30 January 2009

Darleen's Story

- I met him, I loved him, I became his!

Prior to life with Kevin, I had many questions about determining God’s will regarding a life partner. Since I was young, I had purposed to allow the guidance of my parents to help me evaluate and determine God’s best for me in choosing a husband. I also desired to keep my heart emotionally free from entanglements with other young men. I wanted my first love to be the man I married. I wanted my first kiss to go to my husband. I wanted not just a good man, but God’s best man.

Earlier in 2007, the Lord, through a broken relationship, taught me some very previous and important lessons in trusting God to provide His best for me. He taught me that my life and happiness is not based upon marriage or the fulfillment of dreams, but God Himself.

These moments of questioning whether God would bring about His best for my life were bitter sweet. Yet, the promise God had given to me years earlier became even more real during the uncertainty of what God had in store for me in the future. Psalm 37:5 says, “Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass”. I felt God was directing me to missions and to marry a godly man and raising a godly family with him, but only God could bring this vision and desire of mine to pass. My job was to only trust in Him to bring about His best in my life.

As many godly leaders have said, the second most important decision in your life is your decision about your life partner. I then began to seek Scripture more fervently and listen more intently to the counsel of godly leaders for the essential qualities that should characterize any man desirous of pursuing me. With the help of others, I compiled a list of these qualities: (see http://www.tdharmon.com/)

  1. He is not only saved, but he truly loves the Lord and is committed to Him and His word. Mark 12:30

  2. He is morally pure and lives a life of high moral standards. He is a man of character. 1 Corinthians 6:18-20

  3. He lives in harmony with authorities. (i.e. parents, church, government) Eph. 6:1,2; 1 Peter 2:13-19

  4. He accepts Himself – best evidenced by a humble and contrite heart. He is temperate and not given to anger. Matt. 11:29; Prov. 22:24; 1 Cor. 9:25

  5. He loves his parents, especially his mother. If His parents are divorced, or he has been wronged deeply, does he forgive and honor them? Eph. 6:3

  6. He has purpose in life that includes a high priority on spiritual leadership. He loves children. Eph. 5:24-28; Eph. 6:4

  7. He is honest and self-denying. He cares deeply about the feelings of those he is responsible for. Luke 9:23

Not to mention, I began looking at qualities I needed to help that man God would bring into my life, if I were to marry someday. (See http://www.tdharmon.com/) Also, I compiled these questions to ask myself when and if God allowed a suitor to pursue me in the future!

  • Do I fully respect this man the way a wife is called to respect her husband?

  • Can I eagerly submit to him as the church submits to Christ?

  • Do I have faith to follow this man no matter where he may lead?

  • Can I love this man with a tender, affectionate love?(1 Cor. 11:3; Eph. 5:22, 33; Col. 3:8; Titus 2:4-5)

I met Kevin Weston for the very first time at a Romanian church in Georgia. It was a Friday evening, April 4th. It had been a long day, and my siblings and another family from our church had traveled from Knoxville, TN to assist in a Children’s Institute (CI) at Gwinnett Church. Kevin was the group leader for the CI. He flew from California with a group from his church. The Children’s Institute set the stage for the start of a special relationship, but I never imagined it at the time. I never noticed any fireworks or anything really special about our encounter. I do recall greeting Kevin with a handshake and noticing his firm, but gentle, grip. I also remember how short I was compared to him.

My impression of Kevin after the two weeks of working under his leadership was excellent. I saw that he had a real passion for the things of the Lord and for serving Christ. I also saw that he had a clear direction in life, which included missions. We even had spoken on several occasions of our goals and thoughts of mission work. I never thought much about a deeper relationship with him, though. He was from California and there was no real opportunity to get to know him better. Also, I always though until a young man has come and specifically expressed his interest in me, I should view him only as a brother, or possibly as another woman's husband.

Life went on after the Children’s Institute. I had heard that Kevin did have an interest in me by this time, but was still uncertain to God’s leading. In mid-May, Kevin’s Dad called my father to see if my parents were open for a possible relationship. Later that week, Kevin called requesting to seek me for a courtship. He was ready to go forward into a deeper relationship. My parents were impressed with Kevin from the first time they met him. They saw his depth of character. At the time of his call, they inquired more of his life purpose, mission, love for God, etc. After their meeting, they were happy to give him permission to pursue a relationship with me.

In my heart, I knew Kevin was an exceptional guy, and I would be happy to get to know him. I was a tough nut, though, making sure to not let on that I had an interest in getting to know him better. I figured if Kevin was interested and God directed him towards me, he would come out and visit without any encouragement from me. I also wanted a thorough inspection done of Kevin. First an inspection from my parents, then from a retired Pastor who had counseled me over the years. Kevin was more than willing to travel 11-hours to Arkansas to meet with him for a few days. I was shocked and totally impressed!


I remember very vividly the day Kevin arrived at Tyson McGee airport. I was excited, to say the least. I was nervous also. I was sitting in the corridor of the terminal gate, with all my siblings around. The plane had landed. Kevin was to walk down the passageway any minute. Each second was prolonging in my mind. To break the nervousness I was feeling, I told my siblings, “Kevin must have the private room in the back of the airplane.” However, my inner thoughts returned: “How should I respond to him? Should I smile?” These thoughts were soon interrupted when I saw Kevin’s tall statue appear through the terminal gate.

“Could Kevin be God’s best for me?” would have been one of my mental thoughts. I had observed Kevin, talked to his sisters, his mother and father. I talked to my friends who knew him. I talked to him numerous times also. I watched Kevin a lot. I asked him a lot of questions. I was hopeful of seeing Kevin here in Tennessee, coming to win my heart. At that moment, I did not realize the tremendous love I would soon feel for Kevin – this tall, dashing guy. However, one thing I did experience was a deep seated peace within my heart. I wanted above all things to do the Lord’s will in these matters of the heart. My heart felt at peace, my heart felt as if I had known Kevin Weston all along.

My heart slowly came to care for Kevin during his visit. I really liked him! I saw his character. I saw his love for God, and children. I saw his zeal to walk in God’s ways regardless of the cost. I saw how he honored authorities. As I watched him carefully, I saw that he was authentic and real. He truly had a vibrant walk with God – not a two-faced walk. He truly loved Christ and all He had done for him. Kevin had life purpose to which I could follow, and lived a life of high moral standards. I realized by this time that Kevin was – um, wow; how do I put it in words – wonderful!

THE DAY COURTSHIP began with Kevin:
June 24th was yet another momentous day for me. Kevin had already asked my parent’s permission to court me in May, yet still hadn’t asked me officially because I conveyed wanting more time to see him in person. I also wanted him to speak with my Pastor/counselor from Arkansas before entering a courtship. It was on this trip to Arkansas that Kevin asked me personally at this time to enter a deeper relationship with him.

On this Wednesday afternoon, it was off to Pinnacle Mountain. Kevin knew how much I enjoyed hiking; therefore, he chose to take me up the difficult side of the mountain. I was very pleased. During the ascent, we did a bit of rock climbing. From the top, we saw the vast view of the Arkansas countryside. The sun was just setting, the wind was blowing. While Kevin sat on a large rock, I grabbed my camera and shot a couple shots of the view. I then set beside him. I realized the seriousness in the mood. Kevin was going to speak... I was excited and nervous at the same time. I knew my answer before he even asked. I knew deep in my heart he was the type of man I wanted to marry and live with the rest of my life.

Seriousness was expressed in Kevin’s tone of voice. He expressed his desire to court me, and Lord willing, marry me someday. I cannot remember all the lovely words he said, but I remember that it touched my heart. At this time, I asked how God had directed him to ask me. I also asked in what ways he could see me being an assistant to him. Both his answers confirmed what God had spoken to me. With enthusiasm, I said it would be my delight and pleasure to court him!

I still remember the sigh of relief Kevin gave, then the most winning smile any person could ever give! That smile, with those blue and radiant eyes, captivated my heart. It was lovely praising God together for the work He had begun and would continue to do.

Our courtship period was not without challenges. Nonetheless, everyone involved stood firm that this indeed was the Lord’s will! We have experienced God’s grace and faithfulness in spite of Satan’s attacks. With testing, we have come to a greater confidence that whatever the future holds, that God has brought our lives together.

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