Saturday, October 10, 2015

The man that found my Cinderella Shoe

"Wow, your settings are really narrow and you only have 8 matches with your search criteria. You could totally triple your matches if you expand your search." "But I don't want more matches that aren't what I'm looking for, I'm only looking for one man." The woman across the table from me stared at me incredulous from behind a camera.  I was sitting in the headquarters for Christian Mingle, one of the more serious online dating websites.

Two years ago when I moved to LA, I had such hope for finding the love of my life. I figured I was moving from small town USA to a sea of at least 5 million men. I mean, even if you're a one-in-a-million kinda guy, there are five others out there just like you. I did what most single girls do: hit the dating scene. I tried online dating, speed dating, and blind dating. You name it, I tried it. And it was exhausting. Finding guys for first dates was not a problem, but finding a quality guy for a second date was definitely a challenge. The stories I have will either make you laugh our guts out or cry from pity....or both. After a year and a half of disappointing online dating experiences, (ask me some time about the guy that didn't bring his wallet on our date or the one that literally followed me to another country) I swore off dating. I had just about lost hope that the man of my dreams could be a reality.

2015 seemed like a year of possibilities and dreams. On Valentine's Day of this year, I went with a group of my closest single girlfriends to a beach in Malibu at sunrise to pray for our future husbands. We are all successful, beautiful, intelligent women with a strong desire to be married but no men in sight. We declared as a group that God did have men for us and we committed to praying for them. After reading the book of Ruth, we each took a shoe as a prophetic declaration that we wanted to have dedicated, godly marriages in Los Angeles and we wouldn't settle for mediocre lives or dating relationships.  My hope was starting to be restored. I started dreaming again of the possibility of that my prince charming was out there.

In March, after almost a year of being off online dating, I decided to give it one more shot. I subscribed to Christian Mingle, because apparently that's the site that God uses to make heavenly matches. I told God I would get on for one month and if I didn't meet anyone spectacular, I would give up online dating and wait patiently for the right man to come to church, or step into the line behind me at the grocery store, or approach me at the gym or something old fashioned like that. I told Jesus that if he wanted me to stay online, though, He would have to pay for my subscription.

About a week into my new subscription, a pop up survey came onto my screen while surfing profiles. Basically it said if I filled out the survey and they interviewed me, Christian Mingle would give me a six month free subscription. Cool. I filled it out and wouldn't you know two days later they called me. They asked if I would come into their corporate headquarters on the westside of Los Angeles and go through a 90 minute interview and after the interview they would give me 6 more months on the website for free. Sure! I'm always up for a good story. Hence the beginning of this blog. When I was interviewed, the woman was shocked at how specific I was in my search. But I knew what I was looking for. I had decided to be very intentional with what was in my heart. For too long I had been willing to settle on things like height, education, and life goals. I was done with that. How many of us girls do that? Thinking we will never meet the gold standard of our hearts. Nope. I want the highest and best for my life. No more compromise. Plus, Jesus just paid for a six month subscription, so I knew the dating scene was looking up. There had to be a promise in there!!

Next came my birthday in April. In continuing with the shoe theme, my friends took me to see the Broadway version of Cinderella. It was a day all about the shoes. We wore little black dresses and wore high heeled shoes. Mine were a sparkly pair of 4 inch, silver and gold stilettos. Yes, 4 inches of glorious lift. The best part of the show was that the whole cast sings a song about the prince. And get this, he has about 15 names and his last name is HERMAN! It was like God was saying, "See? I have a prince for you and I know him by name already." After the show, I again took my shoe off and took a picture: "Who will find my shoe?"

April was a monumental month not only because it was my birthday month. I decided to fly back to Costa Rica for one last hurrah with Rodney and Cindy before they moved home to the states. Their home was my home for two years of my life, and the community is still my family. It was so good to be back even for a small visit. On the plane ride down I had a heart to heart with God. Why haven't I met my prince yet? I know there has to be some one out there for me. It is the greatest desire of my heart. God, you said delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. OK, God, I have delighted in You for YEARS. Where is he? But God, if it's not your love story for me, I don't want it. I have hope that there is a right guy out there. I won't settle for less, so if he's not from You, no thank you. I would rather be single and do missions and life alone than be with the wrong man. God restore my hope that there is an amazing man out there who will love me for who I am and compliment me in the dreams and goals I know you have placed in my heart.

About a week before I had left for The Rica, I decided to expand my search criteria on Christian Mingle. The lady was right, I could have more matches if I wasn't so specific, but when you know what you want...A tall, Jesus-loving, fun-filled, adventurous, world traveling, missions-going, thrill-seeking musician who loved LA but also felt called to the world who lived within 25 miles of me. Is that really too much to ask? Right? I didn't think so, either. So for one day I decided to go all wild and crazy and change my search. To include men up to 50 miles from me. I know, right? Of all the standards to lower I figured that was the safest one. Well, up popped 1 new match. A Mr. Surfilms, whose profile eerily read almost identical to mine. He claimed he was also a missionary in Costa Rica for two years, that he loved fun and adventure and was looking for a traveling buddy to go on missions with around the world within 25 miles of where he lived. Hmmmm....I had to know more. I sent an email asking about his time on the mission field. While I was in Costa Rica, I actually got a message back from Mr. Surfilms, also known as "Dave". And come to find out he actually lived right across town from me at the same time that I lived in Costa Rica. We even had several mutual friends from the mission field. Of course get this, we both were involved in different ministries (I was in the church Vineyard church plant in Los Anonos while he was in YWAM) but we both went TO THE SAME VINEYARD CHURCH IN ESCAZU when we had the chance to be away from our respective communities. Creepy. Yet the creepiest has to be when after we had been dating about a month, we were looking through facebook pictures together, talking about different places we had been to and adventures we had gone on. We were scrolling through Dave's facebook page when all of a sudden I yelled, "WAIT!! STOP!!! That's ME??" There was actually a picture on me on Dave's facebook wall from three years ago at a skateboarding competition in the national park in the center of downtown San Jose. I had been translating for the skateboarders and Dave was volunteering for the event. I was the dead center of his picture.
This picture of me was taken by Dave three years before we met.

When I got back to the states in May, he asked me out and to be honest it was love at first sight. There are so many details I would love to share, but it would fill way too many pages. I do have another blog post in mind that I need to write for all the women out there who have lost hope that they will find the right man for them. See, I had lost hope at the end of 2014 that there was a man out there that would fit what I was looking for. Someone to compliment me in my journey and someone I could encourage in his journey. God had many lessons he needed to teach me about hope and faith, but I'll save that for the next post.

On a really big fast forward, Dave and I have been dating for several months now, and last weekend he proposed. Of course I said YES! We are set to get married later this year :) I will say this before I go. It is worth it to say YES to God first. It is worth it to delight yourself in the Lord, because the desires in your heart are from Him. And the desires that He has for you are so much better and fuller and more wonderful than you could ever even begin to hope or imagine. And it is worth it to dream and have hope again. Because you may have to wait patiently (or not so patiently) for those desires to be fulfilled, but it is so worth it.


  1. Julie, this is so wonderful, cousin! Wow. I really enjoyed reading your story, and I'm praying prayers of Thanksgiving to God for him giving you and Dave to each other. Know of my continued prayers for you two. What a cool "Gocidence"! -Cousin Tim

  2. Julie this is beautiful! I too have laid down all expectations, stopped settling for crumbs, & said Daddy I only want your best, I will not settle for anything less. I find encouragement & hope in what you write as He prepares me to be a bride. Until my prince pursues me, I am content to be the bride of my Beloved Jesus! He has given me many encouraging words to know He wants this more for me than I do. So I just say Yes Lord, I trust in your will, your way, your timing!

    He's shown me He is putting together Kingdom power couples to carry out his plan and purpose! You & Dave are one of them! Thank you for writing this as encouragement & testimony to the rest of us! Blessed are we who know what the Lord has told us & believe it will come to pass! The testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy! :) ♡

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Thanks Julie, I needed to read this! I'm ready to give this to God and pray that He leads me to the right guy. One who loves God and loves children.

    1. Sorry this is TamTam. Didn't mean to be unknown, lol!