Sometimes I would rather run away to a place where I’m not the wife, not the mom, instead of answer the phone.
That wife that I prayed for him to find has her hands full with living the answer to my prayers – giving him the love he so desires – the love he so deserves.
Most days, there’s too much going on for me to even think about praying for his wife.
Instead, I’m riding on the prayers of a teenage girl who didn’t know that she was praying for herself.
Related: Our Love Story