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To the girl I’ve prayed for . . .

March 13, 2018

Dear Sydney –

I am so incredibly excited I don’t know even where to begin.  Probably the best place would be way back at the beginning.  I will spare you all the details of his life, but I will tell you that ever since that special guy of yours was a toddler, I have been praying for you.  My hopes for you started in a MOMS group when the idea was planted that it was super idea to pray for the one who would someday love your kids.

While you were the little blond cutie in South Dakota and Florida, I was praying that someone was loving you fiercely, was telling you how incredible you are, and was introducing you to Jesus and helping you cultivate a relationship with him. I said prayers hoping that you would feel comfortable in your own skin and that you carve an identity that was securely yours before being defined by another. I prayed that you would grow to be woman who developed passions and interests that defined her joy, but also that you would learn that sometimes it is the ordinary moments of life that blow you away.  I prayed for your parents and your family that every moment of your life you would be surrounded by love.

When you did come into my son’s life, you were the new girl who enjoyed golf as much as he did and happened to be in a few classes with him.  Although he doesn’t understand my fear leading up to the big waterpark trip, I knew something was up when he told me who rode in his vehicle.

You were so quiet and shy in the beginning that it took time to really get to know you, but when I was told the story of how your heart broke when others were treating Jesus’ least of these disrespectfully, I knew you were going to be the “one”.  Even with that knowledge when you two left for the same university, I was still clinging to the prayer that you would find your own passions and interests.  I was overjoyed to hear that your parents had essentially the same conversation that we had with both of you. I had prayed for them for years, but it was in that moment that I realized how much I had grown to love two amazing people whom I was just beginning to know.  How could I not love them? They raised you.

There have been defining moments in our times together, but there are two that caused me to catch my breath.  Prior to you, Sawyer has had some incredible friends, and still does. But none have been as close to him as Reed.  Not many would feel comfortable being involved in a family who carry huge holes in their hearts.  But you have shared in intimate moments of remembrance, embracing us through our tears and sharing you wish that you would have had the chance to have met him. You have also joined in the times of living out his legacy, sharing Reed’s joy and love with others.  It was in one of those quiet instants that I realized that of all the girls in the world, our sweet guy had found the one who loves animals, Harry Potter, superheroes, art, and most importantly, Sawyer as much as Reed did.  I know that if he had the chance, he would tell Sawyer to not ever let you slip away.

Then there was that moment last summer on the beach.  I was saddened by Sawyer getting hurt, but that injury allowed me to see what you mean to our family, but especially to me.  While Daniel and I were walking the beach, we stumbled across this scene.


There you were taking on the role of loving on Sally and making sure she wasn’t some odd 3rd wheel in our merry band of couples.  What you don’t know is that I stood behind you on the beach with tears streaming down my face because it was in that precise moment when I realized how much I truly love you.  In those happy tears, I came to the realization that all my prayers for the girl that God knew would be the one had come true.  Even now writing this, I am tearing up, because it is a pretty amazing to meet the girl from your prayers and know that God has granted far beyond the desires of your heart.

One of my favorite songs is Heartland’s “I loved her first”.  Even though the song is written from a daddy-daughter perspective, the lyrics hold true for mommas and sons too.

I loved him first
I held him first
And a place in my heart will always be his
From the first breath he breathed
When he first smiled at me
I knew the love of a mother runs deep
And I prayed that he’d find you someday


But see there was a lesson he taught me too.  He was the second son who showed me just how expandable a mother’s heart truly is.  I don’t see this moment as one where I am losing anything. No, my sweet girl, I see this as the time my heart permanently stretches to make just a little more room to love you even more.


I could not be happier, more proud, more excited, and more joy-filled that you said “YES” because I know, truly know, that you are his answered prayers too!

Welcome to the Team, Sydney! We all love you!




  1. Ernestine Williams permalink

    Congratulations, Sawyer and Sydney. I am so happy for the both of y’all. 💕 💙

  2. nancyholte permalink

    Wow! I didn’t know Reed is engaged! That’s awesome!

  3. This is such a sweet post!!!! 🙂 Congratulations on the engagement. I wish them many blessings!!😞

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