Three years ago, I embarked on a journey. I did not know where it would take me or the duration of it, but God did.
I took my first (and ultimately) last plunge into the ‘cold waters’ of the Christian dating scene by enrolling on ChristianMingle. Once I found out that the waters weren’t too ‘frigid’ I also joined three other sites.
Along the way, I met some wonderful women who truly love the Lord and saw glimpses of what I was looking for in a soul mate. Some I even dated for a few months. But, ultimately none of them were ‘Proverbs 31’ woman who I could not live without.
This past Christmas morning, my children were enjoying spending the time with their mother. I thought I would enjoy some down time, but ultimately realized that I was going to wake up alone for the first time in my life on Christmas morning. I laid prostrate on the floor, pouring my heart out to God not for a Christmas miracle but for the miracle of a lifetime – someone whom I could love.
For New Year’s, I posted this on my ‘Yahoo’ page “I’m excited at the possibilities that 2011 brings.” I decided to end my subscriptions to all of the other dating sites, and the Lord directed me back to ChristianMingle. I put together a profile that culled from the others I created and wanted it to be an accurate reflection of not only who I am but ‘whose I am’. I used my best pictures and posted it. On the first day I had some fairly local contacts of interest, some in the state, and a few out of state.
There was one in particular out of state contact that I not only sent a smile to but a note to as well. She was close to my age and open to God’s leading. I was truly excited and awaited her reply. She apologized for not being able to chat in the AM but we arranged a time in the evening using the IM feature on the website. It was an awesome conversation and we planned on continuing the next evening. At this point my interest in other contacts that I made faded away. During the second chat, I asked if it was ok if we spoke by telephone. She was a little shy but agreed to do so as long as I didn’t keep her up too late. Well to say that it went well would be a gross understatement!
Over the course of the next week or so, we would spend an average of 4 hours on the phone and found the more we shared, the more we had in common, and the more we truly liked each other. I made arrangements to fly down to meet her which we were both truly excited about. Then on January 27, 2011 at 7:07 PM I met the love of my life. One look in her eyes and I knew she loved me as well. I knew she had a heart of gold from our conversations over the phone but looking at her made me drop to my knees in thanks to Almighty God – for He blessed me with a Proverbs 31 woman.
It seemed as every minute of that weekend that time stood still whether we were sharing meals, having great conversation, or talking with her family. Her daughter has that same heart and her parents were warm and friendly and very joyous.
Saturday evening, I made my spicy chicken and sautéed zucchini and onions and shared some things from the depths of our souls. I looked in her eyes, took a breath, said a prayer and uttered these words:
“Valerie, will you marry me?”
The answer was, “I’d be proud to be your wife- yes, yes, yes!”
We thought about waiting for a couple of months but wanted to honor the Lord by saving ourselves completely for each other. We decided that since I was coming down to take Valerie out for Valentine’s Day that I would come on Tuesday, we’d apply for a marriage license, and get married on Friday, February 11th.
Most people would remark on the speed of our dating process and we’d hear the famous,
“You don’t really know each other. You should wait”.
I’m estimating that we probably spent about 80 or so hours on the phone and shared more during those calls than most couples do in months of dating. And all along, we were both obedient to the Holy Spirit. God gave us multiple signs every day that this was from Him – at times they have been too numerous to count.
Our wedding day was a ‘Real Life Fairytale’ come true. My bride wore a truly beautiful black & white dress with a lovely corsage and a smile as wide as the sky and eyes that truly radiated God’s love. I wore a black suit with a white shirt & yellow tie adorned with a boutonniere to match her corsage. We rode first class to the clerk of courts office and a little after 11 AM on Friday February 11th, I was married to the most beautiful woman in the world. We chose to have the clerk take a few pictures for keepsakes. While the clerk was printing them off, I knelt down in front of her and read 1 Corinthians 13 and in turn Valerie read Proverbs 31 to me. Others were looking but neither of us cared. We enjoyed a great lunch and truly had a weekend where time stood still.
Sunday evening, we had dinner out at a fine Italian restaurant with a number of Valerie’s family, including her parents. There was great food, a lot of laughter, truly warm smiles, and many best wishes. Her mother told me that what I have experienced from Valerie is how she is all the time – that I have only scratched the surface of her golden heart. I told her I will take exceptional care of my wife, the most precious gift I have ever been given from God. Valerie’s dad shook my hand and welcomed me to the family, which was a priceless moment. My wife, Valerie, said it best:
“It’s not subtracting but adding to an already wonderful family.”
I’m looking forward to getting to know them all including her daughter, Jessica, as she is looking forward to getting to know mine as well.
We parted on Tuesday morning but will be reunited this coming weekend as she is visiting me in Ohio and getting to meet my children here in Columbus and my mom in Pittsburgh. Relocation plans are underway.
This was written to give glory to Jesus Christ who is the solid bedrock of our marriage.
Secondarily, I wanted to be a witness to all of my friends – to those who have ‘prayed without ceasing’ for me for a Godly spouse and for those of you still searching for one.
Valerie and I both experienced heartache, loss, and grief in our lives. We want this to be an encouragement that God does answer prayer and that Jesus is still in business of exceeding expectations.