the story of Jenny Whatley & Matthew McGoldrick
by Matthew McGoldrick and Jenny Whatley (soon to be McGoldrick!)
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.”
Nothing is too difficult for God! Not even the distance between South Alabama and Southern Scotland! After 25 and 26 years of waiting, God has blessed us with His very best – each other! It is with great joy that we announce to you our engagement and our eager anticipation of a lifetime to glorify God together!
So, how did we meet since we live on different continents? God sure went to a lot of trouble… 🙂
Jenny: In 2003 I met and developed a friendship with Matthew’s sister, Julie, through some of my political activities. As Julie got to know my heart for missions, she became convinced that I just had to be the one to marry her brother, Matthew McGoldrick, who was a missionary pastor in Scotland. I was pretty skeptical, but he did sound like a great guy.
Matthew: Julie told me of her revelation that Jenny was the one, but I didn’t have very high expectations (I had heard that line before). However, since Jenny was interested in learning about the mission field, I decided to email her some of my insights from living and planting a church in Scotland for the last 3 years. Jenny asked lots of questions and we carried on email discussions for a few months pertaining to missions, ministry, and theology.
Jenny: We met for the first time on January 3rd when Matthew came to the States for Christmas. I was quite impressed with what I saw in Matthew’s character, leadership, and spiritual depth. After three short days together Matthew returned to Scotland and I flew to Boston, MA to lead a student volunteer effort for traditional marriage. During the next two months, some fortunate international phone company made a whole lot of money off of Matthew who was calling me frequently and for extended periods of time. (He must have seen a few things that he liked in me as well!) We both lost a lot of sleep. Especially poor Matthew who, because of the time zone difference, often talked into the wee hours of the morning!
Matthew: For several years now I have really pondered what I would need in a wife. Being a missionary pastor I had several things I was looking for in a wife that I never seemed to be able to find in just one woman. I was actually beginning to wonder if someone like I desired actually existed. Then God brought me Jenny who has everything I was looking for and more. God truly can do exceedingly, abundantly more than I could ask or think. He is so good to me. She is so wonderful and I can’t thank God enough for her. All of you who have been praying for God to bring me a wife thank you very much. He has answered your prayers.
The more we talked, the more I came to realize how perfect we were for each other. I decided I needed to see Jenny again to know for sure. On March 4th I flew back to the States to see Jenny and discover whether or not this girl was God’s will for my life… And God made it clear. Jenny was the one I had been waiting for my whole life. We spent a week in San Diego, CA with my family who fell in love with her right away.
Then we made the “International” flight into the Deep South of Beauregard, Alabama to be with Jenny’s family. The Whatley’s are one of the most hospitable families I have ever met. Everyone in their family has a wonderful heart to serve people. It was great to be able to start to get to know her three brothers and her parents. Thankfully, I earned the respect and permission of Jenny’s father and brothers – but only after a series of tests involving lots of manual labor, sweat, fishing, guns, and the gutting and eating of wild animals.
I had previously only planned to stay for a week but extended that for another two weeks in order to ask Jenny if she would marry me. After getting permission from her father the next step was planning how I would ask her to marry me. Then I needed to figure out how I would get a ring since I did not come there with one. I didn’t have a clue about how I was going to get a ring without Jenny knowing. My parents and several people from their church took it upon themselves to make sure that I had a ring when I proposed. They were amazing and got the most beautiful ring to me in only a matter of days. I want to say a special thanks to all of those involved in making that happen. You really blessed me and Jenny.
Jenny: March 29th was an incredible day. Matthew took me on a picnic in one of the beautiful back pastures of our family’s Farm that he knew I loved. He brought his guitar and led us in worshiping God together. Then, he sang a beautiful song that he had written for me expressing his undying love. It was wonderful!
Matthew: The song expressed how much I loved her and that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. In my guitar case I had the engagement ring hidden.
Jenny: After finishing the song, Matthew knelt down on one knee, presented a beautiful ring, and asked me to marry him. My answer was a very confident “Yes”! It was the best day of both our lives!
That “Yes” will lead us to the next best day of our lives: our Wedding Day on October 2, 2004!
We are both waiting on different continents while preparing for our wedding, life, and ministry together in Scotland. Matthew will continue as pastor of Calvary Chapel Fellowship, a church that he planted in Glasgow 3 years ago, and Jenny is looking forward to helping him there. Scotland is a spiritually dark country in great need of the light and life-changing power of Jesus Christ. We will be going back to Glasgow after the wedding and would greatly appreciate your prayers for our marriage and the effectiveness of our ministry there.
In His Service,
Matthew McGoldrick and Jenny Whatley (soon to be McGoldrick!)
We become the story we feed on. Marital love satisfies longings like no cheap imitation can. So the Real Story, the cosmic romance, fills us like no other story can.
What story will I feed on? What story will I become?
(Ann Voskamp in "Become the Story", originally at A Holy Experience)