I always joked that when the time came for me to get married, God would need to drop a flashing neon sign down from the sky.
In the early morning light, I looked down at the picture of my boyfriend Mike. How could I know—really know—that he was the one?
God, how can this be Your will if I don't feel right about this? I prayed. Please, You have to help me. A good friend convinced me to try fasting and focus on prayer to know if Mike was part of His plan.
Decisions with relationships and commitment have never been easy for me. I always joked that when the time came for me to get married, God would need to drop a flashing neon sign down from the sky.
I met Mike two decades ago in the dental chair. I was his dental hygienist. He was very sweet and extremely kind but I just wasn't interested in him romantically. A few years later, out of nowhere I had a dream about him.
I woke up thinking, He was such a nice guy, maybe I should call him and see if he’d like to go out to dinner. I reached out and we dated for about six months and then, for some reason, I just felt it wasn’t right so I broke it off and broke his heart terribly.
I dated here and there but I was never able commit to anyone. Every now and then Mike entered my mind, but I discarded any possibility of us ever getting back together. In my mind that chapter was definitely over.
I became a worship leader and struggled with being single. Slowly I felt myself building resentment toward God while believing that I was meant to be single forever and being alone was part of His plan.
While visiting my mother for Christmas in 2012, I blurted out, “I don’t think I want to be alone anymore mom.” For some reason in that moment it seemed like the lifelong fear of commitment had vanished.
My mother looked up surprised. “You know,” she said, “I think it's time to tell you something. He told me never to tell you this—but I feel in my spirit it's the right time. Mike has been waiting for you.”
I shook my head in disbelief. “Mike? Mom that was ten years ago.”
“He told me never to tell you,” she said. “When you broke up with him, he said that God told him to wait for you."
The whole idea seemed crazy and besides, it had been ten years since we dated. There is no way anyone would wait that long for someone.
After that day I couldn’t get Mike out of my mind. Had he really been waiting for me after all this time? Could this be the man meant for me?
I wanted to call him. I wanted to find out if it was true, but fear stopped me. What if he had been waiting? What if we got back together and it didn’t work out. I couldn’t live with myself if I hurt him again.
Weeks went by. At the urging of my pastor, I put fear aside, took a deep breath and made the call.
Mike was happy to hear from me, but he seemed cautious. Yes, he told me, he was still waiting but admitted he was just about to give up when I called. His heart couldn't hang on much longer and he had recently been praying to God for help because it just hurt too much.
We agreed to meet and began dating again. After several months the next logical step was to take the plunge and get married. Married? The word filled me with panic.
So here I was...fasting to focus my heart on God and find an answer. I tried to quiet my mind and listen for guidance. God, if he’s the one, I prayed, show me a sign.
The clock barely moved. I took a deep breath and realized the mail had probably come.
A homemade envelope among the stack of bills caught my eye. It was near my birthday and I recognized the return address from a woman I’d met years ago on a mission trip to Africa.
Weird, I thought, how did she remember my birthday? We hadn’t spoken or had any contact in years.
I opened the envelope. The outside of the card said, “YES.” Inside the card was this quote, “If you tell God no because He won't explain the reason He wants you to do something, you are actually hindering His blessing. But when you say yes to Him, all of heaven opens to pour out His goodness and reward your obedience. What matters more than material blessings are the things He is teaching us in our spirit." - Charles Stanley.
Beneath the quote, my friend had penned: Happy Birthday, Laura, my favorite YES friend.
I stared at the card trying to make sense of it all. There was only one explanation. A miraculous one. With tears in my eyes I looked up to God and said, “Okay! Yes! I will marry him.” For the first time in my life, I experienced supernatural peace that surpassed all my understanding (Philippians 4:6-7). I ran to the phone and called Mike.
December 14, 2016 Mike and Laura celebrated their third wedding anniversary.
Laura founded Livin In His Love, a music ministry, and has traveled nationally and internationally as a worship leader and speaker. Laura and her husband Michael lead worship and share their testimony in appearances throughout the country. To learn more, visit LauraHawthorne.com.