So, what do you do when the guy your dream revealed would one day be your husband, and who you were actually seeing—on the verge of dating, even—tells you that he doesn’t like you like that?
After Nathan and I stopped seeing each other at the end of July 2009, I knew that I needed to completely block him out. I needed to completely regroup. I’d had a DREAM. A very specific, very important, very life-defining dream that God gave to me. And now, it looked like I had been very, very wrong. I was afraid I was crazy. I was afraid I didn’t know the voice of God. I was afraid I’d made it up. I was afraid it would never come true. I was afraid I’d never get married.
I leaned in to my relationship with God more than ever. I worshiped for hours each week, read Scripture every day, journaled until my hands were cramped, attended Bible studies each week, went on retreats. And prayed. And prayed. And prayed. And I heard from God, and my relationship with God grew, and He ultimately healed my heart. He restored my hope, calmed my fears, worked through me in spite of myself, and renewed a steadfast spirit within me. I prayed for the renewal of my mind, and He gave it to me. Even now, tears come to my eyes when I think about all the things God gave me over the course of that year—how He poured into me every single thing I asked for: peace, mercy, hope, love, joy, courage, strength, comfort, grace, and so much more. There was no good thing that God withheld from me; His generosity was, and still is, overwhelming.
Though I prayed to move on, deep in my heart I stubbornly held on to the dream God had given me years before. I just knew there had to be a way for it to work out.
And during this year of leaning into God, reordering my heart and renewing my mind, I kept an eye on Nathan from afar. Yes . . . I Facebook-stalked him. He knows this. And even when I was doing it, he knew it.
For a long time, I would check Nathan’s page three, four, okay, fifteen times a day. But as the year wore on, I checked it less and less. Until I finally stopped focusing on what didn’t happen, what I didn’t have, and what I wasn’t.
That year of silence between Nathan and I has been one of the most important years of my life in terms of spiritual growth. And even for all of the pain I felt at the time, I wouldn’t trade it. That was the year that God built a faith in me and a strength in me that could come about no other way. And I’m grateful.
The year of silence between us ended by my own hand.
First, you have to know that I’m a devout and loyal Georgia Bulldogs fan. Go DAWGS! And a friend of mine had tickets to a Georgia game in Athens, Georgia, for a game only two days away. I just had to go, but I didn’t have anyone to go with. I could’ve gone alone, but I was nervous to do so for an event so far from my home.
I called my dad. He couldn’t go because he was out of town. I called my girlfriends. None of them could go. I called my best guy friends, none of them could go. I called thirteen of my most important people over the course of Thursday and Friday night. And no one could go.
Friday evening, around 7:30 p.m. (the game was at 12:30 p.m. the next day), I asked myself if it was possible for me to hang out with Nathan again and only be friends. I quickly decided that it was possible. So, I texted him this: “Random question: would you be interested in going to the Georgia game with me tomorrow? It’s a free ticket.”
Not five minutes later, he called me. Yikes! Cue the nerves and the hands shaking and the awkward pacing around the house as I answered the phone and tried to sound aloof, cool . . . unaffected. He said, yes, he wanted to go, but had to get his dives covered at the Georgia Aquarium for the next day (Nathan is a volunteer diver at the Georgia Aquarium. How cool is that, right?), and he would let me know. A short time later, he called and said that he’d gotten his dives taken care of and that he’d pick me up in the morning to drive to Athens.
Awesome! A new attempt at being “just friends” with Nathan. Except, when I saw him standing in my doorway the next morning, my heart revealed that my interest in him would not be confined to friendship. The reality was, nothing had changed for him—he still only wanted a friendship. Would I be able to set my feelings aside, even remove them completely, and move on? Yes . . . and no.
Read our story from the beginning:
how we met
a dream about my husband
between the dream and dating
meeting my husband again
we tried to date but didn’t
a year of silence
how we became friends again
we started dating . . . for real this time
we got married!
©2015 Jennifer Wilder. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint or publish this content elsewhere, please contact me through this blog.