May 2, 2012

A love story:

Sometimes we think we know what we want.
Sometimes God gives us what we want.
But, sometimes God says,
 Wait, I have something far better 
than you could have ever imagined...
Trust me.

Trust has been something I have always struggled with but,
with God's grace I have learned to be more trusting of Him and His timing.
Every girl wants to date and be swept off her feet.
I was no different.

I waited and waited and wondered if perhaps  my standards were
too high.  But, then I would remind myself that dating is a serious
matter and I only wanted to date someone that God had clearly brought into my life.

In November of 2010, through a friend's blog roll I came across a certain
photographer, Jack McDonnell.
I enjoyed his photography and the style he shot.

I was getting ready to shoot my first wedding and had some questions.
I commented on his blog and he replied
with his email so that I could further ask any more questions.

And that's what it was - strictly photography related emails.
Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months.
I enjoyed looking through this young man's photography work
and even more enjoyed his family blog.

Through his writings I discovered that we had so many things in common,
the most important thing was his evident love for his family and church. 
The emails continued and gradually became more personal. 
We soon realized that we had some connections through our churches
 and I learned that he didn't live but two hours from me...

Then through a series of emails in March of 2011
we discovered the even larger connection we had... 
Our mothers had grew up in the same town and attended the
same Christian academy.  What a small world!

By this time the emails were becoming a little more frequent,
more personal, and less about photography. 
In April of that same year, we were able to meet for the
first time at a photography workshop in Chicago.
Now, I knew that he was just as sincere, polite, and gentlemanly
in person as he was in email.

The emails continued throughout the summer and I found
myself constanly checking my inbox for mail from Jack.
I knew that his emails were becoming the highlight of my day.
I wondered if this casual emailing would develop into anything.

And so I did the only thing I knew how to do. 
I prayed and asked God to make it evident to both Jack and I
if this relationship should turn into dating. 
I prayed that if Jack was not to be a part of my life that God would take him out,
but if he was that God would make it evident that Jack felt that way about me.

And then it happened...
Jack spoke to my Dad on November 2, 2011 and asked him
for his permission to get to know me better.
I was so thrilled that I cried.

Six months to the day have passed since that day
and they have been the best months of my life!
I cannot believe how much has transpired and
how very much in love with him I am.

We love our story.
We love sharing it.
We love that is unique.
We love knowing that it
was clearly written by God.

{To read Jack's version of our love story click here.}

Come see some of my photography over at Serendipity-Images.


  1. Maybe this goes without saying, but I love this post! And I love you my Nicole. :o)

  2. So, so sweet. I had tears in my eyes, as I read this beautiful account of God's perfect goodness! You have added much joy to my brother's life. We're praying for you and love you both.


  3. Aww, this is soooo sweet! I absolutely LOVE the pictures, and am so happy for you both!!! I pray every day that the Lord blesses your relationship! Isn't it amazing what the Lord does when you wait for His will and timing? :) Love you, my dear!

  4. I love this story and I love you two together! God is so good! So thankful I was able to stand in the background and watch God work in your life leading you two together. It created some great memories for me too! :) Can't wait to see what God has for your future together! Love you!

  5. Wow, I absolutely loved reading both sides of your dating story. Bethany and I look forward to meeting you someday. God bless you and Jack as you continue to grow together!

  6. Nicole,
    What a blessing to read your love story. One that was not manipulated to produce. You two are perfect for each other. I am so thrilled how God has blessed you both. It all goes back to "surrender." God can and does work when we surrender our will to His. So excited for you.
    Mrs. Brady

  7. Wow, I loved this post! But know what I love even more.. I love simply sitting back and watching the two of you together. Every time I watch you both I can't help but smile, because I know without a doubt that the two of you were simply made for each other. And God really did bring along a Mr. Darcy for my big sister! I Love you!

  8. What a cute love story Nicole! I am so happy for you both, you seem just perfect for each other! It's awesome to see God moving and working in your relationship! Congrats on your 6 months!

  9. Love this post! I am so very happy for you Nicole, you are an amazing girl and deserve someone who sees all that you truly are, and I believe Jack does! I look forward to what the future holds for the both of you! Love you sis so much!

  10. When I read the part about your Dad, and Jack calling him on November 2, 2011, well...I started getting all choked up. The Lord is good. I love you, too, Nicole. Jack has found a very special girl!
    p.s. I enjoyed this post. :-)

  11. Loved reading this, Nicole!

  12. That is such a beautiful story!! And you, girl, are GORGEOUS!!!
    I admire you so much for guarding your heart until you were sure this was someone special. My husband and I also took our time getting to know each other for several months before we dated. We both knew the pain it causes when you don't do that. I truly believe that is what gave us a solid foundation into marriage (because marriage is there has to be that friendship to fall back on during hard times). It gives me hope that I can teach my girls (and boy) the same thing you and Jack have done. What a great example you are to other women!!! I am so proud of you.
    May God continue to lead you both in the direction He wants you to go. I can't wait to hear more about this love story as it unfolds!

  13. Yay! Congrats! And tonight (without evening realizing that you posted this), I planned to put a picture up on my blog and tell a little story about me. :) It's amazing how God works.

  14. I love the way you wrote out your story. :) God is amazing!
    I love the 3rd picture from the top and then the very last picture. :)
    Thought it was so neat that when I checked this morning, you both had zero comments and when I checked tonight you both had 13! lol So I'm adding the 14th on them both.. (or whatever it turns out to be... :))

    ♥ Stepheny ♥

  15. Enjoyed this post & reading Jack's as well. I'm so, so happy for you Nicole. You two sound great together!

  16. Beautiful Nicole. So happy for you!!
    Mrs. E

    1. I love telling this story almost as much as you do.
      I am so happy for you.
      Love Mrs. C

  17. We are in awe, every time we reflect on how God bought Jack into your life. We have prayed for this young man from the moment you were born, to come. It is exciting for us to see how God allowed your story to unfold. Isn't it wonderful, when we leave our plans and desires with Him...and He does so much more than we could have ever imagined! We are so looking forward to watching now, what God has in store.

  18. I love it Nicole and I am so so happy for the both of you!! Isn't it so worth it to wait on God and His perfect will?! Love you! {{{HUGS}}}

  19. Aww.The two of you look cute together. Great love story! God bless the both of you in your lives together. :') I was really inspired after reading your post.

  20. You two are SO gorgeous! This story you have shared is a real encouragement to us teenage girls out here who are waiting for our Prince Charming. This just encourages us to wait, and to use our single years for God's glory, because he has a bigger and better plan for us, which is far more than we could ever imagine. So thank you.



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