I had been reluctant to join ChristianMingle, based on the stories from friends who had tried dating sites. One day, I had a really bad cold and didn’t leave my apartment, which made for a lonesome weekend. It was Mother’s Day weekend and my pastor preached a sermon about family. I slowly made up my mind that I would see what ChristianMingle was all about. I joined on May 13, 2013. I enjoyed chatting with a few people online and through the message boards. As the week went on, the pictures of the women on my home page changed, but one was constant. I sent Julie a brief e-mail on May 18th, and she replied the next day. Her simple reply was so quirky and funny that I was instantly intrigued. We began to have an e-mail conversation over the course of the next couple of weeks. She just had a fun sense of humor that shone in every sentence, and it was so much like my own sense of humor. Later, I told her that she was the first girl with whom I had ever made contact with first; all of the other women in my life had taken the first step. She said that she was going to e-mail me the night before I’d sent her an email, but God had whispered in her heart not to do so.
On June 1st, I invited Julie to a church that I had been visiting on Saturday nights. I’ll never forget the first time we met. Not only did Julie meet me; but her mom, sister, and aunt arrived in a separate car. They wanted to check out this online stranger that their smitten Julie had agreed to meet, before letting her go into the church with me. It’s understandable in this day and age, but we still don’t let her mom live down the fact that she took a picture of my license plate after Julie and I entered the church. After church, we finished the night at a restaurant. I think we were there for about three hours. What I’ll always remember from that dinner is that it was the first day that we met in person, and we were already finishing each other’s sentences. She also quoted movies that she didn’t realize were among some of my favorites.
What really blows me away was that every relationship I’d been in previously, had times of long distance. I said I’d never get involved in another long-distance relationship again. Well, here was a woman for whom I was falling for, and all this time she had lived less than three miles from me; and at one point she only lived a few blocks away.
As the days went on, we grew closer together. On June 24th, I invited her to my place to watch Game Six of the Stanley Cup final. She had never watched a hockey game before, and my Blackhawks were playing the Bruins. Later, she told me that she had hoped the Hawks would win because she knew I’d hug her if they did. Well, they did win and I did hug her. She stuck around a bit longer after the game, and we talked some more. I played my guitar for her and somewhere after that, I gave her a kiss. Shortly after that night, I closed my ChristianMingle account because I truly felt that God had brought me the one I had prayed for. The Lord had exceeded my wildest expectations in what I asked for in a mate. I keep telling Julie, “I can’t believe you’re real!”
I proposed to her six months later, on Christmas Eve. We will be married on August 23, 2014. She loves to soak up the Word of God as much as I do. I have shared with her teachings and videos from my favorite Bible teacher, who pastors a church out near the west coast. Neither of us had ever been there, so we are making our honeymoon plans to travel out there and attend his church in person.
I owe our success to two pieces of advice I received from this Bible teacher:
1. I prayed for Julie regularly before I met her. I don’t mean that I prayed for God to bring her to me. I certainly did that, and then waited with expectation, like a child anticipating Christmas morning. But I prayed FOR her, that God would bless her day and accomplish His will for her at that time. It turned out that she had done the same for me.
2. I evaluated whether we were compatible in body, soul, and spirit. In past relationships, I had only been compatible in one or two of these areas, with disastrous results. Julie and I are physically attracted to each other, we are complete soul mates, and we are spiritually in tune. Praise be to God.
Toward the end of 2012, God told me that I would be meeting my husband in 2013. Excitement gave way to frustration as I began to ask our Father, “Where am I supposed to meet him? There’s no one at church for me.” I joined ChristianMingle late one night, out of sheer frustration. I told God, “Alright, I don’t know what else to do.” I received several responses, but I knew that none were from the one that God had ordained for me; the one that I had been praying for since I was a little girl (I am fortunate to have a mom who is a believer and raised me from birth to know the love of Jesus. She taught me from a very early age that I needed to pray for my future husband: for salvation, for safety, for wisdom).
I would thank them for their interest and let them know that I could only be a friend. Then, a profile came up on my homepage; a profile of a boyishly handsome man that I just had to read. I was astounded. The profile was about the man’s faith and his love for God, his hope to find a woman who shared that faith and spontaneous dancing and tickle fights! I could have written that profile myself; the beliefs, the hopes, the desires. I began to form an email in my head when God told me, “No.” I was ready to argue, but he whispered, “No.” I muttered, “All right. I’ll wait and see if he contacts me.” Three days later he did. When I got the message I literally gasped and exclaimed, “It’s that really awesome guy!” I was excited and terrified at the same time. I sent a very brief response, and to my surprise, he liked it. He even found me funny!
We began to email daily, sometimes several times a day. The highlight of my day was reading his lengthy messages. He was witty, intelligent, and full of the love of God. He knew the Word and was seeking God daily. After two weeks, he asked me if I would like to attend a church service with him, his best friend and his best friend’s son. “Finally!” I exclaimed. I then calmly typed, “I would love to.”
I met him on Memorial Day weekend, with my “Italian chaperones” in tow. My mother would not let me meet a strange man alone. Thus she, my sister, and my aunt followed me in my mom’s car to the church service (Mom even brought her dog). I was enchanted with Keith. The very first thing he said to me was a recitation of the introduction to the Muppet Show. He does a great Kermit. After the service, he shared with me why Genesis chapter five is one of the most exciting passages of the Bible and about other various things he’d been studying. One of the things that amazed me most was how at ease I felt with him. After the service we went to a local restaurant and talked for hours. I didn’t want the night to end. When we finally said goodnight, Keith held me in his arms for several moments. I knew in that moment that he was the one that God had promised to bring to me.
My family has marveled at how alike we are. My Aunt Kelli said that Keith is like a male version of me. Keith laughed at that, recalling how many times he’d called me a female version of himself. We love each other’s parents, and they love us as their own. How many people can say that?
When I shared that God had told me that I was going to meet my husband, I was told to start praying for the kind of man that I wanted, and to be specific. I made a list of more than 150 qualities that I wanted in a husband. Keith has all of them and more. He’s better than what I asked for. God truly gives great gifts. Keith is my earthly treasure; “my betrothed” by my Father, set apart from the same tribe. I love him with all that I am.
I have told Keith, “Jesus lives in my heart and you hold it in your hands.”