How My Prayers Transformed My Husband-To-Be

Katie’s story

I was 17 when I had the life-changing opportunity to experience the program now known as Franciscan LEAD. This was the week I fell in love. This love had a name and a face and was more indescribable than anything I had ever experienced. It was Jesus who captured my heart and became the first Love of my life. The Lord, Love Himself, was revealed to me, and there was no turning back. I came home feeling alive for the first time and I knew I wanted more.

I also realized that week that if I was called to marriage then my Creator surely knew who I would marry. My heart began to yearn for a man who would love Christ more than he could ever love me. So I hit my knees. Each night, from then on, I begged God for specific intentions for my Husband-To-Be (or as I began to refer to him, my HTB). I asked that the man who would capture my heart would first be captured by His. If he was struggling with poor decisions, friendships, bad influences, or impurity, I pleaded that God would grant grace for conversion.

I decided that if my future spouse was out there, I didn’t want to waste my heart on anyone else. I knew I may have to kiss some frogs to find my prince, however, I wasn’t about to settle for frogs. I had a goal in mind and chastity of heart and body were the only way to reach it.

Mark’s story

My life throughout high school consisted of few things: basketball, friends, parties, girls and beer. I thought I had everything I needed. I certainly was not thinking about my future spouse or trying to prepare myself for her.

One night, during the summer after graduation, I was alone in my room when something happened that I will never forget. I wasn’t in prayer, or even thinking about God, when I unexpectedly felt the Holy Spirit rush into the room and into my heart. In that moment, I understood with clarity a simple reality: that my God lived, laughed, wept, and ultimately died on a cross…all for me. The clarity and grace I experienced that night was enough for me to change my life immediately and with urgency. I instantly fell to my knees and wept. I decided to turn from sin and grew in desire for purity, chastity, virtue and holiness.

Mark and Katie’s story

Several years passed and Mark and I both transferred to the same college where we met and began to date. (For all the juicy details visit womaninlove.org) That summer, we returned to our separate hometowns. One evening, during our daily chat, I felt an inclination to ask Mark if he knew the date of his conversion experience. I went to my bookshelf and pulled out a tattered notebook. As I turned to the date in my prayer journal, my heart pounded. There it was. I quickly began to read the prayers during that pivotal week at LEAD. The very week that I had decided to climb into the trenches as a warrior for my HTB matched up with the date of Mark’s conversion experience. I read the prayers of my teenage self as I begged the Lord to deliver my future spouse. I prayed about specific things that Mark was indeed tempted with, and asked that the Lord would show him how much more intoxicating life in Christ could be.

On the summer night of this discovery, we found ourselves once again separated by thousands of miles. However, this time, God revealed how He had rendered distance insignificant when He united us spiritually years before. I began to read these passages to Mark over the phone, and we both wept in amazement and thanksgiving.

If you are ever feeling like there are no good and holy men or women left in the world to love you the way you deserve to be loved, don’t be discouraged and don’t lose hope. God is good, and He answers prayers. Someone somewhere may be in need of yours

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katieKatie Hartfiel is an author and speaker dedicated to sharing the intense love of God. She graduated Franciscan University of Steubenville, where she received a degree in Theology. She served as a youth minister for seven years in Houston, where she now resides with her husband, Mark, and two daughters. In 2012, Katie released her first book, Woman in Love (available at womaninlove.org). 

17 Comments

  1. Beautiful story! It can be hard to be patient and to wait on God’s timing, but stories like these are always encouraging! Thank you for sharing- God really does hear our prayers and cares about every detail of our lives 🙂

    By Christiana | 3 years ago Reply
  2. This blog came at the perfect moment. Thank you!

    By Nicole | 3 years ago Reply
  3. This has answered my prayer. Thanks be to God. Many of my friends need to read this and I really need to print this. Thank so much and my the Lord be with You.

    By Erendir Garcia | 3 years ago Reply
  4. Oh WOW… I can completely relate. My husband and I have a similar experience. Thankfully I note down everything and sometime after we met, we began to compare notes on events in our lives and prayers that were said around the same time a few thousand miles apart. The Holy Spirit apparently stepped in and applied very specific prayers to exactly the needs my husband needed at the different moments in time… conversion being among them. =) God is indeed very, very good!!

    By Monique | 3 years ago Reply
  5. That was super inspiring! Thank you!

    By Dorothy | 3 years ago Reply
  6. Thank you so much for this wonderful post! I have long been reminded of praying for my Husband-To-Be but never started consistently. This makes me feel a strong pull to pray for him everyday consistently. Thank you so much.

    By Dyanne | 3 years ago Reply
  7. My story is similar to yours but I met my htb just 3 months after my prayers. Then we married 8 months after we met, now 50 years ago. My husband was baptized before a month before our wedding. We have 4 adult children and 8 grandchildren. Our oldest daughter is a Sister. And we are members of the Holy Family Institute living a consecrated married life. Congratulations in your good work.

    By louise hunt | 3 years ago Reply
  8. That is an awesome witness! I’ll pass this on. I have nine adult children and 12 grandchildren. I hope all will pray as you did for their children’s spouse or their own if it be God;s will for them to marry.

    By N> Wright | 3 years ago Reply
  9. Could you elaborate on specific intentions?

    By J | 3 years ago Reply
  10. This is incredible. Thank you so, so much for sharing. Recently I’ve become discouraged about my future–about finding a husband who’s holy. But this reminded me that I’m not the one who has to search. God knows our hearts and what is the very best for us.

    By Michelle | 3 years ago Reply
  11. I was amazed with your story and something in my heart tell me to relate my feeling as a widow. I was 62 years old and been widow for 3 years. At first I was so scared and lonely of being a widow, but through the help of my Filipino friends I survived the emptiness of my life. But something is missing is my life I yearning for a man.I do not know what to do except pray to God to help me find a man who will love me. A man who loves God the way I love him. I asked God if I deserve to have a second chance please send me the right man. A friend of mine introduced me to a guy, but he told me that he is not a religious person. I was frustrated because I like him. I just keep praying until God answer my prayer. Am I crazy yearning for a man at my age? Do I have to continue praying for a man of my dream?

    By Imelda Dudley | 3 years ago Reply
  12. Touching and beautiful!
    We should be though to pray for our HTB/WTB as soon as we realize how important God is in our lives!

    By Victor Martins | 3 years ago Reply
  13. Katie, Thank you for sharing your story. I wish that someone had advised me to pray for my future spouse when I was young, but back then, in the 70s and 80s, I think our parents and the leaders in the Church really never even thought about it, but who would have ever have known what was coming??

    In any case, I have a very familiar story, though a bit different, so I thought I would share it with you and Mark! It was May, I believe, of 1996, and I was 31 years old. I had known since a very young child that I was suppose to be married AND be a ‘nun.’ I finally found my ‘religious sisterhood/brotherhood’ calling in the Secular Order of Carmelites in 1994, but knew my husband was out there somewhere. It was in that May, while I was laying on my bed, in my room that I suddenly felt this powerful prayer surge forth from my heart: “God, please protect my future husband from all harm and evil and bring him home safely to me.” Afterwards I thought, “My, that was strange.” I even told my best friend about it and she said, “Cathy, that can’t be real.” I thought that maybe she was right and my spiritual director told me at the time to just ignore it, just stay focused on the present, which I did. Later on that year, the same thing happened again. I thought that was strange and just ignored it again, too. I think it was easy to ignore for me as I had been in a relationship with a man who I deeply loved, but the relationship did not turn out. I would say, though, that I met this man for a reason, as it was because of him that I had a conversion (but that is a very long story). So, in October of 1996, this was about a year before online dating really took off, I’m walking down this little hallway in the Catholic nursing home where I worked in Medical Records. In the middle of this hallway is a stairwell. I had read in the past that wherever there is an intersection – at a street light, in a hallway, at a river – there is always a Guardian Angel of God who guards that intersection. It was the Eve of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and I was walking through that hallway and just as I reached that intersection, I lost total control of my body and soul and my body arched back in a mighty prayer to God (and thank God no one else was around or it would have looked REALLY weird) and in a moment, as clear as if I had been living in the Land of Eden, my whole being made a decision: “I’m going to put an ad in the paper.” And then I was back in the real world and said to myself, “WHAT?” Back then putting an ad in the paper was like walking down the street in a short skirt, high heels and a short fluffy red jacket, telling all the boys, ‘Come and get me!’ And that was just not my style. I talked with faith-filled friends, my spiritual director and other holy people and the ad worked. The following February my husband was at his parent’s home and was by chance combing through the personal ads when he saw mine. He laughed and read it to his sister, Rose, and asked her if he should respond to it. She said something like “You should, I wouldn’t [respond to a personal ad], but you should.]” He did and we’ve been married 14 years now. Here’s the real cherry part of the tale. You know when I prayed for Joe the first time and then the second time in the spring of 1996? Well, I later found out that he lost his job in Michigan and decided to pack up his things and travel back home. He actually had a conversion about that time and decided he needed a new start in life. It wasn’t until about six months ago that I found out another reason for my prayer. I asked Joe if on his way home from Michigan, if he had ever been in danger. He said yes. He was driving his Dad’s van and had a U-Haul trailer attached to it. The trailer he had packed was not loaded properly and it started weaving back and forth in a construction zone. He said it could have flipped over and taken the van he was driving with it and that he probably would have been killed by something heavy flying around in the van or oncoming traffic or something else. So, thank God that the Holy Spirit was able to work through us to save our beloved husbands. May the good Lord protect and keep them all the days of their life! Just wanted to share my story, I enjoyed yours as I had never heard of another person who so directly interceded in her husband’s life before she even met him. Now we know there are two of us in this world. Thank you for sharing!

    By Cathy Frazier | 3 years ago Reply
  14. God is good when one trusts in him and he makes a way where it seems to be no way.

    By Bidwell Calist | 3 years ago Reply
  15. This gives hope to girls like me who are saving themselves for a relationship founded on the love of God first, and characterized by honor, respect, devotion, and caring. God bless you

    By annie | 3 years ago Reply
  16. Beautiful and very moving… Thank you for writing this article. God bless you and all your efforts. 🙂

    By Leslie Cariaso | 3 years ago Reply
  17. I want husband be my furtune .

    By Nadine Ndelo | 3 years ago Reply

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