However, that's not the first letter I ever wrote to Zach Jones.
I wrote this letter nearly ten years ago when I was in middle school. I know that I was in middle school because I dated the letter, but even if I hadn't, we could all deduce this was written during the middle school ages due to the fact that:
1) It is written in a purple gel pen. 'Nuff said.
2) The "Beth handwriting" that I have become semi-famous for among my group of letter-writing friends did not develop until high school, and I assure you it is nowhere to be found in this letter.
3) I included a SWAK. Epic middle school awesomeness at an all-time high, folks.
My youth group leaders in middle school (I think they sometimes read this... hiii, Mr. Jason & Tina!) had a toddler-aged daughter at the time. I vividly remember them talking one Sunday afternoon about beginning to pray for the spouse of their child. It was initially a bizarre concept for me; she was like, two years old. The more they talked about it, though, the more sense it made. There was a rather likely chance that her future spouse was already out there toddling around somewhere. If her future spouse was potentially out there, then my future spouse was definitely out there. Thirteen year old mind blown.
With that, I began actively praying for my husband. Not in the "Dear God, Please give me a boyfriend who will someday become my husband" type of way, but genuinely praying for him: for his relationship with God, his family, his friends, his life in general. I continued praying for him constantly throughout high school as well. I remember praying for my future husband more than I prayed for anything else as a teenager. I prayed that he would have a strong commitment to the same morals that I deeply value (and what do you know... he does!) I prayed for a man of godly character and of purity. And somewhere amongst all the prayers, I wrote him a letter.
I'm so glad I'm marrying Zach, because he's the only person on the planet I could trust to read this letter and not completely judge some of the
Everything else in the letter is just for Zach. He knows it exists - he has for quite sometime - but he hasn't read it yet. For now, it lives with me in my "Zach box," which contains over four years' worth of movie stubs and letters on Marine Corps stationery. It has lived in that box for quite sometime, because while we've only been engaged for six months, I've known the intended recipient of this letter for years. Such a tangible reminder of God's faithfulness and answered prayer... and my precious middle school heart.