Because She Swiped Right...as told by Jessie
IT ALL STARTED WITH A PROFILE LIKE (JESSIE'S POV) The end of October, I decided to put myself out there again on the dating apps (specifically the Christian dating app Upward). I was skeptical because I had some the whole online dating thing before. It was not but a week (or maybe 2) that I came across Eric's profile. I gave his profile a like because, from his profile, I could already tell that he was a man who loved the Lord and was sweet and compassionate. It also helped that he looked handsome. Eric saw that I liked his profile and started a conversation on November 6, 2022, that has no end in sight. The more that we talked and got to know one another it was evident that this was different. We could tell that God has brought us together for a reason and a season. We just had no idea what that reason was or how long the season would be yet. After several texts and a few Zoom chats, we met in person on December 11th at his church (Wildwood). Funny story about our first meeting: When I got to the church, I just sat in my car because I was so nervous. I told myself that there was no way that I was getting out of the car. My friend, Sarah, told me that I had no choice and had to get out of the car. So, I took a deep breath, prayed, and got out of the car. You can probably guess by now that I am so glad that I did. Time continued to pass with several more texts, dates, and Zoom chats. Eric officially asked me to be his girlfriend on January 28th while we were walking by the Peoria Riverfront. Following that (maybe that same weekend or the week after), I realized that I loved Eric and more than likely would marry him. Over time together and puzzles (puzzles are an inside joke), I came to love him more and more. On Easter 2023, Eric told me he loved me for the very first time after we had gotten back from visiting my family in WI. If you're wondering if I said it back, I did. It just took me a minute because it seemed like everything went into slow motion after he said it. WAITING ON GOD'S TIMING (ERIC'S POV) I finally decided to try online dating in early March 2022, after many failed attempts at relationships. I started out on Christian Mingle, but after several more relationship dead-ends, I signed up for Upward in May. I purchased a 6-month subscription, and about 1 week before my subscription ended, I received a like from Jessie. I could immediately tell she was a godly woman who was pursuing Jesus with all her heart and not living like the world. At the time, I had low expectations (considering the disappointments I had experienced thus far), but I decided to see what God had in store for us. Little did either of us know that God had marriage in His plan for our lives! And if Jessie had waited 1 week longer to like my profile, chances are we never would have even met! God's timing was perfect from when we first liked each other's profiles on November 6th, 2022 to the present as we plan our wedding. EASIEST YES (JESSIE'S POV) We would both tell you that, in April, we knew for sure that we wanted to get married. Though even from close to the beginning of our story it was evident that this relationship was different and a direct gift from God. However, even though I knew a proposal was coming, do to my busy work schedule, I was hesitant of what a before summer proposal would mean. God then basically told me to throw out my timeline and trust him and Eric to lead the relationship. So, fast forward to the weekend before the engagement. We were sitting and talking with Eric's parents about what our someday wedding might look like. His dad, Alan, then said, "So, is this official?" To which I responded, "official what?" He then asked if we were officially engaged. I told him no that was not what this wedding talk meant. His mom, Sara, the clarified that it was pre-engagement and Eric later told me that in his mind we were unofficial engaged. I walked away a bit confused but so ready for Eric to ask when the time came. Despite the confusion, I knew that weekend without a doubt that I wanted to be with him forever. In the days between Sunday and Thursday, I dreamed of our future together, wondered how long we would be unofficially engaged, and even started trying to figure out how to sign my future last name. Thursday (May 4th) came and I was so excited to see Eric because I knew that we were both leaving on trips that weekend. Neither of us wanted to go a whole 2 weeks before seeing each other. We met in Galesburg, IL at a restaurant called the Packinghouse. It was such a nice time together. When we were done eating, Eric suggested that we walk across the street to the train station/train museum/park. I thought for a very quick second that he might propose that night but quickly dismissed it. When we got across the street, Eric started talking about the train and looking around. Then he just stopped. I stood there thinking what was going on. I didn't know if he was stalling because he knew that he had to leave soon or if he just wanted to stand there. He then turned and looked at me. I looked back at him with probably a confused look on my face. He started saying some nice things. I thought it was just another sweet moment where he was telling me how he felt. Then I heard him say something like, "I have come to realize that you are not just my girlfriend but also my best friend." He then grabbed both of my hands and the look on his face turned to the most serious look that I have ever seen on him. That's when I knew what was happening. He got down on one knee while holding my hands and said, "Will you marry me?" Without any hesitation, I said "Yes!" He jumped up and hugged me. That is when the shock kicked in. I said, "We are getting married!". Eric confirmed that yes, we are getting married. I then said, "I thought this wasn't going to happen till August!" He said that he thought it was more obvious that he wouldn't wait till August. He told me that he couldn't wait until we got back from our trip. All that being said, it was the easiest yes. I can't wait to marry him in November! So thankful that God has brought us together.