“It just takes one” – James & Victoria, our Christian Connection story

Going from a simple online ‘like’ to a long-distance relationship and a marriage is no small feat! When Victoria first noticed James on Christian Connection, she knew what she was looking for and what she wanted her dating profile to say about her. Before starting her search, she was certain of one thing: “I decided that I was going to be intentional and join a Christian dating website.” She knew of Christian Connection and thought, “Let me give it a try. What have I got to lose?” She had picked the perfect moment to connect with James, though she didn’t know that when she joined. James had been a Christian Connection member for some time: “My journey was a bit longer… On and off. In fact, when I was coming towards the end of using it. That’s when Victoria and I met…”

James was also intentional about what he was looking for. “I was coming out of a previous marriage,” he said, “I did want to remarry. And I wanted to be a Christian. So I thought, I don’t want to waste my time sort of fishing around on other sites. I know what I’m looking for.” He joined Christian Connection to meet people who were “genuine about their faith.”

"It just take one" - James & Victoria, our Christian Connection storyTheir priorities for their dating profiles were similar: to “let people know that I’m serious about Christ. That was just really important for me,” said Victoria. “I liked the fact that talking about your faith was evident,” said James, “it was it was included in the process. … on some of the other sites, and there wasn’t always really a space for that.”

Victoria had only been a Christian Connection member when she contacted James: “She sent me a little heart a little like,” he remembers. And he was quick to respond: “After I’d read the profile, I looked at the profile picture, and her eyes really stood out to me. So yeah, it was it was God and her eyes. She loves God and she has nice brown eyes.”

Victoria had noticed James’s photos, too: “Naturally we all just look at pictures first, don’t we?” she said. “It was evident that that God was in his life, that was clear, but then there was also a coolness…. And also, it was good looking at his pictures… I liked the variety of pictures.”

Their connection accelerated when they began a long message exchange on New Year’s Eve: “Once our conversation was flowing… this serious element of God, but with jokes and laughter in. It was just so nice, wasn’t it?” remembers Victoria.

"It just takes one" - James & Victoria, our Christian Connection storyI remember laughing a lot,” says James, “Laughing out loud reading messages, just sitting in my flat by myself. Getting ready for church because there was a New Year’s Eve service. And not wanting to go because I was just enjoying the conversation so much.”

As their connection developed, they spent hours on phone and video calls. Victoria remembers: “We were on the phone for long because James is from London and I was from Manchester, so it wasn’t as quick and easy for us to meet… It was really nice that we had that time, connecting rather than finding this activity or finding that activity. It was just kind of raw, in terms of that getting to know each other.”

Some time passed before they became ‘official. “I didn’t just dive in,” says James, “We were getting to know each other. We were weighing up: okay, is this person right for me? We’re having a good time; we’re going on dates… But is this the one I’m going to commit to?” He concluded she was. “I was thinking about the things I want in a woman and Victoria was ticking all of these boxes. I decided: okay, I’m committed to this and I’m ready to say that. I wasn’t obviously 100% sure that Victoria was going to say yes…”

"It just take one" - James & Victoria, our Christian Connection storyTheir relationship deepened and James decided to propose. “I decided Valentine’s Day 2023… I had to start getting things in order but still be quite mysterious about it…. getting approval for the ring without her knowing. So I asked her daughter – my stepdaughter – what she thought of my ring choices and ideas.” And he began to plan the big event. “I’d also spoken to good friends of ours… And I told them what my intention was. So we were going to go to the restaurant I first took her to the first time we dated in Manchester… We had invited them with the under the guise of a Valentine’s Day double date.”

Victoria recalls her surprise. “I remembered that I needed to say yes because I was so… swept up in the moment. As women we naturally we think about what’s that moment gonna be like when someone proposes to me… And then I was literally in that moment, and it was just… Oh my goodness.” And she adds, “Of course it was yes.”

They decided to get married in August. Victoria took the lead in designing the day. “It was an amazing day,” James says. “What it struck in me was an appreciation for her creativity… there were a couple of times I turned to notice, ‘I’m at my wedding. I’m having such an amazing time, and it’s my wedding!’ One of the best weddings I’ve ever been to – and it’s my wedding.”

"It just takes one" - James & Victoria, our Christian Connection storyVictoria recalls, “Like James said, I’m quite creative. And I really just loved it… I go 100 miles an hour, whereas James is more like 20… I’ve got a daughter. Being a single parent, you just learn to just get on with things and get things done. And that’s something that I’ve had to learn – allowing James into this space and to do things and you know, to just let go a little bit. The wedding was beautiful – over the fact that it rained. It rained pretty much all day…”

Since their marriage, James says “one thing I’ve really enjoyed is being intentional about still dating… that Victoria has coined ‘protected time’. And at least once a week, we will have some time in the week where it’s our time.”

“It was so important, because we’re both so busy,” Victoria adds, “James teaching, and I’m in social work and such demanding jobs… I thought I was going to struggle much more with that adjustment… But I actually love it…one of the things that that I really enjoy about being a wife is serving my husband, like, I love to do that.”

They both enjoy making their life as a couple. “I love that I serve God with my husband… just being in church and as worshipping God together, you know, as one before God,” says Victoria. “We serve in ministry together.”

"It just takes one" - James & Victoria, our Christian Connection story“Being in a Christian marriage, where God is in the centre,” says James, of what he appreciates. “We invite the Holy Spirit into our home, with prayers with worship… day to day, we can we can talk about God, we can talk about Scripture. Just having that comfort in my home, in a Christian marriage, in a Christian household, I really appreciate that.”

As for the what they would advise single Christians who are looking for a lasting connection, Victoria says, “It just takes you finding that one. You don’t need loads and loads of great potentials. It just takes one and give it a try… And don’t give up hope. God wants to bless and God wants to give you the desires of your heart. For some people, it just seems like that is the longest journey but you just don’t know what’s around the corner.” She adds, “I was just at the point where I said, I just want what God wants for me. And I think it was a genuine release into God – do what you want to do. And I think that’s when it allowed James to come into my life.”

James advises: “Keep God involved. Keep him at the centre, walk with Him. And if he says Stop, stop, if he says Slow down, slow down, if he says go left, go left. Just really try to listen to the wisdom and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Be intentional. Know what you want.”

He also suggests some honest reflection: “If there are things you’ve got to work on, work on them… spend some time genuinely working on yourself, getting your house in order, getting your relationship with God in order. And then so when you step into your new dating relationship, you’re bringing, you’re bringing something to the table, and you’re adding value to that person’s life, you’re being a blessing.”

WATCH more #MetOnCC couples’ short stories here and in-depth interviews here

Enjoyed James and Victoria’s story? Read more #MetOnCC stories from Christian Connection couples here

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