As some of you know, I lost my wife Leigh to breast cancer several years ago. This was by far the hardest thing our family has ever had to go through.
She and I fell in love in Mrs. Leopold’s class in 3rd grade! Honest to goodness! Her last name was Salls, mine is Mallon. The teacher had us arranged in alphabetical order, so I was right in the center of the room, and Leigh was two rows over to my right, by the window. We used to make goo-goo eyes at each other and laugh. I was sure that she was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen.
Several months after she passed away, I began to think, “Will I ever find love again?” The loneliness was almost unbearable. I know that God was with me every step of the way. Even now, it’s very hard to look back on those grief-filled, bleak days.
I believe that God hears all of our prayers—every single one. When you read through the Bible, you will see that Jesus talks a lot about our need to ask. In particular, I like John 16:24 which concerns the subject:
“Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”
Every morning, I spend time with God. I usually read the Bible for a few minutes and then I pray. Over time, I’ve learned to become much more precise about what I pray for.
One morning during my quiet time, I had the thought, “If I could pray for the perfect woman, what would I ask for?” I sat down with a piece of paper and listed six things I wanted in a wife. I am not going to tell you specifically what I asked for—that’s my business, not yours. But let me just say, I was very descriptive and specific in what I wanted.
Each morning, I would pray for this woman, and I asked God to bless me with her. I prayed this prayer for over a year.
A side note: I also have a friend named Corey Baker who started praying for me about a year after Leigh’s passing. I don’t know where this thought came from, but his prayer was that God would give me the Nancy Reagan that Ronald Reagan had. Nancy completed him. They were made for each other. They were perfect together!
Corey once told me that he prayed that prayer for me every morning and that he has never been more sure that God would answer a specific prayer for him than the one he prayed for me.
The result: God answered my prayer on June 20, 2006. That was the day Sandy and I had our first date. We have been married now for a little over four years.
She and I met for lunch. I found that lunch worked well. I’d been on a few dates, and I discovered that if I didn’t like them, lunch was only an hour long. (Always thinking…!)
Our first date…
We had decided to meet at PF Chang’s at the Mall of Georgia. Sandy was standing under the huge horse statue waiting for me just outside the front doors.
Our first words…
Sandy, “Robert?” (She had a big smile on her face!)
And I said, “You’re pretty!!!” (She was stunning!)
Four hours later, after a great lunch, coffee at Starbucks, her allowing me to hold her hand for the first time, and a hug as I walked her to her car, we said goodbye.
I couldn’t wait to see her again!
And most importantly, not only did God answer my prayer, and give me the six things I asked for–He actually added several things that I didn’t ask for! He knew exactly what I needed, and he provided.
God’s love for us is perfect. He loves you beyond what you or I can imagine. The closest I can come to grasping this is the love I have for my children. I often tell people who are expecting, that the birth of a child is the one thing that will change your life more than any other thing in your life. The minute that Joe, Clint, and Brock were born, I would gladly have given my life for them. No other time in life will you experience this! Not with your spouse—it took time to fall in love, and also not with your parents–you were too young to know who they were. But you would do this for your kids. If you’re parents, you know this.
And yet, our love is imperfect.
In Matthew 7:11, Jesus says, “So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.”
He is the giver of perfect gifts!
I call Sandy my “GG.” Until now, that’s been just between us. What that means is “God’s Gift!” Not to sound too mushy, but there are times when I look at her and I’m overcome with joy by the gift that God has given me.
She’s absolutely perfect!
So what is it that you need? What is your heart’s desire? I would suggest that you grab a piece of paper and write it down. Get very specific. And then start praying. I can assure you, God hears your prayers. Every one!
And He loves you beyond what you can imagine!