When Mark got a teaching job in Poland it was a dream trip. It was a chance to work in the country his parents had emigrated from and get closer to his roots. It was a chance to teach music. And it was a chance for him to meet a nice Polish girl, as so many friends and family members told him before he left.
They were right, but not in the way one might have expected. The Polish girl Mark found was in the United States.
Magdalena had come to the U.S. to work and see the country. She and Mark were both convinced that any relationship had to be built on faith and for that reason joined CatholicMatch. It was one of three connections they made with each other.
In addition to the common ground found in faith and ethnic culture, there was a deep intellectual connection made. It was something important to Mark.
“She’s sharp as a whip,” he said admiringly about his wife. It gave their relationship a completeness of the head, the heart and the soul.
After finding each other on CatholicMatch, they messaged extensively and made good use of Skype so they could see each other in person, a tool that only added to the attraction they felt.
By the time Mark’s teaching job was up, he decided to cut short the remainder of his dream trip and come home to pursue Magdalena. “When I find a situation feels compelling, I’ll take the bull by the horns,” he told CatholicMatch. They both wanted to be sure that the chemistry developed through long-distance communication could stand up face-to-face.
The couple got a quick sign that God was watching out for them and guiding them along. Their first weekend together they drove to Our Lady Of The Czestochowa, a shrine in Pennsylvania. While they were there a Dominican priest immediately nudged them to the image of Our Lady of Czestochowa, dear to the hearts of the Polish and gave them a blessing.
“After that first weekend there was no doubt,” Mark recalled.
If the trip to the shrine was a sign of Heavenly blessing, a picnic trip together showed them how well they related on the more mundane side of life. Through spilled food and wine they each showed their clumsiness and each found it charming in the other.
“We saw each other’s follies and could laugh at them,” Mark said.
Today they are married and Magdalena is five months pregnant. It hasn’t been without challenges. Mark needed to find a job when he returned to the States and work at a private school didn’t pay enough. Magdalena was working at a nursing home in similar straits and their health insurance was substandard.
They continued to move forward in faith and God provided Mark with a teaching opportunity at a college in Maryland which offers excellent health care coverage at a time when Magdalena needs prenatal care.
“It’s as though we turn the corner and God is there with what we need.” This teaching situation will also expire and the couple will have to take another step, this time with a child.
But if this couple knows anything it’s that the hand of God will be there. How else could an American go to Poland and meet the Polish girl he dreamed of, who happened to be living in America?