30 January 2009

Kevin's Story

- I met her, I loved her, I asked her to be mine!

At a very young age, I sensed God calling me to the mission field someday. I remember praying at this young age whether God wanted me to live a life of service alone or with some young lady whom He would choose for me. God impressed upon me that the life He called me to could not be carried out alone, and that even then He was preparing a rib that would join me in the work that He would eventually impress upon both our hearts. Through the years I often wondered what my girl would be like or even, at times, who she was. Little did I realize she would be better than any thing I ever imagined, and that she would be the answer to my many prayers.

The Day I Met Darleen:
I remember the first time I met Darleen Holly Waltman. It wasn’t “love at first sight” but, most definitely, it was “impressed at first sight.” I had talked to her briefly on the phone a few weeks prior to the children’s program in Atlanta, Georgia. I was surprised at how easily we conversed on our first conversation. I thought little else about it until we met. I was out in the foyer preparing the final details for the program when she walked up to me for the first time. We mutually spotted each other. I stepped forward as she came towards me and reached out her hand. The hand I received in mine was small but determined. I immediately sensed a deep inner strength in her. I was instantaneously impressed that night as I watched her jump in to a task that I knew she wouldn’t have chose. She was willing and able to serve others and her God.

Later in the week there were a few days of relaxation before we jumped back into the full swing of the upcoming weekend. During those days our group went to a local lake in Tennessee. There I started a conversation with Mrs. Waltman about missions. We had a good time sharing many of our experiences. I also was able to glean from her wisdom on the matter, since the Waltman family served as missionaries for many years. Towards the end of the conversation, Darleen walked up and joined in for a few minutes. We were talking about raising funds for missions and she surprised me by saying, “why not do it like George Muller?” In other words, “depend solely on God for provision of funds.” This surprised me because I had always prayed for a girl who was willing to do some thing like that. I had met few young ladies who would be willing to do this. I could tell then this was a girl that was willing to step out in faith and serve the Lord no matter what. At this time also, I started becoming aware of Darleen’s love for the Lord and her call to missions. Following our conversation we went for a boat ride out on the lake. I could not help but find myself watching her out of the corner of my eye. Darleen was unlike other girls I knew. She seemed genuinely caught up with the things of the Lord and I could see that she had a deep relationship with Him. I was keenly interested as I watched her look out over the lake while we rode in the boat. I could tell this was a girl that loved God and had a deep relationship with Him, and I was very impressed.

Traveling back to Georgia for the Children’s program, I was able to talk to Darleen more and was further impressed with her commitment to God. I was beginning to wonder if possibly she could be God’s will for my life, but I was far from sure. Mrs. Waltman and I had a conversation about this, in which I mentioned that I was interested in Darleen but would need to pray, and pray I did over the next month. I prayed and fasted. For a while it seemed as though God was not going to give me a clear answer. I even wondered if God was going to answer at all. One Sunday, in late April, I was sitting in church and I suddenly felt impressed by God that Darleen was the one to pursue. I wasn’t sure if God was going to work everything out but it was clear to me that God wanted me to see if she was the one He had designed for me to be my helpmeet.

I prayed about it some more and during that time Darleen and I passed a few casual e-mails, and I think both of us were noticing that there was definitely something here. We both were surprised at how well we matched and to the point that we both wondered if the other was making it up. In late May, I called the Waltmans and asked them if I could court their wonderful daughter. They said yes but I decided to ask Darleen in person when I was out there. However, at this time, I did receive permission to contact her and we started communicating on a regular basis. Over and over again we were surprised to see how God had formed us to be so similar in so many ways. I was impressed with how easily conversation came with her. In fact, we clocked in some rather lengthy calls. The Lord, through a number of circumstances, confirmed that I was on the right track and that He had a plan to bring a very wonderful girl into my life.

My Trip to Tennessee:
In mid-June, I traveled out to Tennessee to spend time with the family and get to know Darleen better. While out there I was yet again surprised how well I slid into family life and how already the Lord was knitting Darleen’s and my heart together. On top of Pinnacle Mountain I asked her to court me with the intention and goal of marriage. She said yes. One fond memory was a special prayer spot Darleen and I chose together. I have never had a deeper prayer relationship with anyone else in my life. I was surprised at how the Lord had prepared us both for each other. In early July I left for Ireland on a month long mission trip. I wasn’t sure how it was going to work with us being a part so long, especially since we just had started our courtship. Nonetheless, even an ocean away we managed to grow closer to each other and the Lord as He drew our hearts together.

My Move to Tennessee:
In September I moved out to Tennessee to get a job out there, and on October 20th I got the chance to ask the love of my life to become my wife. She answered simply but truly, with radiance and joy in her voice, “of course”. I can still remember the look on her face – one of love and tenderness. I was elated! I don’t believe there was a luckier guy and I can’t believe that God has blessed me with such a wonderful girl. I look forward to the future when God can use our relationship to further His Kingdom and glorify His Name.

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