I sent Fanny a “smile” for the first time in August 2011. The first thing that I told her was, “You have a nice smile”, to which she replied, “You are too kind.” I liked that answer, and I was intrigued by our 100% match. I was a young senior pastor in an elderly congregation with little extra time for meeting people my own age, and she was trusting in the Lord to guide her online experience. ChristianMingle provided a safe environment for us to meet genuine Christians. From that first “smile”, the messages soon grew longer and more frequent. Even though we lived only 30 minutes apart, neither of us was in a hurry to rush the process, and the online portion of our deepening friendship lasted 6 months before we upgraded to telephone conversations. But when she joked that it might be another 6 months on the phone before we met in person, I realized that we needed to see each other face-to-face.

We met up just before Valentine’s Day 2012, and I showed up with yellow tulips because I knew they were her favorite. I took her to an Italian restaurant where we talked so much that we missed our movie! On my way back to drop her off, she suggested we stop at a bookstore and browse. She didn’t want the night to end so soon either! A few days later, I went all out for Valentine’s Day to show her how much I liked her.

Early in our emailing stage, I asked Fanny what she found romantic, expecting her to list the usual things like chocolates, roses, and candlelit dinners. Instead, she opened herself up and described a romantic picnic scene, complete with the setting sun and a bit of light rain, offering me a glimpse of her heart and imagination. The evening I proposed to her, I attempted to recreate this romantic picnic in her living room. Her lamp was marked “sunset”, her potted plant “forest”; I squirted water out of a spray bottle to recreate the rain. I reread to her the words she had written and kissed her hand, just like in her story. Then I got on one knee and asked her to marry me, to which she answered, “A million times ‘Yes’.”

We got married in the fall, and it has been three months since our wedding. We feel so happy and blessed by the Lord, so grateful to Him for bringing us together.

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