"One word frees us from all the weight and pain in life; that word is love." ~Socrates
This quote has reflected my life in so many ways recently, and it's all because of a simple emote that led to one of the most beautiful and wonderful relationships I could ever hope to have.
It all started on a whim. I had joined CatholicMatch.com a year prior with little success and was rather pessimistic about finding anyone of quality. The ones I had encountered prior had led me on or hurt me, and I doubted I could find an old-fashioned Catholic gentleman who would love, honor, respect, and value me. But life has a way of surprising you!
Steven had looked at my profile a few times. And I would look at his. And every time he seemed to slip off the end of my "Encounters" list, he would browse my profile again! This had gone on for a few months, with no correspondence between us. He had a wonderful profile, but he had stated "I'm not much for long-distance relationships, but I guess I could make an exception if the circumstances were right." He resided in Maryland; myself in Arizona, so I honestly didn't think much of it…until a mere emotigram changed everything!
I happened to log on November 15, 2007 and on the "Birthdays" list his picture popped up. I recognized him and thought, "That's the guy who browses my profile."All of a sudden I got this nagging feeling to send him a birthday emotigram. I debated for awhile thinking, "Oh he'll think I'm stupid…he looks at my profile, but he never talks to me." However, this nagging feeling would not go away! Finally, I clicked on the emotigram link by his profile and before I could talk myself out of it, I sent the birthday emote. Honestly, I then put it out of my mind. I am a busy RN with a hectic work schedule and would check my emails on my days off. I had no idea what would await me!
A few days later I received the sweetest email from him, thanking me for my birthday emote and wishing me and my family a happy Thanksgiving weekend. He introduced himself, and I found out he was an electrician and was musically inclined. We emailed back and forth and emoted for a few days, before we managed to both be online at the same time to chat. It was wonderful! We had so much in common and I was just filled with this sense of peace when I was reading his emails or chatting with him. We exchanged phone numbers a short while later and began talking. Our first phone conversation went very well, and we began speaking almost every day. If we couldn't talk to each other, we both would at least leave a voicemail, or an email talking about our day. This has become the foundation to our relationship.
We have built a very solid foundation on core values/beliefs, mutual respect, love and admiration for one another. We both fell very quick for one another and expressed our love for each other after about a month of correspondence and talking. Although not in my nature to fall fast, (I tend to be very guarded with my heart), loving Steven came naturally. He is such a wonderful person. He is very intelligent, possesses very old-fashioned values and beliefs, has a warped sense of humor like mine and loves to laugh, and is the most kind and patient man I had ever known. He loves me despite my faults, always tells me how much he admires me as a person and a nurse, and loves me for me! He often tells me how beautiful I am, inside and out, and how lucky he is to be mine….but I'm the lucky one! He has completely spoiled me in more ways that I can begin to list. Flowers, cards, beautiful emails and letters, sweet gestures, and just being there ANYTIME I need to talk!
In one of our earlier emails, he stated he listened to a band called Porcupine Tree and there was a song he knew that reminded him of me. He sent me the song and quoted the lyric, "Stay with me my angel, I found you now, I don't feel low. All of the rest will flow." That song and that lyric has gotten me through all the ups and downs of my profession and the distance between us. Whenever I feel stressed, listening to that song (which is now "our song") makes me feel at peace. When we both did a silly random survey, and I had answered "no" to the question "Has anyone ever sang to you before?" he emailed me stating, "I'll fix that. 🙂 " He sang "The Rest Will Flow" and sent the clip to me. I have it on my I-pod and listen to it quite often!
After 7 months of correspondence via emails, text messages, voicemails, letters and packages, and phone calls, we finally met on June 12, 2008. We had to postpone our meeting so long due to work and other obligations. I was so nervous waiting to meet him at the airport. My stomach was full of butterflies, my heart was racing, and I kept wondering how it would go; how well we would get along in person. All my doubts melted away when I saw him coming out of the terminal. He instantly found me with a huge smile on his face and came right over and scooped me up in his arms in the biggest embrace. It was wonderful, albeit slightly awkward for the first few hours. Although we had instant chemistry, and an undeniable spark, it was just so weird (in a good way!) to FINALLY be with him! I had fallen for Steven and knew him so well, yet we never had been able to meet until 7 months after we started talking. He was so laid-back and easy to get along with, not to mention very sweet and a total gentleman which made our meeting very memorable. Whenever we were talking, he always looked me right in the face with such warmth and love and made me feel so loved and wanted. We had 3 days together and it went by far too quickly. We spent a lot of time traveling around southeastern Arizona going to various places, as well as spending time with my family, and going to Mass together.
Saying goodbye at the airport a few days later was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. We both were upset and neither one of us wanted to say goodbye. Due to educational/financial circumstances as well, I will be in Arizona for at about 2 more years to finish my Bachelor's before I can consider relocating to Maryland. Although this wait is not going to be easy, we both are dedicated to making this work. We both firmly believe that we have found our soulmate in each other, and are devoted to keeping our relationship strong. We hope to visit each other every few months during this wait, and we speak/email every day. He is so patient, and dedicated to my success, that I could not ask for more.
I honestly don't know what I have done to deserve Steven. I had prayed for a long time for God to send me someone who would love me for me, and He sent me the most wonderful man I have ever known. I cannot imagine my life without Steven. Although we may have known each other only 7 months, I feel deep down that he is the one for me. I am so happy, and incredibly blessed and I can't wait to see what the future has in store for us.
**Update** May 21st 2009: We are still going strong!!! 18 months together now! I am almost through with my degree and plan to move to Maryland at the end of the year. Ironically, the distance has only brought us closer over the months and really made us appreciate the time we do spend together. Every day we talk on the phone for at least 30 mins (mostly an hour or more) just about our day and about our future plans.
We've never taken each other for granted, and every day we tell each other how much we love and miss one another.
I have had a rough year emotionally and physically and he has stuck by my side through it all. I was very ill during one of his visits out to see me and he would just hold me in his arms on the couch and stroke my head as we watched movies together. He is my angel and I can't wait until the day we are married and my life and his life become "our life."
To all of you in LDR's: Hang in there! With the grace of God ANYTHING is possible! I thought I was destined to serve the Lord as a single woman or a nun but when He has a plan for you, He makes it known!
]**Update** February 2010
After 2 long, difficult years in a long distance relationship, Steven and I were engaged on November 12th, 2009! These last two years have been full of many obstacles and challenges in each of our personal lives, not to mention all the obstacles of a long distance relationship!
We had been talking about engagement and marriage for quite some time. I can recall us talking about marriage before we had even met! We just had everything important in common, and understood each other so well that is felt natural to speak about this. I ended up finding out accidentally that he was preparing to propose through a series of mishaps.
He calls me every day, by a certain time. It was never a stipulation in our relationship, just something that occurred. One day in October it had been over 2 hours since I normally heard from him, and his phone went straight to voicemail. His home phone didn't pick up, and his parents didn't know where he was and they were concerned. The weather report stated there was bad weather conditions in MD, so I was pacing the living room in AZ, feeling scared and helpless. I was so afraid he was hurt and there was nothing I could do.
He finally did call me, and I was relieved, yet mad he scared me so! I asked where he was, and he stated the mall. (HE NEVER GOES TO MALLS!) I was worried something was going on, so I asked "The mall?! What the heck were you doing there?!" And he stated, "I was buying something……for you."
(I have never felt so sheepish in my life!!!) He hadn't realized the time, and was caught in traffic, so when he saw the clock, he stated "No wonder you were so scared."
A few weeks later he called out of the blue and wished to speak to my father. I had an inkling he may have wanted to ask my dad for my hand in marriage.
On November 12th, I flew out to MD for a few days for a visit. It was a rainy and cold evening when I arrived. We were stuck in traffic for almost 2 hours as well. He seemed anxious and eager to get to our destination.
When we finally arrived, he grabbed my hands and told me to stay right there and close my eyes. I could hear him open a drawer in the other room, and when he said I could open my eyes, he was kneeling in front of me with the ring.
He said he knew it wasn't a fairy-tale proposal, but he could not wait any longer and would I marry him and be his wife? I was laughing, halfway crying from joy and I of course said yes! He then confirmed what I had suspected: that day he was buying my ring, and he had called my dad for my hand in marriage and my dad had given his blessing and welcomed him to our family.
The inital plan was for me to stay in AZ until June 2010, to wrap up loose ends before I moved cross country. However after getting engaged, I just couldn't bear to wait until June…neither one of us could. Although I never like leaving Steven, this time was so much harder.
Through the grace of God, things miraculously fell into place over the last few weeks once I returned home. The loose ends have been tied, and I'm moving back to Maryland on Christmas! We have set a tentative wedding date for September 18th, 2010, which is 2 months shy of courting for 3 years. We have signed up for classes at his parish, and are looking forward to planning a traditional Catholic wedding, followed with a loving Catholic marriage!
We are so grateful to Catholicmatch.com, as there is no way we would have met otherwise. I know (and have known!) without a doubt that Steven is my soulmate and we are meant for each other.
That nagging feeling that one November night, I know was God guiding me to Steven as I had been praying for Him to send me someone who would love and cherish me. To find someone, who truly gets you, has the same morals and values within the Catholic belief, is devoted to you and loves you despite your faults is one of the greatest gifts man can have.
I never thought I was called to marriage. Even as a child, I always thought I would remain single my whole life, or I would enter the religious life. I held onto this belief throughout my life, until I felt called to "rule out" the marriage vocation. I can honestly say I have never been happier to have been proven wrong in my life! Steven and I have a wonderful, loving, future ahead of us and it's all thanks to the Lord, CM.com, and a single emotigram. 🙂
LDR's are difficult, but if both members are willing to make the sacrifice, deep true love can blossom into something beautiful. I feel (and have been told by many people) that Steven and I have a very open and deep connection. That is due to the fact we were so far apart; that distance forced us to speak on the phone daily and get to know one another well. So what may initally be seen as a obstacle, may be a blessing in disguise. To those in LDR's or thinking of pursuing one: Pray daily and give it all up to the Lord. If it is meant to be, He will give you the strength needed to overcome the distance.
Christ's Love and Peace,
~Katie and Steven