Consider the odds defied for Matt James and Rachael Kirkconnell.
So far, at least.
The very recent Bachelor handed his final rose to Kirkconnell at the conclusion of his run as the show’s lead last year… only to basically then take it back after learning Kirkconnell had posted some racially-insensitive messages just a couple years ago.
She also attended a plantation-themed sorority party in 2018.
But true love can conquer all, they say.
Including all misguided decisions made by young women still learning about the world and evolving as a human being.
Hence why James continued to hang out with Kirkconnell after ending their romance — and why the two eventually got back together.
And now? After all their ups, downs and everything in between?
Things appear to be better than ever before for James and Kirkconnell.
On Sunday, Matt made this evident via a lovely and sentimetal birthday tribute in honor of Rachael turning 25 years old.
"Be strong and courageous.
"Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you—Deuteronomy 31:6," James began his Instagram caption, quoting a Bible verse.
The reality star added with these words a bunch of photos of his soulmate, while concluding as follows:
"Happy Birthday to my emergency contact @rachaelkirkconnell. I love you."
James, of course, was the first Black Bachelor in series history, lending extra weight both to his season and to the mistakes Kirkconnell made in the past.
On the After the Final Rose special, during which James announced he had split from Rachael, the 29-year old said he simply couldn’t be with someone who couldn’t relate to his experiences as an African-American.
In May, however, Matt opendly discussed his and Rachael’s relationship and even detailed the qualities he loves about her so much.
"The best thing about Rachael is her heart," Matt said on The Pomp Podcast.
"She’s the most kind, caring person, understanding, I’ve ever met. Everything we’ve been through, everything she’s been through, she’s stuck right by my side.
"She’s continued to have a positive attitude towards everything. It’s one of the many things I love about her."
The former college football player also explained that before they decided to get back together, Rachael gave him an ultimatum.
"I wasn’t really honoring that commitment that I made to working on the relationship," Matt said, adding:
"It was just a come to Jesus talk with Rachael where she was like:
"‘If you’re going to make this work, let’s do it. But, if you’re not going to make it work, then I’m going to let you do your own thing.’"
Fast forward all this time later… it’s all peaches and cream for the couple.
Following Matt’s debut on Dancing with the Stars a week ago, Kirkconnell took to social media and wrote:
“my man is officially trading in his skateboards sneaks for some dancing shoes!
"can’t wait for you guys to see how hard this guy has been working and what they’ve come up with, you won’t want to miss it… I promise he’s come a long way."
This appears to be true in more ways than one.
Both on the dance floor and also behind closed doors.