About a month ago, I found a letter Bret had written to me from Iraq that he never sent. The past few days I’ve been cleaning up my files and found a whole big stack of letters. The bulk of these letters were written to each other when Bret was stationed in Iraq. We started dating about a week or two before he was deployed (only about 4 months after we met).
I want to share a few snippets with my readers. Not because I think we’re some great couple and have sweet/mushy/funny letters….but because the evidence of our trust in God in the situation is staggering….and humbling to me now…it’s crazy how mature my 25 year old self was about the whole situation. I share not to show how great we were….but how great God was and is in our lives. I see hints of who we are as a couple now and it’s wonderful.
So, take a read…it does get a little mushy, so you may want to skip out now if you’re not into that kind of thing. 🙂
Oh and here’s a picture of Bret from 2007. Take that throw back Thursday!
3/14/07 Bret to Jen
thankfully, i have been able to see that “all things work for the good” of people who believe in Christ. its hard, but i have been able to.
8/7/07 Bret to Jen
ps, i hope saying i love you to you never gets old. i seriously mean it every time. you have been my greatest blessing jen, and even if we dont end up together, i will always want the best for you. i love you.
8/11/07 Jen to Bret
Ah, ha, I just realized you’re super easy to please….and so am I….lol…that’s a very good thing. I really love that we can sit back and see what we are and what we have. God is so good for giving us this time apart so we can reflect on everything. It really has been an amazing time for me. I am so floored by the fact of how well I’ve been doing without you here…with you in a freakin other country dude. It’s crazy. God is so good to us. So very very good.
8/23/07 Bret to Jen
by the way, i received your letter today, or i should say letters, there was one typed, and i think another with a poem, and another hand written, or talon written (because i think a chicken scratched it out with his feet), letter from i guess it was you. but yeah, dont have a chicken write any more of your letters, i had to read the sentences a couple times. stupid chicken 🙂 but hey, dont worry, i really dont mind. its actually pretty amusing, i enjoy trying to figure out what some of the words are. its like a game: hmm, let me see, what word could go there, and still allow the sentence to make sense 🙂 although anything could go there, cuz i never really know what the heck jen is talking about anyways.
8/25/07 Jen to Bret
How good God is to us. ah, I can’t say it enough. It really is overwhelming, it’s so awesome God brought us together when we did, it was just the right time for both of us.
It is also a joy to be loved by you. You make it easy to wait. I know there are no guarantees we’ll get married, but isn’t that the way life is? I’m almost glad I don’t know.
“But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me…” 2 Timothy 4:17a
I read that line and couldn’t keep going. I was stuck. It made me think about where I was and how God has overwhelmingly strengthened me. I seem to forget my old self so easy. The person I was just a few months ago could never have handled having someone she loved as much as I love you in Iraq. I never could have imagined I could be as calm and truly thankful as I am. It’s so awesome I can be like this. Maybe the secret is thankfulness. I feel like that’s a big part, a heart of thankfulness really doesn’t have room for worry or future stuff. So here’s what I’m “us” thankful for:
– That we have a crazy story
– that we got together two weeks before you left – it makes things even more crazy/interesting
– that you make me love and appreciate who God is more
– that you also hate me more than I’ve ever been hated before (blogger’s note: when we were dating, we were “mean jokers” with each other. Thankfully, we had very wise pre-marital counselors who pointed out that this wasn’t a good thing…but it makes for a funny read.)
– that God loves us more than we love each other
– that you have, through how you love me, shown me even more deeply how much God loves me.
– still like me even though I write you mushy letters.
I love you like I love the oreo creame pie that’s in my freezer that I didn’t eat today because I’m not a fatty like you. 🙂
~ Your jennilyn
p.s. How’s that for an “I love you”
8/28/07 Jen to Bret
How good of God to give us such a large trial as you being in Iraq so that we can be made so very strong. Praise God I can say that! How good is our God babe, how good!
9/17/07 Jen to Bret
Overall, I want God’s best, whether that means we get married next year, or years from now, or not at all. I want his best, I know that I am no good at figuring things out, so I have to leave it with him. I do trust.
I really never knew what true friendship and love were before you. You encourage me to grow in ways I could never have imagined on my own. You help me to see clearly more and more every day how good God is.
10/1/07 Jen to Bret
So I guess I’ll try and send you more chicken letters. Though, I don’t know what you see in her. She has the worst handwriting. Oh well.
I think God is having fun and showing off with us, and I love that, it is so good.
10/2/07 Jen to Bret
do you know, like really know how much of a gift and blessing you are to me? Do you wake up in the morning and realize I’ve been thinking about you? That my days are a little brighter because of what God is doing in our lives? He is so glorified through us. It is such a joy to experience His hand so clearly.
Oooo! I’ll write you a poem. 🙂
a lifetime of tears
seemingly washed away
they kind of make sense
always running around
always seeking my own
until He stepped in
put His hand
smack in my way
after the air cleared
the rubble washed away
there you are
everything I think
I’ve always wanted
a love/hate relationship
(but mostly hate)
we’re on this adventure
crazy, new, perfect
made for us
with our special needs
mirrors His joy and creativity
we can only give Him all that we are
11/1/07 Jen to Bret
It is a wonderful dream though, you and me forever. What makes it so good isn’t that it would be all mushy, fairy tale like, it’s that it would be real, we would face trials and hard times, honestly I think that’s what I look forward to, working on things together. Man, I hope God is preparing us for each other. And my goodness have we both been through such rigorous preparation. I am thankful for every time my heart was broken now because of the joy it has been to have you mend it. I feel full and complete now because of your love.
11/5/07 Jen to Bret
I’m so thankful that I’m here for this part of your journey. You are such an amazing man. I can truly not wait to see what God has in store for you. You are going to do huge things for Him. I just pray He blesses me with serving beside you. I don’t think my imagination can fully grasp what God can do with us.
SPOILER ALERT!! – We did end up together. 😉
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