According to him…
In 2006, I was invited to Philadelphia by a friend to investigate being part of an inner-city church plant. So I went, not knowing what was in store for me. A year later, I went back out to Philadelphia to see how things were going with the new church and to further investigate how I could serve there. This church had a particular niche; it was a magnet for the hip hop culture and some of Christian hip hop’s well known and respected artists. I’d soon come to find out that many of the people I met that year in Philadelphia were part of an online Christian hip hop community that I belonged to. It was like a family reunion of sorts. It was then that first met Jennifer in person, one of my online contacts.
“Dave’s in town! Hey Dave!” “Hey!” That might’ve been all that we said to each other during my five days there. I thought she was cute, but I wasn’t thinking about being in a relationship. My mind and heart were on ministry and I was contemplating if moving to Philadelphia would prove to be a wise move for my spiritual service and maturity. I left Philadelphia still undecided, but resigned to prayer.
In 2008, I went back to Philadelphia hoping to bring closure to all that I was contemplating. As I walked into that church, one of the first few people I see is Jennifer. “Dave’s back in Philly! Look at Dave!” As soon as I could say hi, she scurried off with a plate of brownies, without offering me one. Again, I don’t think we spoke again for the duration of my trip. It didn’t bother me though because a relationship wasn’t on my radar.
In 2010, I found out that Jennifer moved back to her hometown, Dallas, TX, so I decided to check on her in August 2010 to see how she was doing. I wanted to make sure she was going to a healthy church above all. We initially communicated via Facebook, but it was evident that my questions required phone time. It was through our phone conversations that I began to hear her heart and convictions pertaining to the faith and they resonated with me well. I began to look forward to talking to her and just finding our more about her and what she desired ultimately. Those were interesting but helpful discussions. One thing that I noticed was her dependency on the Lord through prayer and her value of the Word. We ended up having some really helpful theological conversations that proved to be fruitful.
By November 2010, I began to notice that I had particular feelings about Jennifer and I decided to let her know. Little did I know that she had similar feelings about me months prior, but she never said anything and that told me a lot about her convictions about relationships and her own behavior. As we continued to converse, I noticed I had desires to protect her and to help her in ways she needed as best as I could from Austin. By December 2010 we decided to meet in person and it seemed like it was our first time meeting because we never really talked much in Philadelphia. When she arrived, she was noticeably nervous and I did what I could to help her relax. I showed her around the city and she immediately fell in love with Austin. But who wouldn’t, right?
Over the next two months we continued to talk and I found my feelings increasing even more for this sweet, kind lady! However, it wasn’t my feelings that told me I loved her. It was my desire to make sure her needs were met and make sure no one would hurt her in any way. On February 26th, I went to Dallas to tell her that I wanted to enter into a relationship with marriage as the end goal. She was a tad bit excited, to say the least and I was too. The next nine months proved to be a very trying time for various reasons, but we continued to rely on Christ and He’s been faithful by providing our every need and sustaining us through those times. In November 2011, the Lord granted her a job in Austin and His grace proved to be evident as Jennifer got acclimated to her job, a new church, new friends and adjusting to our new dynamic of being in the same city for the first time in our relationship.
According to her…
I met David in person initially in 2007 while living in Philadelphia. He’d come to visit and ended up staying with some mutual friends while there. On one Friday night, at a monthly gathering, I saw him and we spoke, but I didn’t think twice. He came up again in 2008 and it was the same – we spoke and life went on. I moved back to Dallas in 2010.
By this time, David and I had been Facebook friends. We spoke back and forth and he reached out to me to see how I was doing and why I moved back to Texas. This was NOT a short answer at all, so I let him know that he could call me and I would be glad to fill him in. I honestly thought we’d talk, I’d explain, and that would be it.
After our first conversation in August that year, I found myself really enjoying talking with him. As more conversations happened, I found myself growing interested in him. Here was a man that loved Jesus, and took obedience to Christ seriously. He was passionate about others knowing and embracing the Gospel, and he had a deep understanding of what Biblical manhood looked like. I prayed and told the Lord how I felt, but also asked the Lord for David to share his feelings if he felt the same. It wasn’t my place to pursue him, and I wasn’t going to.
In November, during a phone conversation, he expressed how he felt and informed me of his intentions toward me. We decided that I’d visit Austin in December. I was so nervous as I drove down, but the weekend was wonderful. I really loved talking with him and spending time with him. As time went on, I noticed that my heart continued to be strongly inclined toward him. I had a great desire to help him, to serve him, and pray for him. There was a time when he’d gotten sick, and I just wanted to take care of him. I’d never had those feelings or thoughts before, but I prayed through them and talked through them with close sisters.
On February 26, 2011, he drove up to Dallas, met my family, and officially asked to pursue me toward marriage. Of course, I said yes! Our relationship continued to progress and we continued to learn more about one another. During our progression, I realized that there was spiritual maturation taking place. I understood the Gospel more deeply and I started to understand the big picture of Scripture. I loved this man and knew that, should the Lord bring us together in marriage, he would lead me well. He would be a great protector, provider, and leader – physically, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally.
In November of 2011, after 9 months of dating in 2 different cities, I moved to Austin.
The Lord was so gracious, blessing our relationship, and granting us encouragement through others, and I remain grateful to see the Lord’s evident hand in our relationship.