Dena Johnson Martin Christian Blog and Commentary

He Had Me at "Hello"

I’m a sucker for a good romantic comedy.

I walked through the living room recently to see You’ve Got Mail on the television. It was nearly over, but I immediately got sucked in, stuck watching the end of the movie. As Joe Fox “tweaked” his project (i.e., pursued Kathleen Kelly knowing she was his email love interest), I couldn’t wait to see the final scene when Joe reveals the truth.

“Don’t cry, Shopgirl. Don’t cry,” says Joe as he wipes the tears from her face.

“I wanted it to be you,” Kathleen responds. “I wanted it to be you so badly.”

Or Sweet Home, Alabama.

Melanie Carmichael and Jake Perry, who had been childhood sweethearts, are caught in a love triangle. Melanie returns to her hometown to marry an up-and-coming politician, only to learn that she’s still legally married to Jake. While trying to finalize the divorce that was started years earlier, she realizes that Jake is her true love. She finally dumps her upscale politician for her small-town first love.

“The truth is I gave my heart away a long time ago, my whole heart, and I never really got it back,” Melanie says.

And then there’s the famous line from Jerry Maguire.

After a tumultuous relationship, Jerry Maguire returns home to profess his love to Dorothy Boyd.

Jerry: [babbling and struggling] I love you. You... you complete me. And I just...

Dorothy: Shut up, just shut up.


Dorothy: You had me at "hello". You had me at "hello."

Who can resist such perfect lines? Who doesn’t dream of having that moment, that one special line that sticks in your mind and solidifies your relationship? What woman doesn’t want a romantic comedy love story?

Let me tell you a little about my love story.

I have spent years seeking God since my divorce, begging God to bring that man who would love me as Christ loves the church. I’ve waited and cried and waited some more. I’ve believed and I’ve doubted. 

I’ve lived by the Maya Angelou quote: “A woman's heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her.”

And I’ve asked God to give me a man who would pursue His heart so he could find mine. I’ve told God I only wanted a relationship with someone who was willing to pursue God first and me second. I’ve clung to God, knowing He promised to bring me someone special.

Last year, shortly after we started dating, Roy (affectionately known as my Royfriend) looked at me and said, “I’ve spent the last two years pursuing God’s heart in hopes that one day I would be worthy of pursuing your heart.

I melted.

It was my, “You had me at hello” moment. Here was this man who had chosen to surrender everything to God knowing it was the best way to live and it was the only way to ever have a chance with me. It was truly a defining moment in our relationship.

And this weekend, we went one step further.

Roy and our children (my three and his two) had come together to surprise me. We were out back eating pizza. One of the kids asked me to go into the house to retrieve some water bottles. On the way back out, I decided to be ornery and throw ice cold water on the kids. I walked outside with water in hand and threw it on the kids…

And totally missed that Roy was down on one knee with a ring in his hand!

Yes, Friday night it became official. He poured out his heart to me, in front of our children, and asked me to marry him. He asked us to blend our two families into one large family that loves God and pursues Him wholeheartedly.

We knew from the beginning that neither of us wanted to date just to date. We were dating with marriage in mind.

And now we are one step closer to complete redemption of all we have walked through.

As we plan our future, we realize there’s a lot of work left to do. Blending two very different families is a daunting task. Add to that his special needs daughter who lives with him full-time and there’s no doubt we are in for an adventure.

But we know God is faithful. We know He has called us to this journey. We have seen His hand of provision, His hand of direction at every turn. We are committed to God, and we are committed to one another.

And we can’t wait to see what God brings out of this crazy adventure known as life.