On June 30, 2011, Johnnie sent me two ‘Smiles.’ After I received the second one and read his profile, I responded with a ‘Smile’ in return. We continued emailing on ChristianMingle and by early July, we exchanged personal emails and telephone numbers so we could talk on the phone. On July 21st we began chatting on Skype, which allowed us to put a face to the voice. We talked every day, sharing not only our faith in God, but other details about our lives. Sometimes we would talk three to four times per day. Since both of us love all types of music, we’d send songs to each other. I love to sing, and I’d find myself singing to Johnnie every evening. We’d send Christian music as well as the songs that we grew up on — lots of Motown and love songs!
By August, Johnnie knew he wanted me to be his wife. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed, but after a time of prayer, I knew God had sent Johnnie into my life to be my husband. We shared a faith in God that made Him the most important person in our individual lives. We had both been married before and had come out of very hurtful relationships, but we knew that only God could have put this together. Since Johnnie lived in Brooklyn and I lived in Beltsville, Maryland, we would have never met. However, we knew God had a plan for our lives. So, we began to pray together for God’s guidance.
I went to Brooklyn for my birthday in September. We had dinner at Peter Luger’s restaurant, and Johnnie asked me to be his wife. I told him “yes” with the condition that my son (and only child) would be in agreement. So in October, Johnnie came to visit me for his birthday and asked my son for permission to marry me. I’d talked to my son about it and he wanted me to be happy, so he gave us his blessing.
There was a lot that we needed to do in order to make our marriage work: become debt free, do premarital counseling, and get to better know each other. We agreed that we would remain celibate until we were married, knowing that this was vitally important as we wanted to honor God in our relationship and with our upcoming marriage.
On Valentine’s Day of 2012, Johnnie came down from Brooklyn to “ring” me. He had already asked me to marry him, but had not yet given me a ring. He gave me a gorgeous engagement ring that he had picked out.
By June, we had begun an eight-week, premarital class at his church, The Brooklyn Tabernacle. I would take the bus up each week, and it was well worth it. We knew this was all a part of God’s plan for our marriage. We agreed that there would be no separation or divorce, and that we’d work it out one way or another. Then in September, we started a nine-week class called “Be Transformed,” which helped us to uncover issues and hurts that we were carrying around from past relationships.
During this time, Johnnie came down to meet my family and friends, all of whom fell in love with him, and I was able to meet some of Johnnie’s family. The plans for our wedding began taking shape, and we worked together on every aspect. We wanted a small, intimate ceremony and reception with close friends and family. We also wanted to stick to a budget and have everything paid for before we got married.
Finally, the minister who performed our ceremony counseled us and did personality testing, so we’d not only get to know ourselves, but each other better. This was very helpful, as were all of the classes at Brooklyn Tabernacle.
On February 14, 2013, we were married in a small ceremony at Ebenezer Church of God. Our reception was held at the Greenbelt Marriott Hotel. The event coordinator surprised us and upgraded our room, for our wedding night, to one of the three penthouse suites. We were on the 18th floor and had a wonderful view of Washington, DC. The favor of God was truly upon our lives and marriage! As a plus, our church was holding a marriage seminar two days later with Gary Chapman as the keynote speaker. We were the youngest married couple there, not in years (since Johnnie and I are both in our 60s) but in time-married. It was so helpful to have attended this seminar; it set the tone for our marriage.
On February 24th, we set sail for our seven-day, Bahama cruise. My dear husband had reserved a suite with a balcony. We had a glorious time and met so many wonderful couples who imparted so much wisdom into our lives. They encouraged us to celebrate our monthly anniversary, stay on a perpetual honeymoon, to always resolve conflict by keeping communication lines open, to be honest and transparent, and to attend seminars and retreats where we could learn more about ourselves and our marriage.
We are so thankful to ChristianMingle. We would never have found each other without the website. We give all of the glory to God!!! His plans are always perfect!