Thanking God for Unanswered Prayers

Recently we were going through some pictures and we came across these gems.

Prom2 Prom

My husband, Matthew, and I had been dating for just a little over a month and we were going to our first prom together.  These were our first pictures together as a couple and the really neat part is – they were taken here at our farmhouse.

The house was built by Matthew’s great, great grandfather and at the time my husband’s grandparents were living here.  I had never met any of his relatives outside of his immediate family but that was about to change.

A few days before prom Matthew’s great grandma passed away. Her funeral was being held the day of the dance and Matthew was one of the pall bearers.  He went to the funeral and afterwards hurried to pick me up for prom. To say the least, there was a lot going on for him and his family that day.

After the funeral his whole extended family went to the farm to gather and visit.  As is tradition we wanted to stop and see his parents so they could get pictures before we left for the big dance.   Since they were still  at the farm visiting with everyone that’s where we headed.

I was pretty nervous.  I was 16, it was my first prom, I was with my first boyfriend whom I hadn’t been dating for very long and now I was going to be meeting his whole extended family…in my prom dress…right after they had just buried a dear relative.

I remember driving into the farmyard and having my breath taken away.  It was so beautiful – the yard – the house – all of it.  I thought I was so lucky just to see it, to get to go in that house.  The beauty immediately put me at ease.  Once we got out of the pickup though I felt my nerves pick up again.  I didn’t know how everyone would be – I didn’t want to impose, I didn’t want to prance in with my fancy dress on what was a day of sorrow for them.  But once I got in the house and was greeted by everyone my nerves were immediately calmed again.  My husband’s family is wonderful and they made me feel at home right away.   We visited for a while and then took pictures out on the front porch.

Looking back at these pictures I can’t help but smile.  They represent the day I would meet people who would one day become my family. And who knew our first picture as a couple would be on the front porch of the house that would one day become our home.

How could I ever imagine that in almost 17 years our picture would go from this:


to this:


Sometimes I laugh because when I was a young girl my dream was to be single, never have kids and be a successful fashion buyer living in New York City. And now today I’m a stay at home mom to four children, living on a farm in rural North Dakota.  It’s almost as opposite as you could get but it’s just like that country song says, “sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers”.  I thank God everyday my plans didn’t turn out  – because His plan for me has been much bigger and better than I could have ever dreamed or hoped for on my own.


  1. Pam Rudolf

    Great memories Heather – thanks for sharing them with us. If we keep our faith in God, it will always lead us down the right path. And you will have so many more photos and memories with your family in that farmhouse. Love your front porch chats!

  2. Cathy Van Dam

    A beautiful story Heather and I am sure an inspiration to many. You are a wonderful couple and deserve to be blessed!

  3. Mary G

    Very touching Heather; made me tear up. I remember that day. Didn’t realize you were a such new couple at that point. Matt’s a lucky guy! And we all benefit from his luck 🙂

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