It’s amazing how quickly we forget. My dad always talks about it; we have to have that new phone… If we could just get our paws on it, life would be magnificent. But once we have it, once we’ve held it in our hands it loses it’s luster. It’s suddenly dull and kind of normal and we toss it into our bags and pockets as if it were an old crumpled gum wrapper. The longing is easily forgotten and we move on to something new to long for, as if it all never happened. We live in a world of instant gratification… So instant that I get annoyed when I have to click an extra button to get what I want and genuinely think to myself, “Seriously, can’t they make this faster?” Who are they anyway? I don’t even know, I just want them to fix it. Thankfully there are some things that even technology can’t rush.
My husband and I have two personalities that are worlds apart. But we have one very important thing in common; a deep love for one another. This fact was never more clear to me than on our wedding day, and not for all of the usual reasons. Yes, we became husband and wife that day. Yes, on that day we started a beautiful journey together. But what I didn’t expect was that something I held so dear to my heart, something I had been secretly planning for so many years, was also being planned for me.
I wrote briefly about this when I shared a part of my story on my brother Jekob’s wonderful and inspirational website 3things.org (If you’d like to read more about the journey that brought us together or share your story go to: http://3things.org/rachael ) I didn’t grow up much like other kids did. I’ve spent most of my life traveling, following my calling, and chasing my dreams. I wasn’t much of a romantic on the outside, I was busy and focused (most of the time.) I put up an iron exterior and kept the boys at arm’s length to protect myself from having to keep saying goodbye. I thought, it’s so much easier if you don’t care…
But deep down inside I was completely hopeless, absolutely hopelessly romantic. Everything I pretended not to be. I secretly started a journal of prayers for and letters to my future husband when I was 16 years old and wrote in it until I was 25. I filled it with all of my hopes and dreams for the life we’d one day have together. I told him everything…
“Hey love, well today was a very long day for me. I had a showcase at Warner Bros. today. We did a show at my new label in a place that so many musical geniuses have performed in. Before I went on they told me that Prince played here when he was a little older than I am now… No pressure or anything! But the show went really well, I think. The Lord’s hand was all over it. I have been struggling with my vocal nodules and God just really answered my prayers and gave me a voice to sing with for the entire showcase. I am so thankful. Oh, and even though I feel like I’ve been done with high school for 4 years now, I thought I should let you know that I’m officially done! Feels… well, normal! Haha. Im so excited because our album comes out in a few months and I’ll also be turning 18! Things have been pretty exciting around here. Through all of this I am still thinking about you and how amazing you’re going to be. I know that through all the hard times you will be there no matter what. I have been preparing for you all of my life and I’m not gonna stop now. I know you will be an amazing man after God’s own heart and I cannot wait to love you.” – May 29, 2002
Some of it is so embarrassingly hilarious! After all, there are entries where I was a full blown teenage rapper who used phrases like, “Yo, check it.” But honestly, I am so glad that I wrote those things down and that I wrote them to Kent. I didn’t know him yet, but all of those things I ‘knew’ he would be are completely true. He has been able to read through my mind and my heart for him in different stages of my life. He has a tangible reminder of my desire to love him… and so do I.
Now to the best part of the story… As it had always been my plan, I saved the last page for the night before our wedding. I wrote something special as my last entry to the man I was going to marry and on our wedding day my wonderful bridesmaids delivered my wedding gift to Kent so he could peek at it before the wedding. After our wedding was over, Kent sat me down and gave me his wedding present for me. A journal… A journal he had kept since the first the day we met.
I couldn’t believe my eyes. Neither of us knew the other’s journal existed. Kent is a man of few words, my complete and utter opposite, but when he speaks he means what he says. He is wise and thoughtful with his words, and I admire that so much about him.
To my surprise, he wrote down everything! All of his feelings throughout our entire relationship. Feelings I never even knew he had, much less on the days that he had them! Words I would cherish for the rest of my life, written down on actual paper that I can hold in my hands and touch with my fingertips. Like this entry below where he says, “I started saving for your ring today.”
One simple sentence that carries so much meaning. Not only because of the sweet intention behind it, but because it was written an entire year before those words were ever spoken aloud. It is evidence of a feeling I didn’t know he had. Evidence of his patience and desire to love me for longer than I’d ever known. It is priceless.
I can’t put into words how grateful I am to have these incredible gifts. To be able to read each other’s paper hearts and to have a physical reminder of our longings.
I started this post pointing out the ways we forget. We achieve the desires of our hearts and quickly forget the passion that began those aspirations. Life gets in the way and we struggle to carry on a conversation over children’s voices and the sound of the TV. Though we’re not doodling sweet nothings into secret journals today, we are living out the sweet everythings we have been blessed to enjoy together. Sometimes it’s nice to have a reminder of what started it all!
So whether you are single, dating, or married… A mom, dad, sister, brother, or friend… If you have something to say thats worth saving, write it down. You don’t have to go back in time and start when you were a secretly romantic teenager like me, you can start now. Tell someone you love something you feel in this moment. Don’t say it in a text message that will get old and be deleted over time in order to make room for all of the new. Write it down so that they can hold it in their aging hands and save it for the years to come. You don’t need to be eloquent, you only need to be honest.
Do it not only for the ones you love, but do it for yourself. No one can inspire you like you can. Reading your own feelings can do something to your soul. It has the power to awaken things you’ve forgotten were there. It has the power to remind you of where you’ve been and to inspire where you want to go.
Put the pen to the page. There is always something to say, a song to sing.
“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”
― Maya Angelou