When God wants to get a message across, subtlety is rarely a part of the picture. That was how Anna, otherwise a skeptic of meeting someone online, came to CatholicMatch.
“When three people all told me about CatholicMatch in the same week I thought God was trying to steer me in that direction,” the 25-year-old Texan recalled. And what a direction it turned out to be.
Anna noticed 28-year-old Mark as one of her matches, and his location in nearby College Station was only an hour away. He’d served his country in the Navy and was now attending Texas A&M. She decided to make contact.
Now there are numerous success stories in the CatholicMatch archive that began with a simple emotigram, sometimes as basic as a smile. But Anna decided to write more in-depth and proving that every approach can work, it turned out that her letter, asking him about his life and sharing some about hers, was exactly what struck the right chord. “(Mark) actually tells people that one of the reason he was interested was because I sent him a real message, instead of an emotigram.”
After a few weeks of correspondence, Anna gave Mark her phone number, and they began texting, with their common interest of movies being a frequent topic. “We recommended movies to each other, rented them and then discussed them,” she said. When they met in person shortly afterward the groundwork was in place for a great first date.
“We met for coffee and talked ‘til the coffee shop closed,” she told CatholicMatch. “Then we drove across the street to an IHOP and continued our conversation for a couple more hours.”
As their relationship continued to grow, Anna saw deeper parts of Mark’s character that was immensely attractive. He spent an entire afternoon with her grandmother, who suffers from Alzheimers. “He patiently answered her questions, held her hand and laughed at the same joke for hours,” Anna said. “His compassion and concern for her let me know that he truly practiced his faith and was an instrument of God’s love.”
Neither Mark nor Anna shied away from engagement talk, so the idea that he would propose didn’t come as a shock, but he still managed to catch her off guard. On the their three-month anniversary he suggested they watch a movie. After Anna turned on the TV set and turned around, he had a ring box out.
“Are you really doing this now?,” she asked. He opened the ring box and confirmed this was the real deal. “Of course!”, Anna said enthusiastically.
“I always thought it was cliché when people said ‘You’ll just know’”, Anna said regarding her conviction that Mark was the one for her. “But it’s true…I felt a totally new kind of happiness because it wasn’t just my own…it was found by bringing him joy which increased the happiness I felt exponentially.”
Mark and Anna’s wedding date is scheduled for late December. Both are currently in school, with Mark studying to be a radiologic technician, while also working at A&M in running the nuclear reactor. Anna, a graduate of the University of Dallas in English & Theatre, and with a BFA from Sam Houston State, is now working toward her masters in education at the latter with an eye on teaching high school.
The couple is establishing a solid foundation for their lives with their education. But more important was the solid foundation in faith they brought to each other and the solid foundation in friendship that subsequently developed. “I never thought I would meet someone who suited me so well,” Anna told CatholicMatch. “I feel blessed to have Mark in my life and I can’t imagine my life without him. Our plan is to love each other into Heaven!”