Kentucky Couple Who Met & Married In A Homeless Shelter Celebrate 8 Years Together
Some people dream of a fairytale life and I was gifted one eight years ago. Our story is one you couldn't make up if you tried and it's perfectly ours.
DEFINITELY NOT A COINCIDENCE
You know how you watch those Hallmark movies and the people are never looking for love that's seriously kind of how it happened. You know all the feels of Hallmark but in a homeless shelter. I wanted to start giving more of my time to volunteering so I started praying about where to go. I had several people tell me I should go and volunteer at St. Benedict's which is a local homeless shelter here in Owensboro. I wasn't super comfortable with that because it's an all men's shelter and didn't think it was a good idea. An important part of the story I feel like I need to add (I am a person of faith) is if you know me you know. Many days I ask God to put people in my path that need prayer or need to know about him. One July day in the summer of 2014 prayed this prayer and went about my day. Now if you know the Lord you know he'll sometimes give you exactly what you ask for in only a way he can. He'd never send me a person that needed prayer quietly or someone I knew. It was always a random person in a store or running down the road and I'd be tested to answer the call. On this day he showed up big. I was inside Walgreens with my son Tucker and as I walked out of the doors there was a man standing by the trashcan. When I passed him I had this undoubtedly urge to pray for him. I resisted. I argued with God and then finally I placed my son in my vehicle a few feet away, started it, and locked the door (he was safely strapped in his car seat and I could see him). I walked over to the man and said "Hi my name is Angel, and I was sent to pray for you" his eyes got really big and I said, "oh no I'm not an Angel LOL that's my name". He told me who he was and began to cry as he told me his mother was sick with cancer. We prayed and I turned to go. He stopped me and said he'd love to see me again where he lived (wait for it). I said ok hesitantly and he said "At St. Benedict's Homeless Shelter". You see it was no coincidence I was there that night.
FINALLY TAKING THE RIGHT PATH
The next day I called the Executive Director of St. Benedict's, Joe Welsh, and asked him if I could volunteer. He said "yes" and asked me to come in for orientation. I began volunteering a few nights a week and showing up in my free time without my boys. People always ask if it was love at first sight and I say "NO". Joe was very professional, super business and he is kind of awkward.
AN OLD-FASHIONED WAY PATH TO DATING
It wasn't until one weekend I got a call out of the blue from him that we even struck up a friendship. I was sitting at home and his name came across my phone. I answered and he asked me if I could come and play co-ed kickball. They were short female players and he is very competitive. I said, "sure if I can bring my boys". I went and he was super fun and we had a great time laughing and getting to know one another. After that, he seemed more comfortable around me. Then I began spending more and more time at the shelter, showing up nights I wasn't even volunteering. One afternoon I rode my bike there and he popped in. We began talking and before I knew it, it had gotten dark. He offered to walk me part of the way home and I accepted. We walked and talked and before we knew it he had almost walked me all the way home which was a few miles from the shelter LOL. He says that night is the night he realized he might like me more than just a friend.
A VERY FAST FIVE MONTHS-FIRST DATE, PROPOSAL, & A WEDDING
We had our first date on August 21, 2014, when we drove to Henderson to eat at Mister B's, walked on the river, and shopped at Goodwill (which he was all about). The next month I returned to that very same Goodwill to look around (on my momma's birthday) and spotted my dream wedding dress. I thought to myself there is no way it's my size, it was, dare I say I prayed over it, bought it without trying it on, and took it home. I know what you're thinking I'm a nut right?! I might have agreed if I didn't know how I felt about, Joe Welsh. Well, guess what, I got home put it on and it fit like it was made on my body. I hid the dress in a closet and three months later he hit his knee on Tuesday, December 9, and told me he didn't know a lot of things in life but what he did know is he didn't want to spend one more day without me. I said "YES" and a little over a month later on January 26, we said "I do" at the Daniel Pitino Shelter Chapel. We had a huge wedding ceremony a few months later on March 7th (his Grandparent's Anniversary).
IT'S OUR LOVE STORY
I can promise you our story is one of the most unique stories you will ever find.
When people hear our story I think it surprises them that we moved so fast. The truth is we had both been married before and our marriages failed. We had drastic life changes afterward and found faith in the Lord. That alone was the difference in who we were. I knew on our first date he was the man I was going to spend the rest of my life with. Our marriage is absolutely not perfect. We have our ups and downs, our chaos and crazy but there is no one in this whole world I'd rather face it all with than my Joe. I'd say God knew what he was doing in the summer of 2014.
He always does. Now, as we celebrate 8 years we embark on our next big adventure as we prepare to open My Sister's Keeper a Women's & Children's Homeless Shelter here in our hometown of Owensboro.
The crazy amazing thing about it is Joe told me just shy of 8 years ago while we were sitting at St. Benedict's one night that I would open a shelter of my own one day. I laughed at him and went on with life. He was right and we are doing this life side-by-side.
God makes no mistakes!