Monday, July 21, 2014

Catholic Match Success!

As you probably well know by now, Drew and I met on - an amazing dating site for Catholics around the world. They are always looking for success stories to share, and so I finally submitted ours a few weeks ago. Having read many success stories before, I knew that the grammar and editing would likely butcher the perfectly fine write-up on which I spent a great deal of time. However, I was still shocked to see it for real (you can read it here), and I don't know if it is the fault of my browser or the software they use, or human error, but the mistakes seemed even more glaring, since it is my story on the line here. For real, it made my insides feel icky as I counted every missing comma, apostrophe, and pair of quotation marks. SO, for my sanity, and your ability to compare, here is MY submission:

In February of 2011, Angela (Angie to her friends and family) was 23 years old and living in a small town in Florida, where the average resident's age is in the mid-50s. Single, with little hope of finding any eligible local prospects, she braved the world of online dating and created a profile. The first few days of online dating were exhausting, but since joining Catholic Match had been pressing on her heart for many months, she was determined to give it a fighting chance.

Drew was 27 years old and about to move from Texas to Miami, Florida, a big city full of strangers. His twin sister had already married a man whom she had met on Catholic Match and she encouraged Drew to join. Wondering if his dream girl could be waiting for him in Florida, he searched for ladies within 500 miles of Miami. When he saw Angie's picture, he immediately fell in love. In fact, his sister jokingly warned him, "If you don't marry her, I'll kill you."

He spent hours composing the first, brief message to send Angie, and when she read it, she knew that Drew was different from the other men with whom she had chatted. After feeling overwhelmed in her first days on Catholic Match, Angie had prayed that her deceased grandfather would pray for her experience with online dating and that she would be guided in the right direction. God must have heard those intercessions, because Drew is so much like Angie's Grandpa, it is uncanny. The power of prayer was truly revealed to Angie and her family as they got to know Drew better.  

Angie and Drew both admit to having felt rather broken-hearted when they joined Catholic Match. As the two got to know each other via email and chat, they became friends, helped each other heal from past hurts, and fell in love. After six weeks, Drew made the four and a half hour drive from Miami to Inverness on a Saturday morning. He took Angie out to lunch and then dinner that evening. The next morning he picked her up for Mass and then they went to Tampa to meet Angie's family.

They knew from the start that they would get married someday. The long distance relationship was a challenge, but video chatting daily made them feel closer together. Drew sent Angie an email every morning, asking her both fun and thought-provoking questions to help him get to know her better. They planned dates to watch movies, cook the same meals, and play Scrabble together, all via video chats. They made saying the Divine Mercy Chaplet part of their evening routine, and this helped them to keep God at the heart of their relationship. Drew's regular trips to visit Angie were a clear sign of his determination to show her just how strongly he loved her.

On the one-year anniversary of the day Angie received Drew’s first message, Drew planned an entire day of surprises based on the themes of Faith, Hope, and Charity. The day began with a lakeside sunrise breakfast, and continued as they wrote letters to their future selves and ate lunch where they had first dined one year earlier. Angie was stunned when Drew took her to church for an hour of Adoration that he had arranged just for the two of them - what an amazing gift! After a delicious dinner at a French restaurant, Drew took Angie to the lake where her profile picture had been taken and he gave her a book full of all the questions he had asked in the emails he wrote to her. Much to Angie's surprise, the last page of the book posed a new question: "Angela, will you marry me?" She emphatically said, “Yeah!” but Drew isn’t ever going to let her forget that she said didn't say, “Yes.”

Sixteen months later, Angie and Drew married in her family's parish in Tarpon Springs, Florida. They moved to Texas a bit more than a month later, where they have thoroughly enjoyed getting to spend each day together without needing computers to connect them. When they walked into the church where they are now parishioners, they immediately noticed the image of Divine Mercy above the altar, a comforting sign that they had found their new church home.

The whole Catholic Match experience seems so miraculous, from meeting when they were 1500 miles apart to successfully dating long distance and getting married, that Angie and Drew can still hardly believe that they even know each other. "It all feels like a dream sometimes," Angie says. "We believe that God obviously wanted us to be together, and he used the circumstances in our respective lives to help us realize that. It took a lot of courage to join Catholic Match and a massive amount of trust in God's plan, and it was so worth letting go and getting out of my comfort zone."

Angie and Drew recently celebrated their one-year anniversary and purchased their first house with plans to start a family in the near future.

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