When Deidra in Texas and Jerry in Richmond, Virginia met on Christian Mingle, the two were quickly taken by the Christ in each other. Though distance made this a friendship in the beginning, which the two were completely content with. Over time, Facebook likes turned into a Happy New Year message from Deidra which led to more conversation from Jerry and soon enough, an eight hour straight phone call.
Jerry says, “On the site, you can see when someone views your profile. So I thought, who is this girl? I noticed that Deidra had quoted John MacArthur, one of my favorite Bible teachers on her profile. And she listed Trip Lee as one of her favorite artists. I thought that was dope because God had used Christian Hip Hop to impact me so much. The main thing was that she just came off as someone who was very Christ-centered in her faith, not ‘me-centered’, and I really liked that.” He liked it so much that he planned a visit to Texas just for her. Little did the two know that this trip would solidify everything.
Tell us about how you met and all about the proposal!
I actually ran across Jerry’s profile on Christian Mingle in July of 2013. About six months before that, I’d read a book called, “The Meaning of Marriage” by Tim Keller. That book really helped me understand God’s view of marriage. I’d even go so far as saying God used it to give me a desire for marriage. Before that, marriage wasn’t even on my radar. I had spent 10 years of my life (1997-2007), involved in a series of lesbian relationships. And though, by God’s grace, I no longer had a desire to woo every beautiful woman that crossed my path, I didn’t particularly care to be in a relationship with a man either. I was very content in my singleness. So the whole ‘desire-to be-married’ thing was brand new to me. I decided to join Christian Mingle because, well for one thing, my social circle was fairly small. When I saw Jerry’s profile, I was very intrigued. I could tell that he really understood the grace of God.
When Jerry was in town for his first visit to Houston (April 2014), we went to the movies, we went to see the Houston Rockets play the Oklahoma City Thunder, and we traveled to Camp Takula in Chester, Texas for my church’s annual retreat. We hung out with my parents and watched the NCAA Basketball Championship, over Buffalo Wild Wings. We also got a chance to study together and pray with a family who’d fallen on hard times. It’s still kinda crazy to me to think about how comfortable we were with one another. We talked like old friends, and it was so natural.
Jerry says, “When I got back to Virginia I called my best friend Adam and was like, “Yeah buddy, I gotta make that move.” I actually bought Deidra’s ring in May. I had in mind to propose a few weeks later but after talking with her father about it, I decided to slow down a little.”
It was really just a typical evening at one of our favorite spots. But as we prepared to leave James River Park, Jerry handed me a really sweet card that said, in so many words, I love you and I want to share the rest of my life with you.
Inside the card he’d written, ‘…and most importantly, I want to do God’s will with you’. He’d also written a message in the Greek – which was totally normal because oftentimes, we do nerdy things like message back and forth in Greek. So I whipped out my Google Translate app and the message read: Will you marry me? By this time, Jerry was down on one knee flashing a big smile and a beautiful ring. And my response, “Of course I will, what kind of question is that!?”
My wedding dress was part of the Justin Alexander collection. For me, wedding shopping went like this: I walked in the store. I saw a sea of white fabric organized in a way that my sporty mind couldn’t comprehend. And I thought to myself, There is no way in the world that I’m about to look through all these dresses. “I’ll take this one. The one on the mannequin right here.” Ha! One store. And all of maybe, 10 minutes.
The sales consultant teased, “What do you mean, you’ll ‘take’ this one?” She described a glow I should have in my eyes. She said, “This is going to be one of the most memorable days of your life.” Which I agreed! But that wouldn’t be due to my dress.
Shoe shopping on the other hand, that was a bit more exciting! I knew I didn’t want to wear high heels. Anyone who knows me, knows that’s not my style. I get nervous in heels, so walking down the aisle in that heavy dress, with that train, in heels!? No way. I set out to find the perfect kicks.
Our wedding was six weeks away, so I didn’t have time to have anything custom made. So I headed over to Premium Goods, an exclusive sneaker shop here in Houston, and ran across a Nike Dunk High Skinny Basketball Shoe for Women that was perfectly me. It even matched my wedding dress! In my opinion, the kicks were definitely the best part of my wedding day attire…But the dress was cool too!
We wanted every element of our wedding to be Christ-Centered., because our identity rests first and foremost in Him. We chose to have our wedding ceremony is an art gallery, understanding that marriage is a “picture” of the greatest love story ever told – that of Jesus Christ, and the radical love He has for His bride, the Church. Our ceremony started at 10:09am, inspired by the verse in Mark 10:9, “What God has joined together, let no one separate.”
The music that we chose was also part of this theme. My husband walked down the aisle to “Good Thing” by Trip Lee, a Christian Hip Hop artist and I walked to “The Isle of You” by Christon Gray. After our ceremony, we exited the building to “I Love You” be Lecrae.
We also elected to build a unity cross during our ceremony. The outer form of the cross represents the strength, leadership, and protection of the man. The bride’s piece of the cross represents the beauty and the many capabilities of the woman. It is placed inside the protection of the groom’s cross. To complete the sculpture, three pegs hold it together which represent the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We also chose to do a cocktail brunch rather than a traditional wedding reception, and had live poetry and music performed by Joseph Solomon from chaseGod.tv.
For me, the most memorable part of the day was when my husband and I built the unity cross together. The unity cross is a very powerful picture of God’s design for marriage. And to be able to have our family and friends present to celebrate that – or hear about God’s design for marriage for the first time and have such a powerful visual to go along with it, was priceless.
Help a bride-to-be out!
Seek wise counsel. Work hard at understanding God’s view of marriage and the implications that has on your role as a husband and a wife. Understand that true fulfillment and perfect, flawless love can only be found in Him. (Understanding this will protect you from bitterness and resentment when you spouse isn’t meeting your expectations.) And understand that marriage is a covenant between you, your spouse, and God. Marriage is a covenant, not a contract. So in marriage, love selflessly, as you have vowed to do. Love deeply, and seek to out do one another in showing honor.
Event Designer/Planner/Coordinator: All About Events
Wedding Dress Designer: Justin Alexander
Wedding Dress Salon: The Bridal Depot
Shoes: Premium Goods
Hair: James Valmore, Shaw’s A Cut Above
Make Up: Eye Can Transform You
Ceremony/Reception Location: Gremillion & Co. Fine Art
Photography: Daniel T. Davis
Florist: Southern Floral Wholesale
Cake: Not Jus’ Doughnuts
DJ: Christ Flow Music
Music/Poetry: Chase God TV
Officiant: Ben Hays