I woke up this morning with a kiss from my husband, what a way to start the day! He woke me at 6:00, just like I asked him to, and when I came downstairs, he hugged me and said let's pray. He thanked God for giving us to each other and for blessing our marriage the way He has. It was wonderful! He left for work and I stumbled to the coffee pot where there was a beautiful card waiting for me. So many good things in only a 10 minute span of time, I am just a big 'ole pile of sappy sappiness!
Today is our ten year anniversary! I first met Kevin 13 years ago at church, or actually, my parents first met him, because he was going to be doing some tree work for them. As it happens, the tree work did not get done until years later because Kevin was going on a short term mission trip that ended up lasting 2 years.
He had been wanting to go on the 2 week mission trip, but didn't have a passport. International travel agencies frown upon this kind of thing, so he began the process of applying for and obtaining a passport. He had it in record time, 1 week! The other thing about the trip was, he was a last minute person, someone else was unable to go and Kevin was asked if he wanted to go in their stead. (That's why there was a passport frenzy) He said he didn't know if he could get the time off of work,but if he got laid off, he would gladly go. Sure enough, he got laid off! Do you think God had a plan for him as a missionary??
At that time, Calvary Chapel (our church) owned a castle in Austria. It was used primarily as a Bible School for the nationals to be taught and sent out to pastor their own flocks and assistant in church planting. They also accepted students from the U.S.. I was kind of floundering here due to some unforeseen college issues (that's a whole nother blog, people!) so I began to pray about going to the Bible College. I applied and was accepted and began to prepare to leave. It was a six month commitment, three months at the castle, three months on the mission field.
It was a very exciting time for me, I was working a lot to raise all of the money that I needed and I was volunteering at the church office. It was at the church office that I really got to see this Kevin ( he was home for a month) guy in action. Needless to say, I was impressed with what I saw!
He was leaving, going back to Yugoslavia, where he was now a missionary. He started out at the castle, doing tree work for them (his old skilled profession) and through a series of events, ended up pastoring a small fellowship in a town called, Kula.
One month later, I left for Austria. I was there only a few days when Kevin called me to see how I was doing. I was very surprised and happy to hear a familiar voice. I began to pray about what God's will for me being there was. Did He take me across the ocean to show me who I would marry? I prayed for Kevin everyday, selfless prayers for his safety and strength. I also prayed that God would show me His will concerning Kevin.
Now, I must admit, my imagination ran away with me a little bit. I had some grand delusions of Kevin sweeping me off my feet when we next saw each other. Ha!
He was scheduled to come to the castle for a missionary conference and I was over the moon at seeing him again. Him, well, not so much! I told some dear friends of mine about my feelings and the things I was praying about and they told Kevin when he arrived. Before you get angry at them, I just want to say, these are wonderful Christian people who somehow knew that we would end up together and thought they were helping.
Kevin was very standoffish and my feelings were hurt. I later found out from him that he did not want to confuse what God had called him to in Yugoslavia and his feelings for me. He didn't know how to separate the two and he ended up treating me with casual regard. Now I can clearly see what he was thinking but then, I was only 20 and very immature.
I basically said, fine, be that way and decided to out him out of my mind. I actually met someone else during my three month mission period but he was not who God had for me, and that door was closed.
Fast forward one year. I am now home and working and Kevin comes home permanently. His father died of a massive heart attack and for some reason, the only explanation is God, I got a phone call from some people here in N.J. who know Kevin, that his father had died and they needed to get in contact with the church. I knew before he did that his beloved father was gone. I immediately began to pray for him, somehow the old hurt feelings and immaturity were gone and in their place was a soft-heartedness for him.
After his father's funeral I saw him at church one Sunday night. We went out for coffee afterward and began to spend a lot of time together. Six weeks later, we were engaged. I know it was fast, but it was just one of those things where I knew that I knew. So did he, and we have been together ever since.
When I look back on all that we have been through and the curve balls that life has thrown at us, I can still say with all certainty, I would not change a thing. I have bragged about him before, but it really is true that Kevin is the best part of Kevin and Laney.
P.S. I have a big plan for tonight but I can't tell you yet. If Kevin reads my blog today, the surprise will be spoiled. Tune in tomorrow!!