For This Man I Prayed… and Waited… and Wrote… {Part 3} and God Granted My Request!

For This Man I Prayed and Waited and Wrote.

The story Part 1

The story Part 2
And this is the happy ending~

In an unlikely place at a most inconvenient time, God brought the name James Walker across my path, and I wrote it on the last line of the “possibility page” in my journal.  Then I went home for bed rest.  Praying… and waiting… and writing… and resting. {That story is here.}

What I knew then in my head and mostly tried to act upon, I now know in my heart.  God doesn’t need us to put ourselves “out there” in order for us to find His will, His plan, His mate.  In the most unlikely time and at the most unexpected place, He can bring about what ever it is that He desires for our lives – in His perfect timing and in His perfect way.   While we are waiting on God and praying and trusting, we must also be obeying.  As long as we are obeying God right where we are, He will guide us and we will be in the right place for Him to accomplish His best in and through our lives. 🙂

While I was home on bed rest, I prayed for James Walker, along with the other people in my journal.  Soon I began receiving sweet cards from the girls in my single’s Sunday School class.  And oddly enough, they all mentioned a “friend” they had named James Walker, who coached our church league girl’s softball team.  After I returned from my month of rest, I met James on my first Sunday back at church.  It was February 23rd,1992.  Exactly one month later, I knew James Walker was the one God had planned for me!

See, besides praying… and waiting… and writing in my “husband’s journal,” I had also been writing something else.  Something that I started when I was 13 years old.  A list.

A list of all of the qualities I wanted in a husband. 

It was more like a file folder full of scraps of papers and corners of church bulletins than an official list.  When ever I would see or hear of or think of a quality I wanted in a husband, I’d write it down and tuck it away in my file.  Some of the qualities were deeply Spiritual and important.  Others were absolutely silly and unnecessary for a great marriage.  But all were important enough to me for me to write down and give to the Lord.  I reasoned that if they were important to me, and if I gave them to Him, He would give them back to me if they were best and if He could receive glory through them.

And guess what?!!!

James Walker had every quality I had asked for in a husband! 

I didn’t know it at first.  In fact, we had gone on just three dates when it seemed that everyone at church already had us “married off.”  I didn’t like him in that way, so I prepared a Crock-pot roast and invited him for Sunday dinner in order to give him the “lets just be friends” speech.

That Sunday morning before dinner, our preacher said something that would be a life-changer for me.  He said something like this: “Are you standing in the door way of what God has for you because you don’t think it is His very best?”  James was sitting in the choir loft at the time.  I was so “done” with dating, and I had just “married Jesus,” but I felt as if God was speaking directly to me that morning.  “Was I standing in the door way of what God has for me that is His very best, but I didn’t think it was?”  I let out a sigh and looked up at the choir loft and told  the Lord:

“Lord, I just don’t care anymore.  I don’t want to stand in the doorway of what you have for me.  If you want me to marry that James Walker up there, I will do it.  I just don’t want to miss your best.”

When church was over, I rushed home and set out the meal.  It felt like fattening up the calf before the kill.  All was going as planned until I tried to give the “friend-speech.”  Each time I started to say it, God would remind me of something on my list, and would show me that James had that specific quality.  So I’d take a bite of food, regroup, and try again.  This lasted through the entire meal and two cups of coffee afterward.  (BTW, a coffee-lover was on my list!)

It was time for James to return to church for the afternoon, and I still hadn’t told him that we could “just be friends.”  I was thinking about what my friends would say when I told them I couldn’t do it when James held out his hand to me.  He unassumingly said, “Let’s pray before I leave.”  So I took his hand… and in the middle of his prayer, I FELL IN LOVE!

My heart did a 180!  Instead of going back to church and telling my friends that I “let him down easily” – I had to go back and tell them that James was the one!!!

He left my house completely unaware of any of this, and I was left dumbfounded.  I was in love.  A completely different feeling than I had expected.  I was overwhelmed, excited, nervous, and energized.  Mostly, I was confused.   So I did what any List-making-praying-waiting-girl would do, and I pulled out that file called “husband” and compiled a master list of 10 years of listed qualities.

There were 113 of them.  113!

And James Walker met every quality on my list!

Soon my parents met him and agreed that he was the one for whom we had prayed.  On the day that they met James and agreed, I was able to do something I had been waiting to do: I wrote “Dear James” in the “Husband Journal.”  It was a monumental event. 😉  I kept writing, and gave the journal to James as a wedding gift.

We met and married in under 8 months time.  To God be the glory!

I share this story in gratitude to both James and Jesus, and in hopes that it will encourage you dear readers who are waiting and praying for God to do something big in your life or in the lives of your loved ones.  Through this 10 year period of praying… and waiting… and writing, I learned some beautiful truths:

1.  Nothing is too big or too little for God!  Well-meaning people would tell me that my list was too long or too specific.  Several times I asked the Lord if I needed to let the list go, and I never felt like that’s what He wanted.  I knew that if God wanted to answer every request on that list, He would and could do it.  And, God knew that whether He did or didn’t give me what I asked, I would still trust and glorify Him through His answer.

2.  It’s in the little things that we often realize how much God loves us and cares about the intimate details of our lives.  I expected God to answer the important Spiritual things on the list with a YES.  But truly… It wouldn’t have been a game-changer if my husband didn’t like old movies or classical music.  The fact that God answered even the silly and unnecessary things on my list make me love both God and James even more!

3.  If it’s important to us, it’s important to God.  He will never laugh or make cruel fun of us for the desires of our hearts.  If, as we are praying and obeying and waiting when we happen to be desiring something that is not good for us, He will help change our desires into something that IS good for us.  Nothing about our lives, our desires, our choices, or our loves is unimportant to God.

For this man I prayed… and waited… and wrote… And God granted me my request.  May He forever receive glory through our married lives!

Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord
with all your heart and mind
and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.

In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him,
and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6 AMP

Roll your works upon the Lord
[commit and trust them wholly to Him;
He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will,
and] so shall your plans be established and succeed.
Proverbs 16:3, AMP


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For This Man I Prayed… and Waited… and Wrote… {Part 2}

 For Part 1, click here.  🙂

For This Man I Prayed and Waited and Wrote.

Part 2 ~ Continuing the repost from 2012


A few pages from my “Husband’s Journal”

Praying… and waiting {albeit not always with the  greatest of patience}… and writing in my husband’s journal seemed to somewhat satisfy the angst in my soul to find that promised “ministry-man” from the Lord.  Looking back, I was young.  Really young.  But at the time, when most of my college friends were already married, and many of my single friends had rings on their fingers, it seemed like God had forgotten me and my “pious” dedication to trust Him with finding me a husband.  I thought I was past my prime.  So I often tried to “help God along” …  always to no avail.  Others tried to help God and me find my man, and that never worked out either.  Except one time.

And once was all that was needed.

I had a list in my prayer journal of the names of potential “blind dates” that my friends had arranged for me.  It was generally the same repeated conversation – “You’re a nice girl.  He’s a nice guy.  You two should meet.”  And we would.  And sometimes we’d meet and become great friends.  Other times, it just wouldn’t work out.  But always, I’d write the nice guy’s name down on my page of “possibilities” in my prayer journal.

See, I felt that if God allowed this man to cross my life enough for me to possibly spend even one evening with him, then God had crossed our lives for some purpose.  Because of that knowledge, I could invest in what God was doing in his life by praying for him.  Every time a name was given to me as a “nice guy you should meet,” I’d write his name on my list. (If he had qualities I especially liked, I’d put a star by his name. haha.  I had this down to a science!)

Every so often, I’d turn to that page of possibilities and pray through the names written there.  Though some of these blind dates never materialized, I still prayed for the guy.  It was kind of like being a secret pal to someone – investing in a life I knew nothing about, but one that God cared deeply about – deeply enough to bring his name to my list.

On a cold January day in 1992, I was in a doctor’s office in Memphis, TN – waiting on the doctor to sign a release form because he was sending me home from my teaching job for a month’s leave. {That story is here.} I was very sick at the time and could no longer function as normal.  Also in that waiting room was the  mom of a little boy I had in my classroom several years earlier.  She recognized me and we chatted.

Then she said those familiar words: “I have someone I want you to meet.”  She told me how God had put me on her heart for him, and him for me… and how he was a nice Godly guy and I was a nice Godly girl and how we’d be great together.  blah blah blah.  Not that I didn’t care, but I was tired.  Physically sick and tired, and spiritually tired and weary of waiting and of praying and of writing.  Inwardly I groaned.  But outwardly, I let her tell me the name of this guy and said that I’d pray about it and pray for him.

When I got back to my prayer journal, I had one line left on that “possibility” page.  ONE LINE, y’all!

And guess whose name I wrote on that one line!!!?

You guessed it!

James Walker.

I left to go to MS to my parent’s home for my month of bed rest.  And while I was there, I kept praying… and waiting… and writing…

“And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint
in acting nobly and doing right,
for in due time
and at the appointed season
we shall reap,
if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.”
Galatians 6:9 AMP

Check out the hair: both on my head and on James’ face! hahaha

Part 3, tomorrow. 🙂


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For this Man I prayed… and waited… and wrote… {PART 1}

For This Man I Prayed and Waited and Wrote.

Today James and I will have been married for 24 years.  Twenty-four-years.  It sounds much longer to me than it actually feels, yet I can hardly remember doing life without him.  

Four years ago I posted a three-part series on how I prayed and waited on God to bring James into my life, and I wanted to re-post the story for anyone who may need encouragement to keep waiting upon and trusting in The Lord.  He does see, hear, and provide in His most perfect of ways.  May the Lord continue to use this story and our lives for His great glory.

Happy 24th Anniversary, James Walker.  You were SO worth the wait!!!  It is a privilege to be your bride, and I love you!

Post written in 2012~

Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of the marriage of James Russel Walker and Jennifer Lee Crawford.  On that day in 1992, our two individual lives became one, and a promise was made before God and witnesses that we would tough it out till death parts us.  Through better or worse, richer or poorer, and through sickness and health.  And in the last 20 years, every one of those challenges and choices to love through them have been faced head on.  As in all marriages, we’ve faced numerous times of both joy and sorrow, peace and difficulty… things that if we hadn’t been committed to God and to each other could/would have torn us apart.

Though I’m no  sage at this stage of life and matrimony, I wanted to share with you the one thing that I know has made a difference in our marriage.  It’s something that preceded even my meting of  James Walker.  And that thing is prayer.

From the time I was in my mother’s womb, my family prayed for me and for my spouse.  And over my growing up years, I too, learned to pray for my spouse.  By the time I was 13, God had called me to be a Minister’s wife, mother, and encourager of women through His Word.  I didn’t really know what in the world that would mean, but I began to pray for my ministry man.

I prayed and looked for him through high school, but he wasn’t there.

I prayed and looked for him through college… A Christian college where all kinds of preacher-boys attended… but he wasn’t there.

So I decided to start a journal to my future husband – in faith that one day I would find him. 😉  I wrote about significant things that were happening in my life, pretending that he was merely out of town and missed them.  (We didn’t have text or email back then… so writing letters was “normal” – grin.) I never let myself write “Dear ____”.  I wanted to save “Dear (insert name)”  for the day I knew my husband’s name.  So I prayed… and waited… and wrote…

I prayed and looked for him in the singles department of our large church… and couldn’t find him there (for a few years, at least).

So I continued to write to him.  I had purchased a beautiful leather bound journal and transferred the college-written letters into it.  Somehow having a leather “real book” made him seem more “real”.

I was getting desperate.  Friends were getting married all around me. So… like any Christian girl might do…

I finally gave up.  During my second year of teaching 2nd grade, I decided to marry Jesus, and live with Him as my husband and together, we would go on the mission field somewhere.  {What a noble plan!  However, this wasn’t God’s plan for me… but it is what I figured that I needed to do after so many years of praying and waiting and looking and writing to no avail.} I even told my boss, my school principal, that I would be leaving the next year for the mission field.  {Mind you, I was still sick – God had not yet healed me and I was barely making it some days.  Why in the world I thought I would get accepted into any mission program at that point, I just don’t know! Ugg!}  She wisely encouraged me to wait and pray, and gave me a printed copy of a quote from someone about waiting on and trusting in God.

So I gave up those plans and just kept praying… and waiting… and writing.

I prayed for my husband  every time I felt lonely.  I prayed for him when I would hear a great sermon or be convicted about something through my quiet times – I prayed that he would be convicted or taught the same thing too.  I prayed for him when I saw tragedy – prayed for his protection.  I prayed for his mind, his heart, his choices, his joys, his sorrows, what he was doing with his present time, his job, and his future.  I prayed for him each morning as I started a new day, and each night as I went to sleep.  Most of all I prayed for his walk with the Lord, and begged God to mold him into the Spiritual leader of our home.

I prayed… and waited… and wrote.

Part 2 ~ tomorrow.  🙂



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