Friday, September 21, 2012

Letters, Lightsabers, and Love: Chapter 1

Levi and I married each other in June of 2012 after only six months of head-over-heels, foolish-about-each-other love. Our story, like every love story, has its own unique and sweet moments and timings. We continue to marvel at the way God orchestrated our lives to bring us together, and though it included pain and trials for both of us, we wouldn't change anything about it.

Everything that happened and every way that we grew led us to this moment.

After the heaviness of the Prologue (and thank you for sticking with me through that, by the way) it's time for something lighter. It's time for that movie moment when you've had the dark and brooding intro to let you know that all is not right with the world and then suddenly you cut to a sunny scene with birds chirping.

Or it might be a little less like that because this isn't an action/thriller.

This is a love story.


Chapter 1: Signing Up 

It was time to sign up for eHarmony.

Now, parts of this chapter overlap parts of the Prologue, but don't worry. It made much more sense to tell the story this way!

I'd also like to put a disclaimer out there that neither Levi nor myself is a paid endorser for eHarmony. We are simply two people who found incredible love through that online tool. There are other sites out there that have worked for good friends of mine, but this one was the one for us!

Here's how I came to sign up for eHarmony:

1. I wanted to find the man I was going to marry, and I had decided to make no bones about it. It would be out there from the start, so any interested party would know my intentions.
2. I wanted to be as sure of Godly character as possible.
3. I researched online dating sites. A lot.
4. I chose eHarmony because it had a high success rate for marriage, made matches for me, and allowed me complete control over the type of man it matched me with.
5. I signed up.

I thought I'd go ahead and take care of that long process in a quick list for y'all. You're welcome.

I remember the sign-up process. I remember it taking forEVER and costing a TON of money. At the time I thought to myself, "Is this really worth the price you're paying? Because it's quite a bit, and you might only meet jerks, and you might end up bitter and lonely."

I wasn't in a great place when I signed up.

Then I was finally in. I was part of this great experiment called eHarmony. And I say experiment because here's the thing: I wasn't that confident that I'd meet someone. I saw it as a tool that God might use to send someone to me, but deep down I sort of figured that nothing would really come of it.

My daily routine became something like this:

1. Get up and check my new matches. There were usually 6 or 7 of them.
2. Look over each new profile.
3. Close out ones that didn't meet my standards immediately.
4. Wait to hear from any of the ones I liked.
5. Mope and feel rejected by bedtime because no one contacted me.

That routine began to get pretty old pretty quickly, and it also made me feel like a jerk. I mean, these poor guys only have a structured profile to put themselves out there, and there I was giving it a quick once-over and then deciding they weren't suitable. I found the entire thing tiring and pretty tough.

Well, one night I'd had enough. That night also happened to be my birthday and my last low point. It was just too much. Who was I to be looking for love when I wasn't even healed yet? What was I thinking? I wasn't thinking, obviously.

I went on a bit of a rampage on eHarmony. I closed every single match. I got rid of every communication (none of which had been anything meaningful anyway). I vowed not to look at it again. I kept it open, however, because I'd paid so much money for it.

That weekend I traveled a few hours for a friend's wedding. I'd had some amazing time the day before with a friend who had helped me process my low day. I got some great times with friends that weekend, and I returned to my little town knowing what I needed to do. I needed to close out everything on eHarmony completely, go home to my parents for all of Christmas break (I was a teacher), and decompress for two weeks.

That night I bought a train ticket back to Kansas City (I didn't have a car at the time) online. I psyched myself up and headed over to eHarmony to close my account. I had about 18 new matches since I hadn't looked at it in days. I told myself not to look at any of them and just close them. But I gave in and looked.

Some of these guys looked nice enough. Some of these guys seemed to really love the Lord. I closed them each, one by one.

I saw then that I'd been matched with a man from Minnesota named Levi. I thought "Levi? That's a pretty cool name." I opened his profile....

Were you expecting there to be fireworks? A beam of light? A chorus of angels?

There were none of those things. I was looking at a pretty average profile from what seemed like a pretty average man. His picture caught my eye a little bit because he had this expression on his face. It was sweet, but it was also like he knew something really fascinating, and I wanted to know what it was. And he had the requisite dark hair. And he did have great eyebrows. His profile made it clear that he loved the Lord and wanted a woman who did the same, but it wasn't much more expressive than that. Most of the answer boxes contained just one sentence or two. I almost closed him out, but then I decided to go ahead and look at his hobbies and books section. He played guitar and backpacked. He played the trump instrument of all instruments: the bass. He had read Francis Chan. That gave me just enough of a push.

I clicked on the link to start guided communication with Levi, all the while thinking, "Well, what can it hurt? Just one more..."


Oh man! Thinking back on all this, I can't believe how close I came to never meeting Levi. How different my life would be, and how eternally grateful I am and will be that we met and fell in love.

The next chapter is linked below! We'll see what was happening on Levi's side of the wire, and how our slow communication through eHarmony was just enough to keep us going....

Next Chapter (Chapter 2: Baby Steps)                                                Previous Chapter (Prologue)

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