Congratulations to our winners Jill & Matt Atkins, Michelle & Christopher Couvillon and Donna & Larry Young! Read their love stories below.

Jill & Matt met in Owensboro, Kentucky, and have been married since 2017. Their relationship started on a whim and ended in lasting love.

THEIR LOVE STORY:

Who would have figured I would fall in love with a man I Googled?

While teaching back in 2015, I was tasked with coaching our middle school dance team. One day, Macey, my 11-year-old dance student, approached me with a big smile. She told me that I should date her “friend.” I internally rolled my eyes because as one of the youngest teachers in my school, the students were always trying to set me up with their uncle, dad, you name it. But this little girl opened her phone and starting Googling.

“See, he’s a golfer!” (Insert an internal eye roll.) I knew nothing about golf beyond Tiger Woods. She was so tickled to show me her family friend’s picture, so I looked at the search. Ok, I did think he was incredibly handsome, but what would a professional golfer want with a small town teacher? So, I responded the only way I could think of with a simple, “Oh, he’s cute! Where has he been my whole life?” This comment sent her home telling her mom that her dance coach and golf friend needed to be together because Ms. Erwin was “single and ready to mingle.”

A few days later, her mother texted me an invitation to a family-friendly New Year’s Eve party they always host at a local high school. I ignored the message until she texted me again asking if I would come. Thinking I would disappoint Macey, I agreed to go and rallied one of my friends to join me.

When I walked in the school, I heard a gaggle of kids screaming, “She’s here, Matt! She’s here.” And the rest, well, the rest is my current life as a wife and mom of two girls. Our love is unique because we came together with little in common, yet we have spent the past 5 years building a life we love. I guess if I hadn’t left my phone number on a paper plate at the end of the night or listened to an adolescent with a serious rom-com dream, I wouldn’t be happily married to my favorite golfer (and p.s.- I know more about golf now than just Tiger Woods).

Funny & heartwarming, Michelle & Christopher’s story reminds us that while love is not perfect, every love story can be!

THEIR LOVE STORY:

One of my best guy friends worked with Christopher and told him that he needed to meet me. My friend told me this guy was coming over with his son who had Downs Syndrome. He said kids with Downs are so cool and he wanted to meet Christopher’s son.

I didn’t think anything else about it. At the time, I played co-ed softball at Harrison Caver and had a game the same night Christopher was coming over. The game was great, and I even ended up sliding into home, so I was dirty, sweaty and gross. When I got home, Christopher and his son, Blake (who was 4), were at my house. I said hello to Christopher and met Blake, the cutest, most loving little boy. I didn’t think anything of it all other than Christopher was nice looking!

I went to my room and my friends came in to tell me Christopher was there to meet me! LIKE MEET ME!! MEET ME!! I screamed, jumped in the shower, cleaned up and meet him officially. We ended up talking all night and started dating 2 weeks later.

He asked me to marry him 6 months after we started dating. He said he couldn’t wait any longer and I felt the same. I told Christopher that Blake stole my heart first. We got married 3 months after our engagement, in May 2003, and our daughter was born later the same year.
We’ve been through wonderful times and heartaches, tragedy and so much joy. Our story is not perfect by any means, but we are thankful the Lord put us together to serve each other daily and choose love every day for the rest of our lives!!

Donna & Larry just celebrated their 49th wedding anniversary! Their love and commitment to each other, despite many challenges, is inspiring.

THEIR LOVE STORY

In 1972, I (Donna) needed a date to make my former boyfriend jealous. I went to church with Jimmie Young, a sweet older gentleman, and his wife, Frances. They had a son, Larry, that had recently purchased a new Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. He was cute, had a cool car, and I needed to make my former boyfriend jealous. I told Mr. Young that I needed Larry to ask me out. He was able to make that happen.

After our first date, I didn’t care about my former boyfriend anymore – I was totally head over heels in love with Larry.

Now I was strong in my Christian walk. Larry was a Christian but lived (to put it nicely) an adventure filled life. I was cautioned by many that “we” were not a good match and that we wouldn’t make it.

Larry has been a diabetic since he was six years old. His doctor cautioned me about whether I was ready to be married to a diabetic, and if I really knew what that meant.

We continued our courtship and were married on February 10, 1973, in Pascagoula, Mississippi. I was 18 and Larry was almost 21. The week we got married, there was a big snowstorm. We played in the snow and as a result, I ended up sick, with a 102 fever on our wedding day.

The wedding was magical, and I got through the day because of my excitement over starting our life together. We left for our honeymoon in Florida, but had to stop in Mobile, Alabama, because of my fever. It increased, and Larry had no idea what to do, so he drove back to the Emergency Room in Pascagoula, Mississippi. We ultimately ended up at my parent’s house the night of our honeymoon.

That was the start of what makes our love so unique. Commitment to each other no matter what. We have three boys, and struggled through their teenage years, but with our commitment to each other and our Lord, we persevered through that season. We have been through my cancer; Larry’s open-heart surgery; many eye surgeries for me; and the deaths of both our parents. Through it all, our love has remained steadfast, committed, and strong.