Steve was tall, handsome, 17, and a senior. I was a sophomore and thought I was madly in love with Steve. He liked me too, and I thought that was great. We didn’t date because I wasn’t old enough; we didn’t go to the same school either. But he did call me, and I did get to see him at the stake dances twice a month. I envisioned a romance that would last forever.
Steve wasn’t the most active churchgoer around, but I just knew I could help him change. I used to pray to Heavenly Father to inspire me about how to help Steve become active in the Church. But most of all, I prayed for things to work out between us.
I used to imagine him going on a mission while I finished high school. I dreamed we would write faithfully, and everything would be so romantic. I imagined him returning home, surprising me with flowers. We’d be so in love. He’d be ready to go to college and excel. We’d be married in the temple. Life would be bliss. I wanted it so much it made my teeth ache.
Then, after three months of this fantasy romance, Steve showed up at a dance with alcohol on his breath. This didn’t fit my dream. He told me I didn’t understand him at all. The phone calls at night stopped.
All I could do was cry and pray. I did a lot of both. For months I prayed to Heavenly Father to inspire Steve to give me another chance. I will be more tolerant, I thought. I will be more understanding. With me he will change. No one is perfect, I told myself. He just needs more time to grow up. My prayers were pleading and demanding. They didn’t even hint at the idea of listening to the Spirit and obeying the will of my Heavenly Father.
Fortunately, Steve never did show an interest in me again. Later, while I was still in high school, I heard that Steve’s girlfriend was pregnant. They got married, but now they’re divorced. I’m sorry for Steve, but I’m so thankful my prayers at 15 weren’t answered the way I wanted them to be. I’m grateful my life has gone the way it has—without him.
Since then I’ve served a mission, graduated from college, and been married in the temple. I married a returned missionary who is 100 times more wonderful than any man my teenage dreams ever imagined. And unlike Steve or some of the others I dated, my husband never needed to change the way he was living to make me happy. He was just right the way he was.
Today, I thank my Heavenly Father for those unanswered prayers. At 15 I thought I was asking for a good thing—now I know better. I’m so thankful for a loving Heavenly Father who knew better and didn’t answer those prayers, even though I felt hurt at the time. He made my dreams come true in a much grander way than I ever imagined.