“Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” –Mark 11:24
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed” –Proverbs 16:3
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” –Jeremiah 29:11
These are but a sampling of the many Scripture cards I had been holding tightly to my heart during a time, unbeknownst to me, so near the end of my journey through the proverbial desert: a span of nearly 20 years since the Lord had first made me able to bear children to the time so near the end of my wait for my husband.
And the most ironic part about my wait?
He had waited longer.
We were such like individuals, 32 and 34, both Roman Catholic, both half Sicilian half North Alabamian, never been married, and going to church just 20 minutes away from each other for more than 10 years, never knowing it.
We had both recently (and reluctantly) joined the online dating scene. I like to say that when I first saw a picture of Sam-373627, I knew he was the one, but that’s really just when I knew how incredibly handsome he was. I smiled at him first, but he took the time to eloquently compose a message – that I had to actually pay the subscription fee to accept!
It wasn’t until he actually emailed me his last name that I knew he was really and truly going to be my new family. His father’s side was from Birmingham, where I was from originally, and I had known several of his relatives in my church family while growing up there.
Four and a half hours south, however, in rural south Alabama, where both our families had transplanted, the name was a mouthful, just like my Italian last name. I had family in the area known by regional sports, and now, Sam’s name was going to be known as well, finally – by me.
We had an incredible time marathon dating.
How does one marathon date, you ask?
Let me explain. After about a month and a half of communicating, I decided to come down for a week, during my spring break. We met at the movies, and I greeted Sam with a bear hug. We decided to go to Starbucks to chat and get to know each other instead of watching a movie on our first date, a very good choice.
Sam was charming, courteous, polite, thoughtful, capable, successful, devoutly Catholic, and sensitive. We felt so comfortable together discussing our family backgrounds and personal stories, marveling over how we were so similar in every way.
As the week went on, I discovered that he had become, throughout his own desert journey to his wife, the man that in every way possible fit the role for my husband.
I journaled every day during our week-long dating race, with my best friend on the line sometimes two and three times a day for back-up.
It was almost ethereal the day I got to meet his mother and look at photos that looked like they came out of my family albums. Not to mention seeing all the same things in their house that I had grown up with.
After that week, it was no time before I decided to pick up and move in with my parents for a proper courting.
What can I say? When you know, you know!
I worked online, so it was nothing for me to pick up and move on such short notice. Three months later, Sam proposed at the Visitation Monastery, and six months in I finally got my custom-made engagement ring with heirloom diamonds from both his family and mine.
It was something else making all the wedding preparations while working, but we somehow did it, and a total of nine months after meeting online, we were wed at the St. Joseph Chapel at his alma mater, Spring Hill College.
Not coincidentally, St. Joseph had been my intercessor for a husband. And the rest, as they say, is history – or better, our new consecrated life together.