It all started in December 2005. I was in my bedroom just surfing the internet and having a conversation with a friend via instant messaging. I asked my friend what she was up to and my friend replied, “Just checking out my singles site.” I asked, “Which one are you on??” mostly out of amazement. Online dating? Not for me! It was then that I learned about ChristianMingle.com.
I had never heard of this site so out of pure curiosity and with time to kill, I checked it out and, with mixed emotions, I signed up. I had been told before to try online dating and was always hesitant. See, I am disabled and meeting someone online sounds great but what happens when you actually meet in person? Would they still like me? Would that be a “deal breaker?”
Well, what did I have to lose? Nothing was happening for me without it so I created my profile and made sure to include a “disclaimer.” I made sure to put it out there right away that I am disabled, and my main disability is that I have one leg shorter than the other so I have to wear a lift on my one shoe to even my legs out to walk. I also made sure to mention that I walk with a limp so if this was something that someone might not be comfortable with then at least they would be aware of it before anything else. Not that my disabilities define who I am. I just did not want to “surprise” anyone.
So I had some contacts from some men and received “winks.” I would “wink” back and this went on for about a week. Then, on December 29, 2005 I received a message from a man that said he enjoyed reading my profile and told me a bit about himself. I thought, “Hmm…he’s local and seems pretty sweet.” So, I sent him a message back. I don’t even remember what I wrote. All I remember was that a few minutes later I was still on ChristianMingle.com and all of the sudden an instant message appeared …from HIM! I thought “Oh boy, what do I do?” I told myself to step outside of my comfort zone and just say hi! It’s just a “hello.” So, I did.
Well, that first instant message was the beginning of a whirlwind 6 months. We started with instant messaging then moved to texting on the phone, and on January 3, 2006 we spoke on the phone for the first time. Of course, these conversations went long into the night and started again as soon as we could.
Then it was time to meet in person. I had yet to tell my parents about this whole thing, and I thought I needed to let them know that I planned on meeting this person face to face. So I went out to the living room where they were sitting and sat down. I asked them, “What do you think about meeting people online?” Their response shocked me. They said it is like “blind dating” from their era and then asked if I had met someone. I said yes and my dad said, “Well, if you are going to meet him in person he needs to come here.” So, that is exactly what happened. Tom drove to my parent’s house on January 7, 2006 and met me along with my parents at the same time.
My mother had set out her china for the event. See, I really had never brought home a guy, so this was quite an occurrence even though I did not see the need for the china! We ate dinner, and eventually my parents left us alone to talk. We ended up going to Denny’s for hot chocolate, and that is where I was given my first kiss ever!
All of my insecurities about what man would want me because I was disabled flew out of the window that night. What was striking to me about Tom was that he had no issues with my disabilities. He has made me see that they are what help make me…me! If you ask him what he loves most about me he will say, “Her disabilities.” What??? Where did this man come from? A gift from God!
We were engaged on January 20, 2006 and married on July 1, 2006. Yes it was a whirlwind of 6 months, but here we are having just celebrated our 8-year anniversary, and we have been blessed with our son who was born in January 2008. To God be the Glory!