It was July 2012, when we last left the story of Jim and Joanne, a couple who exchanged 25 messages with each other the first night they connected on CatholicMatch. We are now pleased to report that Jim and Joanne have gotten married and are starting their new life together.
Jim is from Michigan, while Joanne lived in the Fort Lauderdale area. This past Christmas, he flew south for the holiday. On Christmas night, with Joanne all dressed up for dinner, Jim told her that he’d always wanted to see the Atlantic Ocean in winter.
Joanne was a little skeptical of the idea, given that Christmas dinner was right around the corner. “Can we just drive by?” she asked him. He agreed.
At one point along the drive, Jim just stopped the car and went to the trunk. Joanne was completely baffled by what he might be doing. She got out of the car and began to guide her toward the ocean. “He’s almost pulling me,” she recalled. “I’m thinking that I wouldn’t do this for any other guy,” as the sand ended up in her good shoes.
When they stopped she turned to look at him, and he was on his knee, arms outstretched. “What are you doing?” she asked. “Then it hit me. I realized his proposing.” The ring he gave her was not the official engagement ring—Jim wanted her to pick that out for herself, but it served as a symbol of their engagement.
Joanne went to Michigan for pre-Cana, and it was there she picked out her ring. In April, Jim came back to Florida, and they returned to the same spot in the sand as on Christmas night. Joanne might have known what was coming and even what the ring would look like, but it didn’t stop the excitement from overtaking her all over again, and she was jumping up and down in the sand and the sight of the real ring.
There were still challenges that lie ahead, most of them logistic. Joanne had her job in Florida, while Jim still had a son in high school in Michigan. They had both sold their houses in preparation for the life change ahead, but even after their marriage, they were pulling long-distance, as they awaited for things to settle in.
But both Jim and Joanne have entrusted their lives to God from the get-go. They both lived through divorces in 1999 and immediately filed for annulments, even though neither knew if another marriage was in their future. When they did meet, they prayed the Rosary together over the phone. And once again, God did not let them down.
Joanne works at the Ritz Carlton, and she got an email about whether she wanted to post for a position that allowed her to work remotely. Suffice it to say, she was interested and she got the job. This month she works her last day on-site, and is moving up to Michigan.
There’s still working out their living situation, but they’ll be together. They’ll be with family and as always, they have their faith which has already seen them through so much.
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