What happened in your own life that prepared you to meet your soulmate?

I had been married twice previous to my current marriage, the first for 10 years and the other for 13 years. The last marriage was the toughest. I had married a man who didn't love himself so couldn't love me. He was controlling, belittling and very emotionally abusive. When I left that marriage I was pretty devastated and was sure I'd never find the right man so I would just stay single.

God had other plans. I kept feeling God pull at me and tell me that there was someone out there someone good and kind. I thought if there was then I would have to make sure I chose the RIGHT one this time. I had to figure out what inside of me kept perpetuating these negative relationships. I did a lot of praying and soul searching and reading. I figured out that the abuse I had sustained as a child, the abuse I had thought I was over and wasn't affecting me anymore, was continuing to play out in my love relationships. I had been conditioned to the treatment and low self-image of that abuse; I was choosing partners that would continue what had now become comfortable to me. I was choosing the same look even, dark-haired, blue-eyed "bad boys". Even though I knew what I wanted and what I deserved, I would settle for so much less!

Once I was able to see this I began cleaning up all of my relationships. I began setting clear-cut boundaries for myself; it wasn't easy but it has made such a difference in ALL of my relationships. I now have healthy relationships with my mother, brothers and friends. If I didn't go through this transformation I would have continued in unhealthy relationships.

How did you meet, and how did you know that this relationship was special? My husband Roger and I met on a dating site. I was not thrilled with the whole online dating thing but thought I'd give it a try. I was going to delete my profile but when I hit the button to delete it, matches mystically popped up! (Those two buttons are at opposite sides of the phone.)

Something about him caught my eye. He had a very kind face. I went to his profile and couldn't believe what I was reading. He sounded way too good to be true! But I had to find out if he really was real. I sent him a request and he looked at my profile and thought I sounded way to good to be true as well. We began talking and I could really feel he was genuine, but I was still leery and him of me too. Then we exchanged real names so we could be Facebook friends, I found out his last name was Butts, and I said to myself, oh boy, we are just going to be friends—I can't have that last name! (My maiden name being Hickey and all! lol) But again I heard God say, "Don’t be too sure!"

As we continued to communicate there were several times when we would talk later and find out we had been praying about similar concerns (such as religious differences) and getting the same answers. We felt a deep connection, and I was drawn and attracted to him in a way I'd never been to anyone before. He looked and behaved entirely different than anyone I had dated or married before, and I knew THAT was good!

Our courtship was very short. We began talking in Jan 2013, met in person Feb 2013 and married March 18, 2013. Everyone thought we were nuts, WE even thought we were nuts, but we couldn't deny how RIGHT we both new it was. We both had prayed separately a final prayer before marrying and it was to ask God if we should marry, if this was RIGHT. Neither of us knew the other had prayed for this until the next morning. We both got the same answer and even had a little vision of Christ himself placing Roger’s heart in my hands and mine in his and Christ saying here, take care of this for me. At that moment we both knew our hearts were safe with each other! He had been married twice before as well; the first marriage lasted 8 years and the last one 10 years.

We are both so very happy, happier than we've ever been. We just mesh together so easily and comfortably. Nothing in my life has EVER been this easy!! We have common interests: we both enjoy working out, going for walks/runs, enjoying nature together, and family is very important to both of us. And we keep God as the center of our relationship. We stay mindful and sensitive to each other's needs. Our relationship is harmonious, peaceful, full of so much love and tenderness it is just amazing!

Do you feel that you have a shared purpose for being together? What is that purpose? Before Roger and I met I had prayed and asked God to help me find a man that would not only be supportive of my spiritual walk but would walk with me and even help strengthen me when I am having a weak moment. Roger is a very spiritually and emotionally strong man. He is almost always doing the right thing. He most definitely helps lead and guide me in a closer spiritual walk with God and we are closer as individuals because of it.

I also believe that we are to be an example of what a healthy loving relationship is for each of our children, especially for my four grown sons, who have witnessed me in my previous unhealthy relationships.

What advice can you offer single people who desire a relationship like yours? The best advice I would give to young people on how to find their soulmate would be to really learn about themselves first, heal any hurts or traumas they have experienced in their lives first. Be open! That person you thought might not really be your type is probably exactly the type you need!

I love having the opportunity to hopefully inspire others! Thank you!

Thank you, Lena and Roger, for sharing your beautiful story with us! ~Mali & Joe, authors of The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships52 Prescriptions for Happiness, and the upcoming book The Soulmate Lover, and creators of Mantras for Making Love