I was 25 and getting ready to finish my first year as a chorus teacher at a middle school, having been single for almost 4 years. Studying music in college required me to always be in the practice room and during my student teaching/clinical time, I found it hard to have a ‘social life’ like my friends. Once I started teaching in August, it was not long before I moved out on my own in November. While attending a workshop with fellow teachers on January 16 & 17, 2013, I learned a new strategy in how to talk with students. This strategy allows the teacher to only be a sounding board, asking questions, while giving the students opportunities to state the problem at hand and think of ways to find a solution. The workshop leader asked for volunteers to come forward with a problem as the student for a mock ‘teacher and student scenario’. To this day, the leader of the workshop says that most teachers would come forward with normal issues such as, “I need to spend more time with my family” or “I cannot decide which kinds of flowers to plant this year”.  I raised my hand with a concern in mind.

I remembered a time shortly before this day that I was speaking with my father about life being so stressful. It was difficult handling the big-girl world and I wasn’t feeling on top of that world. And so, at the workshop when asked about my problem, my reply was, “My father thinks I need a man…”

You can imagine the laughter heard in the room that day. When everyone finally settled, the workshop leader knew she could actually work with this. We began to have a discussion (yes, in front of everyone) about ways I could go about handling the situation. She asked if I had thought about being with someone. My answer was yes. She asked if I had wanted to have someone there. My reply was again yes. She then asked what actions I had taken to correct the situation. I didn’t have a response because as a new teacher I had no time for anything except teaching and sleeping.

“Have you ever tried something like an online social dating site?”, she asked.

I said no because there was the stipulation of danger with online dating sites. You have no clue who you are really meeting.

“So it would take some courage to try something like that?”, she asked. I said,

“Well, I guess that’s right”.

We examined other parts of my life, in front of everyone. Since graduating from college that past May, I had moved out on my own to a new county and started a job where I knew no one. All of these things, the workshop leader said, proved I had courage; guts, even.

“So you could try an online dating site, then?”

“Sure”, I said. And, here’s where it all began. Her next question started it all. If she hadn’t asked this question, I doubt I would have met Daniel.

She asked me, “When are you going to get on?” “When?”, I asked. “Yes, when are you going to enroll in an online dating site?” “I guess I can do it tonight, when I get home”, I said.

She replied, “So if I call you tonight, on your cell phone, around 9 p.m., you will be online…”.

“Yes”, I said. “If you call me tonight, I will be online.”

Over the next two weeks, I enrolled on ChristianMingle and had made attempts (several attempts) to talk to guys. I had read through profiles, looked at pictures and was filled with anticipation as I imagined what would transpire through my new step in life. On the night of January 28, 2013, I was online when all of a sudden a guy messaged me and asked if I would like to chat. I browsed his profile. Why is it that I had never come across this guy before? The more I read his profile, his desire to serve God wholeheartedly jumped from the screen. It was loud and clear: This guy was serious about his relationship with God. What I was reading was exactly what I was looking for in a guy. His internet did not seem to be working right and he asked for my phone number to call. I questioned this move, but that would seem to make it easier to talk, I thought. I agreed and he called within minutes of me giving him my phone number. We talked for 3 hours that night.

After speaking every day for a week, I drove to Greensboro to meet Daniel and have dinner with his family. That night, Daniel took me out for bowling (I smoked him!), we went for a walk, then grabbed coffee. Daniel says that he knew about the second week of us talking that he loved me. I think I knew then too but was afraid to say it. It became very clear that this was someone who I could really see myself being married to. We began to talk about getting married and I went to visit him for a week and stayed with the pastor of his church and his wife. We looked at rings that week and about 3 weeks later, he proposed. It may seem crazy, being engaged to someone you’ve only known for a few months. I’m ok with being crazy, as long as it’s with him.

Daniel has changed my life. He has taught me, not through words, but through actions, not to take things so seriously. He has the purest heart of any man that I know. I know that he loves me because I can see it in his eyes when he looks at me. I have always been hard on myself and because of Daniel, life is more enjoyable. I have always dealt with life’s issues by bottling them up inside and shoving it down. With Daniel, there is no bottling up anything anymore. He knows when something is going on by the sound of my voice or the look of my face. It’s weird how close we have become and so quickly, but I waited so long to find someone; someone who would love me and cherish and protect me. Now I can’t stand being apart from him for too long of a time.

Before I met Daniel, I would return home from teaching, change into my pajamas and watch cartoons (I teach middle school). Just recently he was at home about an hour away from me and I was in my pajamas, watching cartoons….it didn’t seem the same. Something was missing.

Since those first days of the workshop, I have returned to the second meeting with the same leader and same teachers. Daniel and I were still dating then, and not yet engaged. When the leader asked the group what had changed since our first meeting, I could hardly wait for my time to speak. Since the proposal, the leader of the workshop has been so excited and is threatening to put Daniel and myself on the cover of the brochure for the workshop!

Daniel moved closer to me. We now reside in the same apartment complex and I get to see my love every day. The wedding date is set for August 3, 2013. I am thankful to God for ChristianMingle. Without that avenue, Daniel and I would not have met. If there is anyone out there who is unsure of how to find love, here is my advice: stop searching. Apparently, God didn’t have me find Daniel. Daniel found me. Just take that risk. Jump. I did, and there is no way I could have planned the outcome any better. Thank you, ChristianMingle.

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