It wasn’t long before I knew I needed to get State-side. Only a couple of weeks after completing a transition back to Ukraine from Thailand, I flew home to Texas where Kelsie was waiting for me. Her parents had moved up to Calgary, Canada due to a work assignment from Danny’s employer, but Kelsie stayed behind so we could meet and begin to spend time together in person.
As the days passed, my confidence in our relationship grew steadily. Soon, I decided that it was time to tell Kelsie in no uncertain terms that I loved her. Trained as I was to treat such steps with extreme caution, I decided to check with Danny first. I sent off an email and soon received his reply. He gave his permission excitedly and even expressed some surprise that I had not already told Kelsie of my love!
Armed with this approval, I purchased a dozen red roses and placed them in the parlor of my Grandmother’s house, where Kelsie had been staying. That afternoon, Kelsie and I entered the parlor together where she immediately saw the flowers. Her face beamed as she noticed the card protruding from the side. Inscribed on it in large letters were the words: “I love you, Princess Kelsie!”
A few days later, I asked Kelsie to marry me, and she joyfully agreed. Perhaps no two people on earth were happier that day than we were. After long months of waiting, seeking, praying and trusting God, we knew for certain that each of us had found our life-partner in the other.
The days and weeks that followed were a delightful blend of travel, meeting family, wedding planning, and of course, spending every possible moment with each other. On September 18, 2004 our young courtship officially ended as we crossed the threshold from singleness into marriage. Less than a month later, we arrived in Ukraine as a missionary couple and began building our new life together.
At the time of this writing, Kelsie and I have been married for over 8 years, and the Lord has blessed us with three precious children who are the joy of our lives. While married life has certainly presented its challenges, we have faced them together: not as competitors, but as friends. In fact, the phrase, “You’re my best friend,” is one used often in our home.
We count ourselves very blessed to have had parents and mentors who urged us to trust God in the area of marriage, and we can testify along with many thousands of saints that God is indeed faithful to direct the paths of those who wait on Him.
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”