By Jordan Lee
In this sex-soaked culture where ‘hooking up’ is seen as a sign of growing up, one pre-teen dared to be different. And has never regretted it.
We kissed on the couch while watching a movie in his parents' basement. He asked if I wanted to go further and I froze at the question.
How much further? Should I be cool and roll with it? Should I say no?
Questions raced through my mind, and in a panic, I excused myself to the bathroom before I could answer. After an awkward conversation, I drove home feeling like a super uncool loser who just lost the cool guy's interest. I felt like the only girl in high school who couldn't keep a guy's interest long.
I encountered a similar situation early on in college. With slumped shoulders, I shuffled back to my dorm room after a disappointing evening, and mumbled under my breath, DANG IT. THIS IS SO HARD!
When I got home, I knew exactly what to do though. I went to my room, opened my closet door and searched for that secret little box I kept tucked in the back shelf for days like these. I tore out a piece of notebook paper and began writing another letter to him.
It started just like all the others:
Dear Future Husband...
You see, when I was just 12 years old, I promised to wait for my future husband. And that sounds like a pretty easy gig at 12 before puberty and cute boys really hit the scene. But throw in hormones, driving, dating, then college parties and cute boys who turn into hot men and WOO girls! Not so easy.
But when I made that promise, I wrote a letter to my future husband ..., and over the years, I kept writing to my future husband before I ever saw his face or knew his name.
I'd write when I felt lonely, or when waiting was especially difficult, or even when I felt I may have pushed the limit and wrestled with shame. I'd write to him while I was in relationships with other men, I'd tell him about my frustration, or my broken hearts, or the ways I was praying for him.
Writing to my future husband in those seasons somehow lightened the burden. It made the waiting seem more doable and the hope I had been holding out for more tangible.
And on September 3, 2016, on the morning of our wedding, my groom opened a box of letters that had been addressed to him before he ever knew my name.
I'm going to share the very last letter he read before he switched from 'future husband' to 'forever husband' because you need to realize that I know it's not easy to wait but it's worth it.
Dear Future Husband,
When I was 13, my dad gave me a purity ring. Engraved inside of the band are the words: true love waits. In that moment, I promised to wait for my future husband and even signed a purity pact without hesitation (although I had no idea just how difficult that road could be). Nonetheless, I've worn that ring since the day it was given to me and done my best to be true to the promise my little middle school heart made to my earthly father, my Heavenly Father, and you, my Future Husband.
It wasn't always easy waiting for you. It wasn't always easy when boys would lose interest when I said no. It wasn't always easy to explain to people all the reasons why I believed you were worth waiting for without even knowing your name yet. All I knew was that God's design is more beautiful than anything this world could dream up—and that was worth waiting for even when it was hard.
When I felt like giving up, I'd think of you and then I would write to you. ...
As I step out of my single life and into the mystery of marriage with you in Jesus name, I'm giving to you the purity ring my daddy placed on my hand when I was a young 13-year-old girl. In its place, I'll wear the wedding band that you'll place on my finger today as your bride.
Although it's been a long road of waiting, God has walked with me through the steps of lonely seasons, heartbreaks, loss, frustration and so much more to prepare me to become a wife. Looking back, every single one of those steps that brought us here were so beyond worth it. And I know without a doubt that you are worth it and I'd do it all over again if I had to.
Today we give Him everything. Today, we give each other everything.
Love, Your Forever Bride
You can find Jordan's whole letter and some wedding photos online at www.jordanleedooley.com. There are also blog posts on dating, marriage and relationships in general, and a link to her book Own Your Everyday.
Connect with Jordan on her website or Facebook.