Inspired by Brio Magazine to write letters to my future husband, I wrote nearly 150 letters during my adolescent years (sealed with wax and tied with ribbons). I wrote the first letter a month after turning 15. The letters to this imaginary person are embarrassing and ridiculous and beautiful (but mostly ridiculous). I've decided to start sharing them. My commentary is italicized and set in brackets.

Letter #1: July 27,  2002

My dearest husband [how many husbands did I expect to have?],

This is the first of many letters to come. Perhaps you will never be. Only God knows. If that is the case, these shall be left un-opened years, perhaps. Maybe one day they will be put into a time capsule.

[I was obsessed with time capsules. I buried one in our backyard, but was so excited about the prospect of digging up a time capsule that I unearthed it myself a year later. I still have it, complete with coins, newspaper clippings, letters, and the plastic top punctured by the pitchfork I used to dig it up.]

I love you will all my heart, and if I do not, it is my own fault because I would not wait for God to bring my husband to me. [Dang. What did I think would happen? That I would miss the God-picked husband and settled for a louse of a man whom I couldn't love with my whole heart? That any marriage problems I might have in the future were automatically my fault for missing "the one"? Yikes.]

But I pray that this is not the case. [Yeah, you'd better, girl. 'Cause if it is, that's it. You're stuck with that louse.]

Oh, darling, beloved, are you truly my Atticus? You are...and you always will be. [Oh. Yeah. I forgot that I had a thing for Atticus Finch. With his serious brow and clarity of speech, Atticus was to me the manliest of men.]

Per chance you may open this after we have had a quarrel. [Lovers didn't "argue," they "quarreled."] Please remember that I still love you [unless you're a louse], and that it is most likely only pride on both sides. [Yup, pride. Not the result of real differences of opinion. Because you are The One and we would never disagree, so it must be that doggone pride.]

Please remember that my heart is easily crushed, and do not misuse the power I gave you when I gave you my heart. But I trust you with my heart, and have no fear of putting it in your hands.

[This does make me wonder about how I conceived of love. Did I think my heart or affections was just something I could hand over to someone voluntarily? That you just decide to love or trust someone and PRESTO there they have your heart? Like so much of evangelical culture, I thought in binaries. Love was there or it wasn't. You had faith in God or you didn't. Your sexuality was awake or asleep, and goshdarnit you'd better not rouse that beast before you've met and married The One.]

Ever so much love [if you are The One],