Have you ever questioned the best thing to do or to say around your crush? This is a story about two teens who both had a big crush on each other. Among misunderstandings and miscues, they decided to pray with each other and for each other. And prayer made all the difference!
We met during a cold, grey, Michigan winter. He was a slender, country boy with freckles across his nose and a joke around his mouth. We were both 14 years old, but he was a few months older than I was (and a few inches shorter). He wore a bright red sun visor, indoors! He let me borrow the visor. I thought “maybe we could be friends,” although we lived far apart. The following summer, we saw each other again.
This time, something was different. He was tall! When he greeted me, his voice was low and resonating. Best of all, atop his slightly messy head of sandy-blond hair, what was he wearing? The red visor!
Our high school youth groups went on a regional conference together. At the end of the conference, a priest invited forward anyone who was open to religious life. The thought of religious life was scary, yet I found myself at the foot of the altar.
Low and behold, Red Visor Boy stood beside me! Together with about a hundred other students, we received the priest’s call to discernment. “Let me warn you, this is a dangerous prayer! If you pray this, the Lord will answer! You ready? Pray, ‘Holy Spirit, command me to do your will.’”
I prayed it that day.
Throughout high school, however, whenever I prayed for Red Visor Boy, an invisible forcefield arose. It wasn’t an audible voice. It was more like an internal command in my heart, saying, “Stay back.” That interior voice came along with a lot of peace, although it wasn’t what I wanted to hear. So I kept praying for him!
But then a mutual friend broke the news to me.
Red Visor Boy was joining the seminary. As a Freshman in college, he was discerning the priesthood! The thought of a future without him was heartbreaking.
Fast forward a few years. By God’s grace, my heart healed. The Lord led me to David: an amazing, faith-filled, handsome, virtuous man. Discerning marriage with David was the most joyous time in my life!
But what about Red Visor Boy?
Well, it turns out that Red Visor Boy had cared for me, too, since the day we met. When I was engaged to David, our past feelings finally came to light. You could probably guess that this was quite a shock to both of us.
Through prayer, it seemed clear that the Lord had been leading us down different paths the whole time! I was so excited to marry David, and Red Visor Boy found tremendous joy in his call to religious life. We were able to freely make these big life decisions from a place of peace and joy, despite some confusion about the way the Lord led us.
Here’s the mind-blowing part! After I got married and after he was ordained as a Catholic priest, I learned that he was praying for me, even during seminary. This was his prayer:
Lord, bless Amanda. Keep her safe. Keep anyone from using her or harming her in any way. Bring into her life the right man. A man who will love and cherish her, a man who will lead her to You. A man who is better than me.
What a prayer! That’s a sign of God’s love, in my opinion: to truly desire the best for the other person, regardless of the outcome.
So, if we’re set on events turning out only in the way we think is best, then prayer is dangerous. But if we’re open to God’s creativity in our journey? Then we can be certain that praying for someone we care for is not only going to be what’s best for him or her, but it’ll be what’s best for ourselves, too!
Will you pray with me today?
Holy Spirit, command me to do Your will.
Amanda Vernon is a Catholic evangelist who has shared her faith and music across the U.S. and in six foreign countries, in venues as diverse as World Youth Days in Sydney and Madrid to Lambeau Field for Monday Night Football. Originally from the Midwest, Amanda resides in Phoenix, AZ with her husband and their four young children. To read the full story that inspired this article—complete with “Red Visor Boy’s” perspective—check out Amanda’s book, co-authored with Fr. Matt Fase, CSC, When God Wrecks Your Romance: Orthodox Faith, Unorthodox Story.