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Have you met your spouse, deepened your faith or found support on CatholicMatch? Share Your Story

Debbie's story:

Dating in today's culture seemed like such a daunting task for me. I had a diffiuclt time meeting people I wanted to date, and an even harder time finding people to date who matched my Catholic-Chirstian faith. Friends even advised me to relax that standard a little and to be open to other people of different faiths. However, I knew in my heart (and God knew) that if I were to marry, that person would have to have a deep growing relationship with the Lord and be Catholic. A few years ago after getting out of a difficult relationship, a close friend of mine advised me to pray for my spouse, even if I didn't know him yet. Even while dating casually, I continued to pray for my spouse whereever he was and just prayed for God to prepare us for each other and lead us to each other in His perfect timing (those prayers started over three years ago, which can seem like eternity to a single woman!)

I was reaching a point where essentially I was getting tired of waiting patiently and not dating anyone. I went to church one Sunday morning and one of the readings was about Abraham sacrificing his son Isaac as the Lord commanded him. I've heard that reading many times before, however, that particular day, it spoke to me. I felt God was urging me to just surrender everything to Him, all my deepest hearts desires, and just follow Him. During that Mass, I prayed to God that I was accepting my circumstances of being single and that I had a willing heart to just follow wherever He wanted me to go. Ironically, as I prayed, there was a church bulletin on the pew in front of me and I spotted the advertisement for CatholicMatch.com. I was a bit conflicted, because even at that time, I was unsure if God wanted me in a relationship. But out of curiosity's sake, I logged onto their site that same day.

A short time later I officially got a subscription to Catholic Match (my older sister who is always looking out for me was also urging me to take that step). And to my surprise, a very young handsome man named Rob from Philadelphia contacted me and asked if I wanted to meet sometime. His subscription was going to expire the next day so he left his home e-mail. At first I thought that was just his marketing ploy (telling me his subscription was going to expire), but of course I still read his profile. Then re-read it. To be honest, I was hesitant. And I sat on his e-mail for almost a whole week. Why was I hesitant? Well, he was younger than me. He was still in school. He didn't have transportation. He didn't have a job at the time. I had a whole list of reasons not to meet him! However, his description of his faith experience and choice to convert to Catholicism kept me interested. So I prayed about it and God revealed to me that my reasons were selfish and that I needed to just trust Him.

Finally, I e-mailed Rob back, and to my disappointment, he already started dating someone! But a few days later, that didn't work out and he e-mailed me back to see if I would still meet him for coffee. I appreciated his honesty for not wanting to date more than one woman at a time and accepted his invitation. We wrote each other for about a week and talked on the phone prior to meeting. I found out prior to meeting him about his BiPolar illness. And that certainly was not going to stop me from meeting him…not wanting to date someone who is bi polar is like not wanting to date someone who is diabetic. And his openness about it helped me to learn more about him.

I was grateful that Rob found a way to come to Delaware and we met at a little coffee shop in the city of Wilmington. We spent most of the evening talking about our faith and exchanging our experiences of conversion. It was not typical first date talk and after that night I knew Rob was the one God had provided for me.

The following few weeks and months were a bit of a whirlwind, but the more time I spent with Rob, I knew he was the partner for life I had always hoped for. God knows me well, and God knows exactly what I needed. Five months after our first date, Rob proposed and we are now planning to marry in July of 2010. Needless to say, we are both grateful God used CatholicMatch to bring us together!

Rob’s story:

I joined the Catholic Church in college and have spent the last ten years discerning a call to religious life. In essence, I simply wanted to serve God with all my heart, strength, and soul, in whatever way that might look like. But I took to heart the words of St. Paul: "it is better for a man not to marry," and felt that it was the Lord's will that I serve Him as a celibate monk.

In December of 2008 I made a leap of faith and formally petitioned to join the contemplative Benedictines of Christ in the Desert Monastery in New Mexico. To my great disappointment, I was told by the Abbot (whom I had stayed in touch with since my initial visit in 1999) that I was not a suitable candidate due to my diagnosis of bi-polar disorder. It was a great blow to my idea of what God had in store for me, and I felt, in some way, that He did not want me working in His vineyard, and that as a person with a mental illness, I was "damaged goods." I just hoped that God was going to open another door somewhere else, since He seemed to have slammed this one in my face!

A priest in college told me to pray often for your future spouse (even if you don't know her yet), so I spent a lot of time in Adoration doing just that. I joined Catholic Match a few years ago in the hopes of keeping the door open to a relationship with a woman of faith, if this was what the Lord had in mind, while I discerned my vocation. I dated on and off during this time, and had a number of serious relationships, but none that felt "right." My faith does not fit into a neat little box, and this was something I felt hesitant about in my efforts to meet other Catholics. More than anything, I wanted to connect with someone who accepted me for who I was…a sinner in need of God's mercy, compassion, and friendship.

In February of 2009 I met Debbie on Catholic Match. I borrowed a car and drove down to Wilmington to meet her. I am very sensitive to a person's energy, and when we met I immediately felt comfortable in Debbie's presence. She was kind and calm and radiated goodness and sincerity. We spent the night in the coffee shop sharing our conversion stories, and just getting to know one another.

We continued to write and talk on the phone, and I got a car so I could see her on a regular basis. We went for walks and discussed the implications my illness might have for our relationship. I felt so humbled and honored that Debbie saw all of me, not just the good parts, and accepted them lovingly. As time progressed and things got more serious, I began to reflect more on the Creation story, how Adam longed for a "suitable partner" to go through life with. The more time I spent with Debbie, the more I realized I had found that suitable partner–"bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh." She felt the same way, and we are now looking forward to serving God together as husband and wife when we celebrate the Sacrament of Matrimony in July 2010. We know it will not be an easy road, but we have faith that God will give us what we need to have a successful marriage. We are both grateful for Catholic Match and the opportunity to have met through what seems to be a quality website where the Lord can work His mysterious, awesome ways!

(This post has been read 219 times)

29 Comments

  1. Alicia-481430 January 1, 2010

    Your stories are incredibly moving. It sounds like the two of you are meant for eachother and have what it takes to truly make it last. Congratulations on your engagement and may God bless the both of you in your life together and all your future endeavors.

  2. Christina-526499 January 2, 2010

    Congratulations! Your story is an inspiration for me not to give up. I pray that someday God will do the same for me.

  3. Derek-484872 January 3, 2010

    ul be in my prayers, god bless!

  4. Lucy-457335 January 3, 2010

    GOD IS GOOD! Thankyou for sharing your story. It is definitely inspirational especially for those of us who may sometimes feel discouraged from the typical dating world of today's culture. God truly does work in mysterious ways. He is always bestowing miracles, big or small as we patiently carry our cross and are always trying to do His will. God bless you both and may you grow in holiness that you may serve the Lord through the guidance and protection of our Blessed Mother Mary.

  5. Stephanie-404903 January 6, 2010

    What a beautiful story! I wish both of you the best! God bless you!

  6. Cynthia-139675 January 8, 2010

    That is what it is all about. Trusting in God and in each other. Thank you so much for sharing your story! May God bless you both always!

  7. Anna-514018 January 9, 2010

    This story is so wonderful and up lifted.Not to give it up and keep praying for a spouse and continue searching.Let it surrounded to God and He will send the right person to our life.Sometimes we are so inpatient,want everything happen according our will and forgot to put trust in God .Congratulations Debbie and Ron,God bless you!

  8. Katie-443543 January 11, 2010

    Thank you Rob and Debbie! This story has really helped me:)

  9. MaryAnn-379846 January 12, 2010

    So enjoyed reading your story. God does work if we let Him and dont get in the way. Good for you Deb, you are a beautiful person in and out. It took courage to come out of your comfort zone. I pray you have a beutiful life together. God is so good.

  10. Daniel-292385 January 12, 2010

    thank you for sharing your story… one of patience, discernment and love. its refreshing to hear such a great connection between 2 children of Christ. best of luck -

  11. Maclean-483042 January 14, 2010

    God always makes a way were there seem to be no way, beautiful story and so touching. Wishing you both God blessings as you prepare for that special day! All the best.

  12. Jennifer-412513 January 17, 2010

    My goodness – this is truly a testimony to the faithfulness of our loving God and His perfect will unfolding in your lives! I pray His choicest blessings upon each of you as you begin your journey together in July. Walk with Jesus in the middle – holding each of you by the hand. With Him in the center of your marriage, you cannot help but become a shining example of steadfast love to those around you!

  13. Stanley-532941 January 17, 2010

    Tis is a true love story of GOD and his people.

  14. Claudia-349581 January 25, 2010

    Beautiful good luck to both of you………….

  15. Divina-422419 January 25, 2010

    May you be blessed on your journey as man and wife

  16. Jeanne-445476 January 28, 2010

    God bless your marriage :-)

  17. Maureen-462033 February 1, 2010

    I like to wish new couples this: May you be blessed with happiness, long life, prosperity, and many children. You will find your deepest blessings as a couple in your children.

  18. Aggie-385731 February 3, 2010

    A very inspiring story. It's a testimony that God really has plans for all of us. We just need to develop a friendship with Him through prayer, trust, and being docile to His plans. Thank you for sharing it with us. Wishing you all the best and lots of love for many many many years!!!

  19. Hilde-432518 February 8, 2010

    A beautiful story and beautiful ending. God love us. Best wishes!

  20. SaraJane-512698 February 10, 2010

    Your journey of faith is a testimony of your enduring patience and expectant faith, believing that God indeed answers prayers. As you celebrate the sacrament of matrimony, it is your covenant to one another witnessed by the Lord who brought you together and witnessed as well by everyone in your wedding to God's victory in life. Entrust Rob's condition and claim God's healing upon him. Where 2 or 3 are gathered together (you as a couple), there (God) is in your midst. Your prayers will be more powerful. Praise God for HIS love incarnated in you two!

  21. Gemma-476827 February 10, 2010

    I was impressed for God. Hoping to be like them also in the right time. God Bless

  22. Hope-534897 February 11, 2010

    what a beautiful story! thank you for sharing!

  23. Hope-534897 February 11, 2010

    what a beautiful story! thank you for sharing!

  24. Kevin-251865 February 11, 2010

    Beautiful…I know God will be with you in your marriage vocation.

  25. Jean-536411 February 14, 2010

    beautiful story, thanks for sharing

  26. Lisa-170636 February 25, 2010

    Something bugged me to read this article…since I try to avoid them lol. It gave me hope about my recent doubts. Sounds like God was telling me something…Thanks for sharing.

  27. Haze-543961 February 28, 2010

    Such a wonderful story.
    Haze

  28. Cristina-510210 February 28, 2010

    Thank you for this beautiful story! I have always prayed to God for my future spouse. Today, I had thought of leaving CM, but now I know that I just need to open up to God and let Him do His will. Your story has really helped me.

  29. Peggy-507062 February 28, 2010

    Congratulations! I'm happy for you and glad you trusted your heart. It's exciting when God's plan unfolds and you realize why it was worth the wait for things to fall into place.

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