I know many of my readers are enjoying a lovely Memorial Day weekend! I hope you have a lovely time with your families.
Long weekends are often time for reading, and many of us love a good story. So I thought I’d ask today: What’s your love story?
And I have one to share! A while back I wrote a blog post on finding a spouse through internet dating. I was a skeptic five years ago; I’m not anymore.
After that post, I received this awesome love story via email from Christina, and I thought you all may enjoy reading it.
Internet dating (or dating at all) is not for everyone. And it was an option that I avoided for the same reasons you mentioned [in your blog post]. I didn’t want to seem desperate (because I wasn’t) or run into desperate guys (I seemed to find enough of those without help). To be honest, I don’t know of anyone who says, “My dream is to meet and marry a guy who I find online.”
As a single person, I was very happy. I usually had stages of discontentment which I just had to ride out – but most of the time I was happy. I wanted very much to get married, but I reached the point several years ago where I put it in God’s hands and trusted Him with it. I still prayed earnestly that He would bring me a man, but I wasn’t about to sit around and wait for a husband to fall into my lap. I made plans instead, and travelled, and did things. But I am already rambling.
During the summer of 2011 I found a few other single people who enjoyed being single and just for fun we made a club for ourselves. It was all a joke, but we actually DID have some good conversations about the benefits of being unmarried.
One day, on a whim, two other single friends and I drove to San Francisco and spent the whole day running around and being glad we were single. I remembered partway through the day that I was supposed to meet up with my brother (Isaac) and his girlfriend (Beth) at the mid-state fair… so I felt kind of bad about standing them up. But I had such a great time in SF with my friends that I got over it pretty quickly, and arranged to see Isaac and Beth another time.
I was a little confused as to why Beth gave me such a hard time for missing our appointment… but as it turns out (this was discovered many months later), Beth had intended to ‘inconspicuously introduce’ me to one of her guy friends that day, in the hope that my single life would be over.
After summer ended, I moved back to my small hometown of Mariposa and tried to find a job. I was broke from my six months of world-travelling the year before, and the camp I had worked at all summer was through CEF and was all volunteer and no pay.
I was living with my parents again after being on my own for four years, but I loved being back home. However, I finally admitted to them that I was tired of being single. I was restless. Beth and Isaac kept encouraging me to try online dating and quit my single life (because that’s how they met), but I strongly resisted them – for a while.
Then one day, a couple days before Thanksgiving, I decided to set up a profile on eHarmony. I knew I would probably get kicked out of my singles club if anyone ever found out, but I was very curious how the site worked and promised myself that I wouldn’t actually sign-up and pay money. I didn’t put my real name or location, as I had safety concerns about sharing personal information (and I come from a small town!). Also, I didn’t want a boy from my area. So I called myself by my middle name, Joy.
Well, one thing led to another and, after reviewing loads of matches, I thought to myself, “Wow, I can see why this site seems to work! These people all seem like decent, God-loving individuals. But I still had my reservations, oh wait…. hey… someone sent me a message!”
I was curious, however I couldn’t find out any more until I signed up. I closed my computer and went and did the dishes and thought about all the reasons not to join. I was happy being single. I wanted to trust God with my singleness. Curiosity overwhelmed me so I went back to my computer; then promptly gave in and signed up to be a real member! For the next two days, my conscience plagued me. I hadn’t prayed about it at all. So I kept it a secret.
I prayed a lot about it, because I was really, truly sorry that I had signed up (at the same time, I was enjoying messaging all these solid Christian guys!) – but I clearly understood God’s answer to be, “Christy, I can use eHarmony, too.” My understanding of that reassurance was that perhaps through sharing God’s work in my life, I could encourage a Christian brother out there.
Thanksgiving came and went. On the day, Isaac and Beth visited and all had a wonderful time. Beth brought her lap harp and I try it. I loved it. 🙂 But I didn’t breathe a word to them about my online dating. I was still too embarrassed.
The next day, as I browsed through my matches, I saw that a certain Bobby from San Jose knew of Josh Garrels. Josh Garrels is a slightly obscure musician I had discovered the month before and quickly grew to enjoy. This is why I was astounded that Bobby was familiar with his music. So I sent him a quick message expressing my surprise and delight at his musical taste. Then I noticed that Bobby had apparently not logged in for three weeks, so I figured he had found a girlfriend. But I send off the message anyway, because I still thought it was cool about our common interest. Then I forgot about it until the next day. Bobby, however, didn’t. He responded 23 minutes later – but by that time I was asleep in bed!
Now I was right – Bobby never really logged on anymore. He had signed up for the year-long deal in the beginning “because, you know, it’s the best deal they have”. In fact, he was pretty much over it, and had given up on finding anyone from his area (San Jose). He was now mainly getting matched with girls from Utah. It was purely the fact that I stated ‘San Jose’ as my hometown that caused him to respond. Then he was really glad he did because, as chance would have it, he and I had identical taste in music.
After messaging back and forth for a couple days, we discovered some cool little facts about each other. I immediately shared the truth about ‘Joy’ being my middle name, and Mariposa being my real location, and we both shared about our interests in musical instruments. Bobby talked about his A Cappella group where he sang bass. I have always preferred deep voices. It completely slipped my mind that Isaac and Beth were also in an A Cappella group in San Jose as well – which would have been great to mention, as it was just one more thing in common. But I did mention that my brother and his girlfriend had visited for Thanksgiving and that I had tried my brother’s girlfriend’s lap harp. “It might be my next instrument,” I told Bobby. Around this time, Bobby texted his good friend, Beth Drew, and their conversation was this:
Bobby: Shoot. I just got matched with an amazing girl online… like seriously perfect. And I was ignoring the site but she contacted me!
Beth: Then say hi to her! Online dating rocks!!! Hey, I didn’t even know you were on there…forget to tell me?
Bobby: Ha ha! I figured you’d get angry at me because I give you such a hard time, but yeah, we’ve been talking for a few days now. She’s from Mariposa.
Beth: LOL! You’re kidding! I just spent Thanksgiving in Mariposa! What are the odds of that? Isaac wants to know her name. He probably knows her, lol.”
Beth: It’s not his sister Christy, is it?
Bobby: Her middle name is Joy…that’s all I know.
Bobby: Um, wait…
Bobby: I thought she looked like Christy (Bobby had noticed a resemblance, but never followed up on that notion).
Bobby: Do you have a lap harp?
Beth: Yes, I brought my lap harp to Thanksgiving…
Bobby: OMG! It is her! I just saw her Facebook picture on Isaac’s page.
Bobby: Holy. Crap.
Beth: Bobby – this is hilarious! You’ve been on my case since day one to introduce you to her – now I’m off the hook!
So, I got a phone call that evening from Beth and Isaac – which I fully expected to be an engagement announcement. Then I spent an hour blushing and laughing at being found out. My first thought was, of course, “Oh no! I was matched with Isaac!” (Isaac had signed up for a year, initially, so his account was still active and I didn’t realize you could stop getting matched. I figured he must’ve gotten on to look at some old messages from Beth and perhaps seen my profile.)
But when I asked how they knew, Isaac said, “You’re talking with one of Beth’s friends!” I took the opportunity to drill Beth about Bobby, and was extremely pleased at Beth’s comments. Bobby just happened to be the same friend that Beth had tried to set me up with at the mid-state fair. And the A Cappella group that Bobby sang in happened to be the same one that Isaac and Beth sang in as well.
After this, the two of us started seriously emailing because the ‘coincidence’ was just too awesome to ignore. The more I discovered about Bobby, the more impressed I was. I prayed a lot about it and had peace and true excitement. After a few days, I visited my dear sister (the one with whom I share everything – and the same one who shared your blog with me) and her husband in San Jose. I made sure to let Bobby know I’d be in town, and he lost no time in asking me out to coffee (which was, of course, my hope). The date was lovely. Neither of us had any reservations about going ahead with the relationship. For years I had prayed that God would bring me a good man, and my first thought as I stepped into my car and drove away from that first date was, “Wow – what a good man.”
Bobby and I got engaged in October 2012 and were married this spring. My conclusion: I didn’t join eHarmony out of trust in God – in fact I would have said that it was a lack of trust in God. But He used it for good to show me in an obvious way that HE had a man for me. If I had honoured the meet-up in SF, I could have saved the money and just met Bobby at the mid-state fair, but God worked it out anyway, and I am glad He did :).
Of course, our relationship was sparked by common interests, but it has grown and been rooted in the foundation of Christ. I revel each day in the richness of my relationship with Jesus Christ, and with this man, Bobby, who shows me Christ’s love on a daily basis.
Thanks, Christina, for sharing your story!
I loved it! And now, readers, I’d like to hear from you: What’s your love story?