in the back of my mind, I wished…

On the passenger seat of her beat up white 1968 Volkswagen bug was a blanket that she put over her lap while driving. It was mid-winter, and we both knew that the heater in her bug never quite worked right. Well, actually, it did what it was supposed to do, but it just took a while before it did….like 45 minutes. It wasn’t even worth turning on. We were well bundled up though with heavy ski jackets, scarves and gloves. Well, scarf for her, not for me, wasn’t cool back then in the late 80’s.

This was our weekly rhythm. Classes during the day, grab a quick bite to eat near the student lobby and off to our bible study. After that, to the library where we sat at our usual large table. Sometimes with a whole group of our friends, sometimes just the two of us, mostly catching up on our homework or cramming for the test coming up the next morning. Close to midnight, right before the library would close, we would pack up our backpacks and walk outside. The sudden drop in the temperature would shock our bodies for a second, but we were used to it. We would continue in our conversation mixed in with laughter and even some friendly shoving and physical goofiness….nothing flirtatious though, no way! That would be totally weird and inappropriate. We were just friends, and we kept that line very clear. Plus, she always saw me as a dorky brother, and I saw her as an annoyingly responsible sister. It would never work. Plus, we referred to each other as best friends; we can’t ruin that!

I would walk her to her bug which sat alone in the large parking lot, and we would both get in the car to get out of the cold. I would take the blanket that sat on the seat and hand it to her. She would quickly put it over her lap right below the steering wheel, and we would get into our counseling mode with questions like, so…how did it go with your dad this week? Or, did you figure out that thing we were praying for last week? Ending with, ok, what can I specifically pray for you for this week? Then, we would pray. Prayer didn’t last too long, but it always ended with something that was unspoken that we both knew that we were longing for. Our future spouses! And it went something like this…”Lord, we pray for our future spouses right now that they would be fervently walking in the ways of You; we pray that they would be pursuing you with all their hearts and we pray that they are growing in your wisdom, boldness and compassion…”

Looking back now after 23 years of our incredible life journey, after saying “I do” on the alter before hundreds of witnesses who we called our close friends, and after two amazing children and a dog…we laugh out loud. We often say to each other “do you remember when we used to pray for our future spouses? We were praying for each other! How crazy is that?” I wonder if God had a smirk on His face or even laughed out loud, himself.

It really doesn’t seem that long ago, and I still remember sitting in her car shivering, and yet quickly being overwhelmed by His warm embrace as we prayed. I am not gonna lie though, I also felt the warmth of her beauty, her sweet innocence and her genuine friendship and her care for me and my brokenness…and in the back of my mind…I wished…

Maybe it’s true what they say…you become intimate with the one one you pray with, you become intimate with the one you pray for, and you become intimate with the one you pray to.

Hanju is the owner of BOS Marketing Group, a digital marketing, consulting and creative agency in Orange County, CA. Hanju has a passion for working with entrepreneurs and small businesses to inspire, teach and resource their vision to help become a reality. He also loves anything outdoors, he prefers fancy restaurants with outdoor seating…like McDonalds.

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