Our Love Story

From Pier’s Perspective
 

I was raised all my life in a Christian home. I always felt like Jesus and I were on very good terms, but one day, in 2008, I felt this need, this overwhelming compelling need to convert to Catholicism. There was really no basis, per say, for it, but I felt God calling me to make this change. If you know anything about me, you might know that I have a lot of grandiose ideas, but not so many of them are seen through to fruition. You see, I’m a perfectionist and if I feel there is one little hint of something having the chance to not being completed 100% correctly, I usually don’t follow-through… Bad habit, I know.

Converting to Catholicism was different though. I went through RCIA with a hunger for knowledge. When my very Protestant family raised concerns for my change, I was able to calm their ‘fears’ very easily and logically. When I was finally a confirmed Catholic on November 22, 2008, there was a sense of peace about me that I had never known.

I continued my Catholic walk, gradually losing that zeal for the Church I had had in the beginning. Over the years, I knew God had called me to become a Catholic because I was finally able to truly worship within the Mass – a feeling I hadn’t felt in Protestant church in some time, but there was something missing, it seemed. Why had God called me to become a single Catholic? I just didn’t understand.

At first, I thought, perhaps, I was called to become a nun. I reached out to several convents, read all of the brochures and prayed about each of the distinct vocations. But it still didn’t seem like that was where God was calling me. Then, one day, I was at work, and I felt God speak to me – It was more like a gentle nudging really. I was in front of my computer, and I felt God tell me to go to CatholicMatch.com. Seriously. I argued with him, audibly, at my desk for a little while. Then, finally, I gave in.

“Fine.” I said, “I am leaving this in your hands, God. My future spouse is in your hands. I have tried on my own, and I obviously can’t handle this task. You choose for me. You show me who you have in store for my future.”

And that, my dears, is history. I signed onto Catholic Match, and one week later received a message from a guy who seemed genuinely interesting. He wrote me the longest and most beautiful e-mails. It was so painfully obvious that this man truly had a heart for Christ, and when he asked for my phone number later that month, we had dozens of conversations that lasted for hours on end. Never was there a dull moment in conversation. Neither of us are (or were then) self-proclaimed ‘phone people’, but speaking to each other was always the high point of each of our days. I knew it to be true on my end, and it was pretty apparent from his…

I tried and tried and tried to find “the one” on my own – without God’s help. For years and years, I dated guys who seemed to have similar interests; based on ‘attraction’; who just ‘wanted to get married’; who were nice…It never worked. For one reason or another, I wound up 28 years old and scared to death I was going to be {gasp!} 30 and unmarried! That’s when I gave the reins to God, and allowed him to point me in the direction of my soulmate.

From my first date with Craig, there was a tugging at my heartstrings that this one was the one. He took me out for dinner and drinks, and we laughed and talked and smiled at each other across the table for 4-5 hours. A very obviously inebriated man approached our table while Craig was in the restroom, and told me he just wanted to let me know how beautiful I was…Craig came back to this, and told me, shyly, “That man was right. You are beautiful.”

When I got home that evening, my heart was soaring. I felt like a 16 year old girl who had just been asked to prom by the football star – and it never stopped. That feeling is the same one I get even today when Craig has been on a trip for work, and comes through the front door, or when I am almost home from work and know he is waiting for me…I still get butterflies.

Craig planned our 2nd date – we met one Sunday for a Bible Study at the Catholic parish closest to my (then) condo. I thought, then, “Wow. This has God’s writing all over it.” And I was so right. It was becoming glaringly obvious as to why God led me to become a Catholic those 3 years earlier. It was finally clear. He was preparing me for my holy spouse.

Craig and I didn’t even attempt to kiss until our 5th date, two months later… but just one month after that, he told me he loved me for the first time – and it was genuine. We both knew – it was palpable – we had been in love from the first moment we set eyes on one another. He told me later he felt like I could be ‘the one’ even before we had ever met in person. He always made me a priority, and treated every situation we were in and every conversation we had as if I were his future spouse.

After eight months of dating, Craig told me, while overlooking the waves on a beautiful beach, that he wanted to marry me, and was actively ‘searching for rings’. On the one year anniversary of our very first date, Craig surprised the heck out of me with the most romantic and well-thought-out proposal, and (after I literally fell out of my chair and onto my knees beside him) I answered him, “Absolutely.”

Never was there a choice I was surer of. We were married just over 5 months later in a beautiful Catholic Mass, surrounded by all of our family and close friends. We have been blissfully married now for 16 months, and our love only increases day by day. I am blessed with a husband who is truly my partner, my very best friend, my holy spouse. I have every confidence this is the man God intended for me from everything about our relationship, from the fact we finish each other’s sentences to the fact he likes the cake and I prefer the icing. We are absolutely a match made in Heaven, by God.

I think there is no question that along with anything God-given comes superabundance – of things that matter. This isn’t to say that everything is always 100% perfect, or that God answers YES to everything we ask for. We have been trying to conceive a child for 16 months, to no avail. BUT, the faithfulness, the love, the trust, the peace, the joy, the kindness within our marriage and our relationship…It isn’t a human amount. It’s a God amount. And life within a marriage, within God’s plan? That’s like living life, no matter what storms may rain down on you, in a perpetual hug.

It is unbelievably apparent to me we were both hidden by the veil. I was a serial dater, and there were plenty of guys who I ‘could have seen myself with’, but no matter how ‘good the relationship was’, it was only ‘of this world’. Craig will tell you the same thing about his past, which tried to pull him away from the Catholic faith, and it turns out there certainly wasn’t anything ‘other-worldly’ about it, either. Nothing has ever even come close to comparing to the manner in which Craig courted me; the diligence he had to God; the pure love and compassion he showed me… All of it was different and indescribable. NOTHING of this world.

The world may have chosen differently for Craig and I. For Craig, maybe society would have chosen someone more outdoorsy, someone with a love for baseball and a penchant for cold weather (He’s from Minnesota and went to college at the University of North Dakota.). For me, maybe the world might have picked someone who grew up in the South, someone with the same love for all things southern and monogrammed, someone passionate about music and the opera, but even the mere thoughts just break my heart because the world would have been wrong.

God knows exactly what He is doing, and what is best for you. Wait on Him.

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