I (Teri) was living in Wisconsin, but going away to Berkeley for graduate school. I was nervous about the idea of living so far away from home, not knowing anyone. I thought that it would be great if I could meet some like-minded friends before I moved out to California. It would help make the transition easier.
I signed up for Catholic Match my last semester of college, explaining in my profile that I was moving to CA and wanted to make some friends. After some time, I saw that a guy named Ben had viewed my profile. I was intrigued by his; I sent him an emotigram. He one-upped me with an emotigram AND a message. We exchanged emails, and became e-pen pals for half a year until I moved out west.
We finally met in August 2007 and went to a diner in downtown Berkeley for lunch. We had a great time. There was never a pause in the conversation. I revealed that I had recently become more interested in my faith, and I was ready to finally receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. Ben offered to take me to church with him, which became a weekly engagement.
He started attending RCIA classes with me, even though he was already confirmed. When the time came to choose a Confirmation Sponsor, I thought of my Catholic friends back home, but the RCIA leaders encouraged me to find someone local. I thought of asking Ben, but I was nervous –we had only known each other briefly, and I didn't know if he felt comfortable walking with me in the faith. His reaction alleviated my nervousness; he smiled and told me he would be honored to be my sponsor.
We saw each other every Thursday for RCIA and every Sunday for mass. Ben was (and still is) a saint to put up with all my questions. He'd spend hours with me after mass, reflecting on the homily and the readings and the previous Thursday's RCIA talk.
I knew he liked me, but I was uncomfortable letting myself fall for him. He would always bring me flowers, and my housemates, though they appreciated the beautiful centerpieces, would ask what was going on with us and I tried to convince them (and myself) that it was nothing. I reflected on this for a few weeks, and when I couldn't justify my uncomfortableness (he was genuine, had a kind heart, loved the Lord, and was endlessly patient and charitable), I let down my barrier and fell completely in love with him.
I was confirmed at the 2008 Easter Vigil. That was only the beginning of our journey as a Catholic couple. One of the RCIA leaders asked Ben to help her lead a pre-RCIA inquiry group that summer. We would have long discussions about the topics beforehand. The experience inspired us to take catechist lessons starting that fall. We will have our California Catechist Licenses in a few months, so pray for us that we may become instruments of the Holy Spirit!
We were married in December 2008, in a beautiful ceremony back in my Wisconsin hometown. We have been married for five months, and though it takes some adjusting to having a roommate, we feel so blessed to have each other. I pray that we help each other (and any little ones God blesses us with) become saints someday.