Jim wasn’t sure where God wanted him to go. The 37-year-old engineer from the Twin Cities wondered if the priesthood might be his vocation. Or could it be marriage? He joined CatholicMatch as part of the search to find out.
Whatever uncertainty Jim had about his destiny, there was no mistaking his creativity. He crafted his profile description of himself in verse, laying out his interests as such…
I’d rather play my guitar
Than play poker games, indeed
And count me out of sporting
Puzzles are more my speed
And Jim’s priorities in life? How about this…
I’m always joking around
You usually can’t mistake it
But when it comes to my faith
I try to seriously take it
Lisa came to CatholicMatch with much more clarity in her calling—to find a faithful Catholic man, and a more conventional profile, though even she brought a little flair here, declaring her smile to be genuine and “not one of those creepy fixed grins like a newscaster.” If there’s a lesson here for other CatholicMatch members, it’s to be true to yourself in your profile—right down to letting some of your personality shine through.
Even though Lisa worked full-time as a pastoral associate, the 31-year-old was still frustrated with the quality of dates she was being set up on. Initially, she wasn’t open to a long-distance relationship, but after interaction in the CatholicMatch message forums and seeing the number of people who enjoyed success via this route, she prayed that she might open to an “LDR” if God so willed it.
“I felt strongly that God was telling me that if the situation so arose, I would have the strength to endure all that goes with a long-distance relationship.”
It was on the message forums that Jim and Lisa came to each other’s attention. He didn’t post, but he read, and he tended to agree with what Lisa was posting. And her beautiful eyes and smile didn’t hurt either—he decided to reach out to her. Jim would admit later that he never expected a reply, but to his pleasant surprise, he got one.
Initial correspondence revealed a great deal in common, and they decided to talk on the phone. It was here they got their first lesson on long-distance relationships. Since international calls are quite expensive, they decided to use Skype as the primary form of communication.
Their bond continued to grow from afar. When Jim eventually flew to Ontario, the face-to-face meeting went even better, but there was a lingering issue. “We had so much in common, but could not ignore the fact that Jim was in discernment,” Lisa told CatholicMatch. In humble submission to God’s timetable, they agreed to keep their distance so Jim could go on a retreat and spend hours in prayer.
Lisa never stopped thinking about him, and when a mutual online friend needed prayers due to a medical situation, Lisa reached out to him—it was to ask for his prayer, but also, she freely admitted, was a good excuse to check on him. The re-connection didn’t magically settle Jim’s discernment process, but it resulted in an agreement for mutual prayer on the future of their relationship.
A key crossroads came in two years ago during Lent. Jim began to feel internally that the Lord was moving him toward marriage. He asked Lisa out again after Easter.
This time there was much more in-person contact, with visits about every six weeks and Skype sessions that lasted for hours. Mutual prayer on Skype drew them even closer. When Jim went to Canada that September, he proposed and Lisa said yes.
A year later they were married in Illinois, where Jim is originally from. They’d come through a mountain of uncertainty leading up to the engagement and a mountain of immigration paperwork for Lisa afterward. But it’s faith that moves mountains and Jim and Lisa continue to bring great trust in the Heavenly Father in their new lives together. Indeed, Lisa fit the mold of the kind of woman Jim wrote about in his profile…
And if that Will includes a spouse
I don’t know what He has in store
I pray that whomever He may bring me
Will help me to love Him yet more!