Monday, November 26, 2012

Veritas: Dominic and Elayne


{real life love}

A few months ago, I was lucky enough to meet Elayne through my blog.  She and her husband Dominic are college sweethearts with an amazing story of coming to understand trust and authentic freedom together.  Elayne tells it so well that I'll let her take it from here!

Dominic and I were in the same major in college, and had many classes together even before we became friends.  Dominic says I was the prettiest girl in Civil Engineering (there were only about 5 of us girls...).

The hem of her dress!  The newsboy cap and suspenders!  That oh so gorgeous setting!
We started to talk when we worked together on a project called 'Concrete Canoe'.  Literally, Civil Engineers from all over gathered to race canoes made of concrete across a lake.  We traveled a few hours to the competition, and it turns out we were both happy to spend those hours in the same car.  On the trip home, Dominic claimed he was tired and wanted to sleep in the back seat, so he talked his friend into sitting in the front.  There in the backseat of a college friend's car, Dominic and I talked for hours.  We talked about family, friends, where we came from, and what we wanted in life.  By the time we reached the highway exit for our college, I knew I couldn't let the conversation end.  I asked him for his phone, and typed in my phone number.  This is completely out of character for me.  I just wanted to keep talking to him!

Luckily I made the first move, because it turns out, Dominic had a girlfriend at the time! He says he would have told me if I had asked, and I guess we are both lucky that I didn't.  By the time that car ride was over, he knew for sure that the girl he was dating then was not the one for him, and he broke up with her a few weeks later.

I loved our first date - Dominic cooked us dinner, we watched The Princess Bride (one of my favorites, and Dominic had never seen it), and we climbed the biggest hill in the neighborhood to look out at the city and the stars.  From then on, we were best friends, but life has its struggles.

As we were growing closer together, Dominic and I were also growing in our faith.  Dominic grew up with wonderfully faithful parents who taught him everything they could about being Catholic.  Throughout college, Dominic was discovering how to take their lessons and make his faith his own.  I grew up with supportive parents, but Sunday Mass was not part of our routine.  I also had never learned how to express my deepest thoughts and feelings effectively.  I craved physical attention and signs of love, and this took a huge toll on the health of our relationship.  After almost 2 years of dating, Dominic wisely decided that we needed to spend time apart.  For months he supported me as my best friend, but gave me space to continue to change and grow into a more mature and loving person.  Although it took me a few months, I came to see that this 'break' allowed us to restart our relationship on solid ground.

This 'break' also coincided with our college graduation, and gave us the freedom to make our own decisions on jobs and careers.  We both ended up moving to Columbus, Ohio, and continued to attend Mass together, becoming very active in a small parish.  We decided in August of 2011 to date again, and quickly knew we wanted to marry.

Dominic proposed on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  After a dinner of my favorite foods, we went to our church to pray.  Fittingly enough, the church has a large image of Our Lady of Guadalupe for veneration.  We prayed a rosary together, whispering in the back pew because a few ladies were also there praying.  As we reached the end of the Rosary, we paused to mention our specific intentions...and Dominic's intention was that I would marry him!  It was so sweet, and so perfect for us.

We decided on Sept 15th for our wedding because it is the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows.  We loved the idea of turning to our Sorrowful Mother in times of distress.  During our wedding planning, Dominic started a new job about 90 minutes away.  Neither of us likes to talk on the phone, so that put some strain on us!  The wedding planning came easily to us, and we spent months making decorations and hand-tying Rosaries for all our guests.  I was very pleased with our effort to focus on the wedding Mass, rather than just the reception afterward.  Several people told us and our families that our wedding was the most sacramental they had been to--quite the compliment!  We ditched any tradition that didn't make sense to us (like the garter toss), and started our own (like having a morning mass and a brunch!)  Saying the Rosary with our guests before the Mass started was a highlight for me...so much love and support flowing from those prayers.

I would like to add that, although we had no real issues with wedding planning...no Bridezilla moments or breakdowns...we were stressed!  I thought if I showed I was stressed, I would seem unsure about marriage.  But the truth is, planning a huge party takes a lot of work!  I never doubted my vocation, I just wanted to make sure everyone had a good time.

Today Dominic and I are still living 90 minutes apart as I finish my work as an engineer and move on to a new chapter in January.  The distance is so much more bearable with a definite timeline in place (12 weeks!)
We'd love the prayers of anyone reading this.  I have PCOS symptoms and don't ovulate regularly.  We've found solace in novenas to St. Gerard Majella, who has already shown us one miracle:  a visit to an OB/GYN in August led to the diagnosis of PCOS, and I was scared.  My mother-in-law suggested prayer to St. Gerard Majella, and we chose a novena.  The very first day of that novena, I started a complete cycle...my first in 18 months!  God is good!

Isn't this amazing?  Miracles are real, and with her realization that stressing about your wedding isn't the same as stressing about your vocation, Elayne has to be one of the most wise, self-aware brides I've ever spoken to.  Join me in lifting up Elayne, Dominic, and God willing, their future family in prayer!  

Want to see your love story featured on Captive the Heart?  Email me at stephanie.captivetheheart@gmail.com!



4 comments:

  1. We were married on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, so that is a special day for us too :-)

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    1. That's awesome, Kinsi! I love the idea of having Our Lady be such a major part of your special days =)

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  2. Stephanie what a great post. I'm going to share this for the Friday love stories series, if you don't mind.

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    1. Thanks so much, Anabelle! I'd love for you to share this. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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