Friday July 18, 2008

kelly's love story


Kelly & Steve


My love story is as much about my spiritual redemption as it is about
romance. The Word says that the relationship between a man and woman was
designed to mirror and represent Christ’s love for the church. God has woven
that metaphor through out my life in an amazing way; from the bondage to sin’s
hold on my life, my wilful pursual of what I defined as romance, the devastation
that ensued leading me to Christ, freedom, redemption, and the most beautiful
love story I could ever dream of. I literally still find my breath swept away
when I think about what God has done for me beginning with the cross!

I was born, the oldest of nine children, into a loving Christian home. Both
of my parents had grown up knowing and following the Lord, and their desire was
to train me up in the way I should go.

I believed the gospel story and prayed the sinner’s prayer at a very young
age. I believed that I was saved, but my faith was not in the Lord Jesus Christ,
but rather placed in my own works. If praying this certain prayer and living
like a Christian would ensure my place in heaven, I would do my best. I wanted
to be comfortable right?

As I grew, I became quite the perfect little pharisee. I obeyed my parents,
loved my siblings, did good works, and overall followed all of the rules. People
praised me constantly, and on my cheerfully fake countenance, you always found
that perfect ministry smile, but inside I was miserable. Imagine desperately
working to earn the approval of people only to find that when you get it, you’re
now pressured to maintain it, and that there was a whole new group of people to
impress. My heart was tired of trying so hard without ever experiencing joy. My
mind was warped from years of operating under the Enemy’s lies.

When I was 16, the breaking point came in the form of a very cute, outgoing
and fun boy. I fell for this guy hard and fast. He and I had allot in common;
both of us looked really good on the outside but were secret rebels on the
inside. Our “friendship” grew on the foundation of lies. You see, both of us had
been forbidden to date by our parents, so we secretly pursued each other. Emails
that were read and deleted, smuggled phone calls, and walks to secretly meet
each other went on for almost a year. Although, I never did more then held this
boy’s hand, I had quickly given and committed my heart to him. What he
represented tasted like freedom to me, and I lived for it. I yearned for it, and
I was determined to have it.

One morning at 5:00am, my Dad quietly came into my room and told me he would
be taking me out to breakfast. I got up and went.

We drove to the restaurant but never got out of the car. Dad had found an
email exchange that I had failed to delete. My mistake – God’s perfect work. My
heavenly Father used my earthly father to confront me with my misery. Dad wanted
to address my lack of honesty…. God addressed my lack of new life. I’ll never
forget sitting here with tears running down my face as the dam in side began to
give way. Because our relationship was based on lies, my Dad asked myself and
the boy to take some time and space. We were held accountable to some very
strict interaction rules. There was basically none!

The next several weeks were full of tears. Tears because I missed the boy.
Tears because I felt oh so guilty. Tears because I didn’t know what the future
held. Tears of stubbornness because I wanted to have my own way.

Two months later, I learned in a very painful way that my boy was dating
someone else. My source explained that he had never really liked me but really
liked this other girl. God graciously allowed my heart to be ripped open in the
space of those two short sentences. He knew this was the only way to get a hold
of my life. I was in shock. I had been so certain that this boy and spending my
life with him was the road to happiness. To see that all crumble away in minutes
was more then devastating.

That night as I lay in my bed staring up at the bunk bed above me…..I
finally cried out to God. Tears poured out of my eyes and into my ears (don’t
you hate that feeling) as I realized for the first time that my whole walk had
been about working to please others or myself. Neither had brought joy or
redemption. In that moment, I needed a Savior who would rescue me from my sin
and purify me. I knew all of the scripture…..but that night was the night
where I fully surrendered my life to my Lord. I pledged allegiance to Christ and
committed that my life would be lived for His glory regardless of what that
entailed. I was new! The searing pain of this boy’s rejection was lifted almost
immediately. I was made whole in the knowledge that I was Christ’s. I no longer
had to struggle to please Him, but because of His work on the cross, He had made
me to be pleasing to Him. All I had to do was walk in the life He had given me.

There was so much joy and peace in this amazing new life!!!

I was 17. A year and two months later, I met Steve. I had recently graduated
from highschool and was headed to Dallas for a year of girl’s ministry. Steve
was 32 and worked in finance. We met at the home of an older couple who hosted
events for young singles in our church. Being fresh out of highschool, I was new
to the group and quite certain I had many years ahead of me before marriage
would be my calling.

The first thing Steve said to me was, “How do you keep your shoes so white?”
I was wearing brand new tennis shoes and couldn’t quite imagine why he would notice or
care. Little did I know then what a wonderful detail oriented man he is. He is
still the one that cleans and cares for our shoes, which is a good thing in my
case!

The other thing I noticed that first night was Steve’s amazing ability to
include and handle special needs people. Having a sister with Downs had caused
me to be very sensitive to this quality in guys. Based on that observation alone
(oh and the fact that Steve was one of the cutest guys I’d ever met), I
commented to my Mom the next morning that I wanted to marry a guy like this
Steve guy someday. I never dreamed Steve would be the one. We had a 14 year age
difference, so surely he would never look at me that way. Right?

A year of ministry later, I was home from Dallas for a visit and went to
church with my family. That Sunday evening, Steve came and sat at the end of my
pew. Mind you, it was a very empty sanctuary, so the fact that Steve came and
sat at the end of OUR pew stood out to me. =)

This continued for several Sunday evenings. Steve would sit near us and find
some way to chat with me after the service but nothing more. I was a little
worried. I knew Steve knew that I wasn’t dating – as most would define the term.
He knew that I was praying and seeking God to write my love story rather then
casually spending time with guy after guy, so what Steve was up to, I wasn’t
exactly sure.

Finally one night as we were saying goodbye, Steve said almost in a
frustrated tone, ” I know you’re not dating right now, but how else am I
supposed to get to know you?”

With my heart in my throat, I jotted down my Dad’s office number and said,
“If you really want to get to know me, you’ll call my Dad and ask him.” Then I
drove away with my hands literally shaking on the steering wheel. I couldn’t
believe I had just asked that guy to call my Dad. Oh my goodness, I had probably
just so weirded him out. =)

Three weeks of nothing went by. I assumed that I had been right….talking to
my dad was to much to ask and moved on from the whole idea. I was back in Dallas
when one morning I woke up at 4:00am and couldn’t fall back asleep. For no
reason at all (that I knew of), I had butterflies and couldn’t stop thinking
about Steve, so I got up to pray. I prayed through Psalm 91, many of the verses
jumping out at me as words of God’s promise. I asked God to be at work even
though it felt silly to do so. There wasn’t anything going on, was there?

I had breakfast with the other center staff and began my day of office
work/house keeping responsibilities. Being one of the privileged walkie talkie
carriers that day, I heard the message loud and clear at about 11:00am. “Kelly,
your Mom is on hold for you. She says it’s important. Can you take that call?”
You bet I could.

Mom told me that Steve had met with my Dad, and that after only one
discussion, my Dad had given blessing for Steve to “win my heart”. WHAT???? To
say I was shocked doesn’t do it justice. I didn’t know whether to bawl or yell.
My excitement was partly generated by the fact that a really godly and HOT guy
wanted to know me, but mostly I was just so floored by God’s direct hand in my
life.

Unlike the first boy where I had to lie, cover up, pursue and hold on to a
relationship, God was practically putting this man in my lap along with the
blessing and direction of all of my authorities. It felt so so so so
good!!!!

I came home, and Steve and I enjoyed dating for the next 10 months. We fell
so in love and both grew closer to the Lord. We weren’t 100% sure then, but
every time we prayed together and studied the WORD together, we were laying the
foundation for our marriage.

kelly & steve

Steve proposed to me on Easter morning, 2002. We were spending the weekend in
Manitowac, WI with his parents when he presented me with a very cute little
stuffed bunny. It took me a couple of moments to see the diamond solitaire tied
by a pink ribbon around the bunny’s neck. I dropped the bunny (and ring, which
freaked Steve out.) and wrapped my arms around Steve’s neck. The answer YES was
not my own……it was the cry of my heart in perfect unity with God’s plan. My
life had been turned over to Him, and where He was taking me was beyond my
wildest dreams!!!

We were married on October 19th, 2002 and have been more in love
every day since.
(sorry no wedding shots…I don’t have them digitally.)

This man that God gave me has taught me so many things. He has been Christ in
my life!!!

kelly & steve 2 Steve has guided, comforted and loved me through the loss of our first baby,
Leeanne, two cross-country moves, some painful relationships and countless
important decisions. He constantly challenges me to be in the WORD, to deal with
my sin, and to go deeper then I’ve gone before.  We have so much fun in our
marriage…. we honestly love to debate, wrestle, compete and razz each other
mercilessly.   Steve is my best friend!  We finish each others sentences
and weird ourselves out by saying or doing the same thing at the same time.   We
talk about everything, and he does such an awesome job of showing interest in
“my things”,  like new recipes, paint colors, clothing and shoes, pilaties.  He
has taught me to love all things sports, primarily football, primarily the
Denver Broncos.   He spends hours every evening teaching our boys to hit a base
ball, score a soccer goal or shoot a basket.   Then he helps with their baths
and reads the Bible with each one individually before putting them to bed.   

 Steve is passionate about the Word….IT being in him and he living by IT!  
Every evening from about 8-10pm, he can be found reading and studying not only
for his own benefit, but in preperation for his ministry to the young
men and women of our church’s youth group.   Together, we support, pray for,
enable and overall, just have a blast with, each other in youth ministry.

There aren’t words to express the joy in walking by his side and standing behind
him as he follows God. We are enjoying two little boys that God has blessed us
with, Glendon (3.5) and Jaydon (19mos.), and my prayer is for these two little
men to grow into big men just like their daddy, a man of God!

kelly & steve 4

This has been long, I know, but to sum it up…..

I was lost and headed for death. Jesus rescued me from my sinful self, and I
now live the life He breathed into me, more wonderful then anything I could
fathom.


This is our love story. My love, Steve’s love, flowing out of our Redeemer’s
love!

kelly & steve 3

 

 – Kelly


(to know more about this amazing couple go HERE! Kelly has a great post up right now on modesty. super stuff ~a.)


20 thoughts on “Friday July 18, 2008

  1. Hutch5

    Kel~ I got a special joy out of sharing this story w/ my kids this morning… as I was reading it out loud to Kate, Ben came in and sat down – listening intently too! Perfect timing as we’ve been talking about not keeping secrets from your parents, and having a heart that is honest and not hypocritical…

    I laughed out loud when you said you threw the bunny on the ground along w/ the ring!! I can imagine Steve’s horror – – although i’m sure he was lovin that HUG! ;) and I felt tears well up in my eyes as you spoke of God’s redemption. Praised your man. and the joy.peace.content that just EXUDED from these words…

    YOU are precious! thanks for opening your heart and sharing yet another AMAZING love story that God has penned~

    Reply
  2. cherylyn_p

    Kelly ~ How I wish I’d had a dad whom I respected and would have protected me like yours. This is exactly what I want for Jesse’s and my three young girls . . . children who defer major decisions to their dad or me. Your story is awesome and warms my heart.

    I know of the heartache you experienced in your first “it felt so right” relationship. I also know about God is “so much *more* right” when in a relationship with the right man.

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful story. It wasn’t too long. I could have read pages and pages more of what you had to say!

    I’m headed to your site to read more! :)

    Reply
  3. HutchKids

    Miss Kelly. I think this story was neat. Mom asked me what my favorite part was and I said how God brought you back and ddin’t let you marry that other boy. I know it is good to always be honest with our mom and dad and bad things can happan when wer’e not. thanks for writing this. I liked it.

    Reply
  4. Hutch5

    Hey – and wanted to say that shot i used for the love story header was taken on a lake in your home state!! =D just a little extra detail~

    Reply
  5. Anonymous

    what do they say about God knowing what we need!!!!!!! okay. okay. i am listening!! (:-o THIS story could not have come at a more perfect time for me right now. let’s just say i feel convicted. and know there are some things that i need to clear up. PRAY for me!!

    Reply
  6. purpleamethyst76

    Thanks for sharing a beautiful testimony of not only married LOVE but the love of our heavenly Father, and the love of your earthly father!  May God bless you, as He already has! 

    Reply
  7. resolved2worship

    I think Kelly has the prettiest smile I’ve ever seen ~ :) and how neat that unlike her growing up years of that “ministry smile” ;) – it’s the real deal! and you can see that through her words here of her love for Christ and her man. Had a similar experience with a “boy” when I was 16 and was blessed as well with a father who came along side and “saved the day!” so to speak. yeah for dad’s that aren’t afraid of their daughters and care enough to lovingly guide and lead.

    and Kelly, from another who married an “older man” who I thought would never have thoughts like that for me — hehe, I love it too!

    thanks for sharing God’s love story in your life ~ thanks Amber for posting it~ lovely

    Reply
  8. angiearmour

    The first statement in your love story could accurately describe my own; I can so relate to what you have to say about how fantastic it is to be with THE PERFECT ONE God brought along after spinning your wheels in the wrong relationship.

    You and your husband look adorable together, and I think you must be wonderful working with those young people. Thanks for sharing your story; like Cherylyn, I don’t think it was too long at all!

    Reply
  9. tildystar

    i love the picture of your feet in the sand.

    so wonderful to read your beautiful love story: that of you and your Saviour, and you and steve.

    thank you for sharing!

    ~*

    Reply
  10. goddreamer

    wow!  so evident that God lead you and Steve together. You radiate Him.  You make a great couple…and are blessed with 2 adorable boys!  Praise God for the work that He has done in you…may it continue to be brought into completion.  May you continue to fall deeper in love with eachother and Jesus.  Blessings!!

    Reply
  11. hananielsgirl

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. I enjoy reading your blog, it’s very evident that you desire to put Christ first in everything you do! What an encouragement!

    Reply
  12. Abiding_Love

    It is so amazing when we can look back and see God’s hand in our lives – what an inspiring story of our Mighty God who loves us so tenderly and who is interested in even the smallest details of our lives. Thanks for sharing this story – I was blessed and encouraged as I consider the life of my 17yr old daughter and know that God will work just as personally and mightily for her! ~Colleen~

    Reply

thanks for stopping by! <3