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greatly encouraged

June 16, 2011

Last summer, I had an obsession with all things photography, so I spent hours looking through photographers websites and portfolios. So when the engagement photos of my friend, Courtney, popped up on my Facebook news feed, I went immediately to the photographer’s profile, finding my way to her website, which just happened to be a blog with some videos about who she is, one being a marathon she ran in honor of her father. It inspired me so much that I randomly (I NEVER do stuff like this!!) facebook messaged her and thanked her for the encouragement she had given me, never even expecting a reply back! Needless to say, now a year later, she has become a friend and my biggest cheerleader in the “not settling for less” department.  Why, you may ask?? 

Because when you start to hear about her journey from single to Stephen (her now husband), you can’t help but be encouraged…God is the absolute center of the story!  Scarlett made a decision in 2007 that she was going to write a “relationship manifesto” (a list of all the things she dreamed up for her husband and her marriage)  and she was going to trust the Lord with these desires of her heart and that she was going to wait patiently until the Lord was ready to put the two of them together. She made the bold decision to post it on her blog so the world could keep her accountable!!  Read it here:

Here are some pictures from Scarlett and Stephen’s wedding, this past spring:

As much of an impact as Scarlett has had on my life, it wouldn’t have even been possible if another girl had choosen to settle instead of wait!  I have known Courtney since I was really young through school and dance. She has ALWAYS been a person I admire and look up to but recently it has been for a very specific reason. Her story with Ben (her now husband)!! 

Here’s a picture Scarlett took at their wedding:

I was standing at the back of the church during the wedding (becuase mom and I are always late to everything), listening to the musicians play the song “God Gave You Me”, I thought about how incredible the Lord is and how much I love and adore Him, but how I’ve been really impatient about getting into a relationship lately. When the doors of the church opened and Courtney stood there with here mom, about to walk to the man of her dreams, tears began pouring down my face. (Side note: I have never cried at a wedding before!!) It was in that moment, as I watched her walk down the aisle and saw Scarlett and Stephen with cameras in hand, that I made a decision….”Okay God, I want this, I trust you, and I’m willing to wait for it”.

At the wedding reception, I got the opportunity to tell Scarlett about my incredible moment with the Lord and my new motivation to wait. Through those talks, and email conversations the week after, I made up my mind to write my own list, much like Scarlett’s relationship manifesto.  I began with the title…”What I’m willing to wait for”.  7 pages later, I sat down at my computer and typed it out in order to email it to Scarlett.  Hopefully, sometime soon, you will be seeing a blog post with my list attached, but for now, I’m keeping it tucked away in my journal and in the email inbox of a few select women.

The verse I wrote in my journal just moments before I started my list:

“Don’t ever forget those early days when you first learned about Christ. Remember how you reamined faithful even through it meant terrible suffering.” Hebrews 10:32

In comparison to torture and death, some may say loneliness is not terrible suffering but it’s really difficult when you feel like you’re on an island by yourself. As my friend, Megan (, said…”loneliness can be crippling.” Loneliness is rough and hard and difficult, which makes settling much more appealing.  But it’s SO important for us to remain faithful to Him and be patient, even when the loneliness is crippling.

I am SOOOOO thankful to Scarlett and Courtney for their determination to keep Christ first and for being a GREAT encouragement us single ladies to be patient!!

xoxo, va

By the way…Scarlett is an INCREDIBLE photographer so be sure to check out her work here:

4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 20, 2011 8:35 pm

    Thank you so much for all your kinds words. I’m so proud of you for writing your own list. You are honoring yourself and your future husband, and God by refusing to settle for less than His best! I promise you, it will be worth the wait! 🙂


  1. Typical Young Marriage between Two | The Good News
  2. scarlett and stephen « Life and Times of VA
  3. willing to wait | Following the Fortunatos

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