John Owens and Zakiya Proctor

John Owens and Zakiya Proctor - Married January 2015

Zakiya: The story of how we met begins with both of us separately being encouraged to join DT Heart & Soul. I was repeatedly encouraged to join by several different people over the course of several months. Those people included one of my roommates, a few close friends, a few sisters in the fellowship, and finally my discipler.

After much urging from others and much resisting from me I finally decided to lay down my own ideas about how I would meet my Prince Charming and decided to give DT Heart and Soul a try. I humbled myself before God’s gentle prodding at the end of October 2013 and I signed up for a six-month trial. About two weeks later, Jonathan, after being encouraged by his roommate, decided to give it a try as well.

After one or two weeks on DT Heart and Soul I sought advice from a close friend who had been on for several months. I asked her how best to use the website. Should I wait for brothers to contact me or should I reach out to contact a few brothers? My friend challenged me to send a short message to four brothers whose profiles seemed interesting. I accepted the challenge and did as she had suggested. One of the those brothers was my future husband, Jonathan Owens. I sent Jon a short message commenting on the fact that Proverbs 3:5-7 was a favorite passage for both of us. Jon responded to my short message with one of his own. From there we began to exchange short emails.

After a few weeks of email correspondence Jonathan asked for my number. We exchanged a few text messages and then Jonathan set up a time for us to speak on the phone. That first conversation lasted two hours but felt like a few minutes. We were both amazed by the ease of conversation between us, the range of topics we covered, the spiritual lessons we were able to share, and the common interests we had. Jonathan set up another call for the following week and the beginnings of a great friendship was in the making.

After two and a half months of phone conversations and a few Face Time talks Jonathan asked to come to New York City to visit me for the first time. After the initial shock of actually being in the same place, and the nerves that come with a first meeting, we discovered that the connection and friendship we built over the phone was even better in person. We had an incredible weekend, laughing, talking, exploring the city, hanging out with friends, and worshipping God together. I felt safe with Jon. I was challenged by his walk with God and how he had proven himself faithful through challenging life circumstances.

For the next three months we traveled back and forth between Richmond, VA and New York several times, meeting each others friends, disciplers, and church families. Primarily though, we continued to build and deepen our friendship over the phone. We shared lessons we were learning in quiet times and encouraged one another with scriptures, as well as shared about our day-to-day lives with each other. After lots of prayer and advice Jonathan asked me to be his girlfriend in April of 2014…and I, of course said yes!

As we agreed to take our relationship to the next level we both knew we were praying and planning for a lifetime together but also praying for God to make his will clear to us and to those around us. Over the next few months we met each others’ families and began praying for God to open a door so that I might move to Richmond. Amazingly, God quickly answered those prayers, providing me with both a job and a place to live with another disciple. After a tearful goodbye to my life in New York, I arrived in Richmond in September of 2014 ready to start a new and exciting chapter in our relationship.

On November 1, 2014, two months after I arrived in Richmond, Jonathan, who had been waiting, praying, and seeking advice, asked me to be his wife. I said yes and we were married 2.5 months later on January 17, 2015. We are overjoyed and humbled by the blessings God has lavished on us by providing us with each other. We are eternally grateful for DT Heart & Soul connecting us and we clearly see God’s hand in uniting our lives.

Update: In April 2016, Jon and Zakiya welcomed their first child, Zahari Olivia. Many congratulations to the family!