In 2012, I moved to the “Big D” at the invitation of a family member who knew I needed to find a better job and get rid of some debt. When the offer was first made, I wasn’t sure it was something I could, much less wanted, to do. I’m a country girl through and through and the thought of living in a major city was scary! One evening I was going through a stack of papers that had piled up in my room and found a copy of my rental agreement – the deadline for putting in my intent to move was literally a few days away. Much sooner than I had originally thought! About a month sooner, actually. The next morning, I was talking to my mom and this overwhelming peace and urge to trust God completely filled and covered me. I remember telling her in the course of the conversation that I felt moving to the city was God’s plan for me. Once I put in my notice, I talked to my manager and apprised her of the situation. I wanted her to know that I would have to be traveling to the city, possibly during a weekday here and there, for job interviews.
I was hired by White House Black Market soon after (I love their clothes!) and I worked there full-time until I found another job as an administrative assistant. From April until October, I worked both jobs and paid off debt – student loans (thankfully those were minimal), new tires on my car, my car (a year early!).
In the midst of this I struggled with loneliness – none of my friends were in the city and even if they were, I was working two jobs and didn’t have a lot of spare time. Unknown to anyone, I checked out this website I had seen on a sign on my way to work about a way to meet singles. Turns out you have to answer questions and then someone would call and set up a face-to-face interview. I got to the interview and was getting kind of excited…and then they started talking about money and wow, they wanted a lot of it to help you find your “one true love”. They even had a laid out plan for how to get credit cards with promotional interest free periods and balance transfers to help make the cost “affordable”. Wow. No, thank you. When I stood my ground and explained that I moved to the city to get out of debt, not create more of it, they literally shoved me out the door. I’ve never seen someone so anxious to get away from me. She even made a snide comment that was kind of hurtful until I breathed in the somewhat fresh air and laughed. I laughed so hard – if they were watching me through a window, they probably thought I was crazy. God had opened my eyes to the whole ridiculous truth about that place and what that woman had said. There was no truth in it. His plan was so much better than all of that!
The next morning came and my aunt said I should post a profile on match.com. I smiled. I smiled big because I knew this was from God. That evening after work we started looking at profiles and then I posted my own.
I met some really nice guys. One in particular seemed promising and then suddenly…not so much. After that was over, I was starting to lose confidence. Doubt myself.
One day I found out that one of my coworkers also had a profile – though he hadn’t met his girlfriend through the site. They had started dating after he already had a profile and he just never canceled it – they weren’t going to give him a refund for the unused time, so he just never bothered. I also learned that he is a believer like me and after talking things out I stepped out on a limb and asked him if he would consider giving me a Christian man’s perspective on my profile. He did. Now, before you start thinking what you may start thinking, I have to assure you that I did not change the essence of who I am on that profile. I didn’t manipulate facts to make myself appear more appealing or present a face other than who I am. That was never going to happen. This was too important to me. I was looking for a serious relationship, not a fling. My deepest desire was that someone would like me for who I am, who God made me to be. But my friend and coworker showed me how to word things so that I didn’t sound desperate (I wasn’t but I had no idea I would be interpreted that way). He also encouraged me to broaden my horizons. You see, I had not considered marrying a divorcee, with or without kids, before. I just didn’t want that. But my friend gently, with grace, pointed out that just because someone is divorced, it doesn’t mean they had chosen that path. He knew it from firsthand experience. It was convicting because I realized I had completely closed my heart to the possibility of loving someone because of a label.
Soon after that, my profile was favorited by Mr. Beck, the man I know call “my Love”. I checked out his profile, surprised that he had liked mine, but hadn’t said anything to me. No message! Ready for some brutal honesty? I was not attracted to him when I saw his pictures. In my defense (I love you, babe), they weren’t the best quality of pictures. He knows this – we’ve talked about it. However, I was instantly attracted to him after I read what he had to say about himself. In that short blurb that singles are asked to write about themselves, he showed me he loves Christ more than anyone else. He said he wasn’t looking for someone to complete him because he is complete in Christ and that if it wasn’t part of God’s plan for him to find someone to marry, that he would be content to stay single the rest of his life.
For the record, I looked at a lot of profiles of guys claiming to be Christians looking for a Christian woman. This was the only one I had seen that focused more on Christ than on the person who wrote it.
For an hour I agonized about whether to write him first or not. You see, I’m old-fashioned and my plan had been (except in a few instances) to wait for the guys to talk first. To pursue me first. That’s the way it’s supposed to be, right? My resolved failed me – I couldn’t let this one get away without at least encouraging him that there are actually God-fearing women out there who want God-fearing men like him. After I sent the short and sweet message, I waited on pins and needles for a response.
About 24 hours later, I got one. Call me crazy, but I was super excited when a) he used excellent grammar and complete sentences broken into paragraphs, b) he didn’t give me his number and say “text me” and c) he didn’t ask for my number. He had actually written a message that was obviously done with thoughtfulness and consideration. I drank in every word and messaged back. We went back and forth for almost two weeks and then we met in person.
Now, after the previous disaster I had with a match, I left for the date telling my aunt and cousin that I wouldn’t be on the date for more than two hours. We had exchanged phone numbers the day before and I dutifully gave his name and number to my aunt so that she would have something to give to authorities if I didn’t come home. This is something I would encourage any woman who is meeting someone for the first time for a date to do. It’s just a good safety precaution.
Y’all…the moment I saw his face in person, I was attracted to him. I had heard his voice briefly before as I wasn’t sure I was walking in the right direction from the parking garage and called him for some guidance. He has a pleasant, friendly voice. But when I saw him face-to-face…it’s surprising that I managed to avoid dropping my phone! The nerves tripled at that point.
This story has been quite detailed to this point and in a moment I’ll summarize the rest, but I have to tell you a little bit about that first date. It was not normal. From the outside looking in, yes…typical date. But for us…we talked about many things that most people would discourage you from discussing on a first date. I’ve since seen articles about avoiding most of the topics we covered. It didn’t matter, though, because we knew we were both looking for something serious and we both knew what we wanted/needed.
I ended up staying for more than two hours and had to return a text to my aunt who had asked if I was still alive.
We also ended up planning our second date for the next evening.
Then our next two dates were the following weekend.
And then we were suddenly dating.
And then we were talking about marriage.
And then we were planning our wedding.
And then we were joined as man and wife.
We became one flesh under God.
He is my beloved. Forever.