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One Prayer Led To This

This morning, I pulled out an old journal and reread some of the passages that were written in there by me. Most of the time, I really dislike rereading what I wrote in years previous. Most of the time, I just cringe at myself and wonder about my mental and emotional state as I scroll through the words. I usually only read a few entries and then that is enough for me, for a really long time.

Today, though, I came across an entry written on May 5, 2020. It was a prayer regarding the wants of my and a prayer for the future. I was literally in the middle of my divorce at this time. Documents filed, the other side not really caring to respond to legal documents and participate, and also not being present when it came to our children. Our marriage had been done for years at this point, but the loneliness and ache I still felt was real. I had never felt so worthless and ugly in my entire life. And yet I really wanted something very specific, even through it all.

The following are the words that I wrote out to God:

May 5, 2020

I know this is weird but please bring me someone new. Someone that I could love and take care of. Someone I could trust and build a life with. I was at love and happiness and fun and adventure and dreams. I want a real love. I don’t want someone who pretends to care. I want someone honest and hardworking. I want a man who fights for his family and engages with his family. I want a man who leads us in the faith, who will pray and lead us.

I want someone who is strong and tender. Who isn’t afraid to do what is right. Who doesn’t bury his head in the sand when things are hard or give up so easily. This man will take care of business. He is faithful and true and will keep his promises to my kids.

I want a man who is a big kid. He likes to have fun and isn’t afraid or ashamed to do things with his family. There is no mask he needs wear.

I want a man who will love my kids as his own. He may have his own children. That he makes sure he provides for his kids. They have what they need in terms of provision and discipline and love. That he loves Jesus and he works diligently to teach them to love Jesus.

So you understand context of this specific entry, I was surrounded by women at this time who were going through very similar situations as I, yet it seemed their lives were repairing and getting better rapidly. They were falling in love. They started businesses and they exploded. They were able to provide for themselves and their kids. They had new relationships and men who appeared to be madly in love with them. My days were spent going to work, making $15/hr and struggling to make ends meet, while also fighting with someone who hated my guts yet did not want to work with me to end a marriage he didn’t even want!

I was in a rough spot at the time. I was lonely. I did feel ugly as well and unloveable. Worthless and I felt like a loser. Who would ever want someone like me, a middle aged single mom? Sometimes, all of the feelings makes you believe things that aren't true about yourself. Sadness and loneliness make terrible companions.

But that doesn’t mean that my prayer for someone new was untrue or not authentic. I didn’t just pray for someone new because I just didn’t want to be lonely. I wanted someone. I prayed multiple prayers just like that one in the weeks that followed, which led to a connection on a dating app, which then led to the man you see pictured with me. There is a lot more to our story that will be told over time. I love our story. Let’s just say that both of us almost missed out on each other. More my fault than his, but we almost missed each other.

That man you see with me embodies everything I prayed for that day. I am forever grateful God connected the two of us. Remember that really cheesy Christian dating book way back when, “When God Writes Your Love Story”? I remember reading that when I was in 21 or 22, thinking how cool that would be!! And right now, at the age of 40 and divorced, I truly do believe God is orchestrating our story.

Really, what it took was a prayer. An honest, real, vulnerable prayer to the author of our life and God brought forth in His perfect timing. As only He could. Being specific with not just what I didn’t want, which most of us tend to do, but make a list of what I wanted. I knew that I wanted romance and fun and adventure and I wanted to feel and be like a teenager madly in love with the love of my life. And I will want that even as I am old and with the same man. I wanted all of that. I didn’t have that in my previous marriage. I wasn’t willing to settle for anything less than.

Previously, my tendency was to believe that asking or praying for a relationship or connections with other souls was considered weak and not worthy of praying for. I thought it was lame. I thought it was the equivalent of praying you would do well on a math test you knew you didn’t study for. Crazy and illogical, I know, but that was my mentality then. As only God could, the first thing He did when I lost my marriage and community, was bring me girlfriends. A whole community of woman who would love me. They didn’t know the whole story at first, and they certainly did not know that while I sat in their living rooms every Wednesday night for bible study that I was walking through a season I wasn’t quite ready to verbalize yet. But they became my people. My friends. A community. People.

It changed my perspective in prayer. What to pray for. In trusting God with every single request and desire in your life. Every single thing. He cares! He sees! It isn’t silly to Him.

When I prayed that prayer for God to bring someone new, I trusted that He would. Someday. I didn’t really believe very soon. In my mind, I was thinking a few years down the road. And I certainly did not think I would connect with that man on a dating app! Fun fact, my best friend created my profile on that app. I was too chicken.

There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think to myself how crazy cool it is to live out God’s goodness and see it in action. His goodness does not equal us always getting what we asked for, however when He provides us and gives us His gifts, even if they are different than you yourself may have envisioned, you will know it because you will say something like “Isn’t that like God!” I say it all the time. haha!!

And to think, it simply took that one prayer that started it all to lead to something like all of this.

How cool is God?

Tiffany Rhea

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