“Not my will by Thy Will be done.” That was the prayer 24-year-old Caitlin offered to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament in late 2010. The second-grade teacher at a Catholic school in Cincinnati had gone through difficult relationships and her experiences on CatholicMatch had been less than ideal. She decided to put it all in God’s hands.
“That night I started a handful of novenas,” she recalled. “One of which was a novena to the Little Flower (St. Therese of Lisieux, an early 20th century Doctor of the Church in France). “The next day I came back from lunch and one my students named Rose handed me a small pink rose bud she had found on the playground.” Caitlin knew a sign of answered prayers when she saw it, and minutes later she got an emotigram from Chris.
The 26-year-old boom operator for the Air National Guard could easily have been seen as an unlikely match for Caitlin. While she was raised in a devout Catholic family of seven children and believed all the Church taught, Chris had a more lax view on non-negotiable moral teachings.
Caitlin had no intention of compromising, and even though they started talking the night she received the first emotigram, there was a lot of conflict along the way. “At first I didn’t like him very much,” she candidly told CatholicMatch. “I didn’t think we could resolve our differences on contraception and children.”
But Chris didn’t give up and he pursued Caitlin, while continuing conversations on topics like in-vitro fertilization to stay-at-home motherhood, and often talking for hours on end. He’d been through a rough path himself when it came to relationships, and like Caitlin, that included some things that happened after he joined CatholicMatch.
Even though every conversation concluded with Caitlin convinced she’d never hear from him again, sure enough, he always called her back.
“Again I turned to God,” Caitlin recalled, “and said ‘Let all others fall away and let the right one be left there in front of me.’” God answered her prayer—the other potential mates she’d been corresponding with began to fade away and Chris was the one who was left.
December 8, 2010—the Feast of the Immaculate Conception—Chris made his way up from his native Tennessee to visit Caitlin in Cincinnati. He met her family and she made a return visit to the Volunteer State at Christmas to meet his.
“He was ready to commit,” Caitlin told CatholicMatch. “And he showed his true character.” When Chris met her family at a school function, he helped a fellow teacher clean up after a child who’d thrown up. He helped her brothers serve the people who attended the school’s Nativity Play.
These were the quiet little things that reveal character, and he also took care of Caitlin. “He cared about what happened to me,” she said. “He helped me put on with my coat and always opened the door for me. When there was a large bank of snow beside his truck he trudged through it and picked me up. I never in my life had a man treat me so well that I wanted to be a better person for him.”
The signs of God’s grace were alive in their relationship, and ever-so-gradually, they got onto the same page in matters of faith and morals. By the spring, Caitlin decided to move to Tennessee. “I never wanted to leave my hometown, but he made it worth it,” she said. There was a window of time in 2011, between May and November, when Chris had to be away for his Air Force training and Caitlin used that time to move and get settled.
When Chris returned, he didn’t waste time and proposed marriage. This past May, they were married. Now open to the possibility of a large family, Chris is off to a good start—he and Caitlin are expecting their first child in 2013.
“We are growing in our faith and our love of one another,” Caitlin told CatholicMatch. “We are happier than we ever have been.”