We’ve been combing through the house, one closet and dresser at a time, pulling out things we’ve kept for someday…and it’s not that someday never comes, but rather that it simply doesn’t exist. The stuff is clutter we tell ourselves we need for a someday, but it’s a lie.

The third 8×8 baking pan. The eighth pair of stretchy gloves from the dollar bin. The shirt that hasn’t fit right for three years now, and in truth, I never liked it anyway. The spare lid to the aluminum water bottle. A key to…what?

So we have combed through and lugged sagging plastic bags to the trash barrel. We have tagged for rummage. We have donated. We have been ruthless. If we haven’t used it, don’t like it, don’t have room for it…it goes.

And in the stacks of extra and unneeded, I found them.

They were not extra and unneeded.

They were just buried by it.

Thick 8×11 journals, drenched from cover to cover in ink, tears, and prayers. Words I started scribbling one night at a Bible study…that turned into aching prayers poured forth from a single heart longing, longing, longing for marriage.

I pilfered through, looking at the quotes, the verses, the straight-up cries of the soul. The questions, the self-soothing, more questions, the rise of anger, the comfort of Scripture…all in my own handwriting.

In my typical organized fashion, I flipped to the front and back of each, looking for dates that represented the order the books should be stored – oldest to newest.

That’s when I found it. An entry from 11.23.11:

My heart still aches to be loved. Do you think by this time next year, I might have someone to love? Will anyone choose me?

It was Thanksgiving Day, and that year, I spent it hundreds of miles from home, with my sister and her family. I’d gone away that year to clear my head and try to start again. The year before, on that very day, I was in a deep, aching pit, mourning the loss of a love I’d been sure was forever. That year, I had nothing to be thankful for, I declared. {I did, but the grief washed over me so completely, I couldn’t even swim to the surface to breathe in the blessings.} Life would never be the same, I declared. {And it hasn’t been…praise the Lord.}

But in 2011, I recognized the healing. I knew it wasn’t complete, but I knew it had begun. My words were softer, my heart was hopeful, and it was from that hope that I dared to write those words.

It wasn’t the first time such desires had been uttered – aloud or on paper.

But it was the first time in a long time that I dared to hope.

I stared at the words and smiled from a place of knowing. I knew God’s answer to my 2011 question.

Well, Bekah, I whispered to the journal in my lap, in a year, you’ll be ten days from your wedding. So yes. You’ll have someone to love. He will choose you.

Because one year later, I celebrated Thanksgiving as a fiancee…as a bride-to-be just days from exchanging vows.

I’m ready to dive into these journals. To read the pages from the other side of answered prayer and look for places God was moving…but I was too close to the moment to recognize it.

Today isn’t Thanksgiving, but that’s certainly the place my heart lives in this moment.Cry