When we last left the story of Matthew and Betty it was October 2012. The 20-something couple was making long-distance work. The distance between his home in North Dakota and where she and her daughter lived in Oregon was 1500 miles, but through return visits and the use of Skype, they were making it work.
Today, Matthew and Betty have gotten married, but it didn't come without some significant bumps in the road.
In January 2013, Betty and her daughter went to North Dakota to spend a month with Matthew and his family. "Towards the end of the visit we ended up coming to a conclusion that the relationship might not work out," Betty admitted.
"When I arrived home, Matthew and I continued our long-distance relationship via phone and enjoyed praying the Rosary with each other, but there was one night where we thanked each other for the time we had put into our relationship, cried our eyes out while praying and said our goodbyes." It seemed as though that was where things would end--on a gracious, yet sad note.
But it wasn't the end. They stayed in touch and openly communicated some of the concerns they each had, and in May of 2013, Matthew made a surprise visit to Oregon, roses in tow and a big smile on this face.
"We enjoyed an amazing weekend together with my family and we both prayed and grew closer together with communication and trust," Betty recalled. One month later she went to North Dakota. They didn't feel ready to get engaged, but they wanted to make a bold move forward and the 1500-mile gap was just too big. Betty decided to pack herself and her daughter up, and she signed a one-year lease on a house near Matthew.
Matthew came to Oregon to help her move, and the road trip together brought all them--including Betty's daughter Kaylee--closer together still. "Matthew of course did not move in, as he lived with friends, and we decided that moving in with each other wouldn't help our relationship in the long run," Betty said.
Since Matthew and Betty lived closer together, they were able to build their relationship and work out previous issues. On Christmas morning, he proposed marriage. "It was beautiful," Betty said enthusiastically. "After he asked me to spend the rest of my life with him, he asked Kaylee to be his daughter and she said yes too!" A double proposal and acceptance brought warmth across the wintry landscape of North Dakota.
They returned to Oregon this summer for the wedding and were married on June 28. "God has truly blessed our lives with each other and it is amazing to see the grace that he gives us," Betty said. "Trust in the Lord and patience brings a beautiful mystery of joy and true happiness."
When Matthew and Betty first started exchanging messages on CatholicMatch back in 2012, she messaged him a simple three-word lament--"So Far Away." Those words were the obstacle that was in their path, an obstacle that appeared to have won a temporary victory, but ended up being what this couple conquered on the road to their happiness.
Now Matthew and Betty are praying in the hopes that God will bless their union with children, and they aren't the only ones praying--"Kaylee is looking forward to being a big sister!"