When I was little, I thought that one day, Prince Charming would ride in on his white horse and sweep me off my feet. As I got older, my paradigm shifted and I was led to believe that love would look a lot like my favorite rom-com.
Now that I'm a grown-ass woman, I see that true love can come in unexpected packages and I might be truly blocking my blessings by expecting my love story to look like my favorite fairy tale (word to Shellie R. Warren). Just ask newlywed WNBA star Maya Moore who, after spending the last 13 years fighting to overturn his wrongful conviction, married the man of her dreams.
In a recent interview with Good Morning America, the couple broke down exactly how their story began, which according to Maya, is more than a decade in the making. She explained:
"Over the last 13 years we have just developed a friendship and just entered into this huge battle to get him home and just over time it was pretty clear what the Lord was doing in our hearts and now we're sitting here today, starting a whole new chapter together."
Earlier this year, the 31-year-old athlete decided to sit the basketball season out to focus on her efforts to exonerate Jonathan, who was wrongly convicted and imprisoned by an all-white jury for a murder that he didn't commit at only 16-years-old.
While he maintained strong feelings throughout the duration of their friendship and even asked for Maya's hand in marriage while he was still in prison, Jonathan says that he urged his one-day wife to continue her life without him. He told Good Morning America:
"I wanted to marry her but at the same time protect her because being in a relationship with a man in prison, it's extremely difficult and painful. And I didn't want her to feel trapped and I wanted her to feel open and have the ability any time if this is too much for you, go and find somebody. Live your life. Because this is hard."
Despite years of tears and disappointment, the couple would be able to live out their hopes of being together sooner than they thought. In July, shortly after Jonathan was cleared of his 50-year conviction and released from prison, Jonathan finally got the opportunity to give his bride-to-be the moment they had both dreamed of for years:
"When I got out we were in the hotel room we had some friends in the room, it was winding down and we were extremely tired, but we were still gassed up on excitement. It was just me and her in the room and I got down on my knees and I looked up at her and she kind of knew what was going on and I said, 'will you marry me,' she said, 'yes.'"
To read Jonathan and Maya's full interview, click here!
Featured image by Instagram/@mooremaya.