Success Stories: 2008: Laurel & Kyle
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I came to faith in Christ at 12 years of age, but honestly didn't become serious about my walk with Him until my mid-20’s. At only age 20, I got married, probably more out of rebellion against my family than anything. Only a year later, she left and divorced me to be with someone else. Although it was a biblical divorce, this was a low point for me. But God used it in my life to draw me to Him, I started contemplating my faith more, reading my Bible, and seeking a church home. However, it made me very leery about the idea of another serious relationship so I did not date much for a few years after that. I later did have a couple of dating relationships, but they did not work out in the end, as it become clear none of these relationships were God's plan for me.
I guess I'm pretty traditional as it seems I've always chosen church homes with more traditional services, but it seems that also means church homes with very few young single adults. In late 2002/early 2003, after I had moved up to Illinois from Texas for a job, I discovered ChristianMingle and decided to try it. This was back when you could get a lifetime membership, which I did. I did meet a couple of people from the site but nothing came of it, we just weren't the right match. I quit logging on after I re-relocated back to Texas. I found a good church home here, but again no young single adults. In 2006, I remembered ChristianMingle and I decided to try it once more. My account had been disabled for inactivity, but after I contacted customer support they re-enabled it.
In Spring of 2007, I noticed that a lovely young lady in Georgia had viewed my profile, and so I sent her a "smile" on May 16, 2007. (According to her though, I just smiled at her, she didn't view my profile first. So we jokingly pick on each other now about who found who first. :) Also, she said she had only been on for three days, had found it at that time as relationships.com, and had only posted a picture for one day, the day I happened to see her profile, which she now says is obvious that our finding each other was a God thing.) The first thing that struck both of us was that our answers to "What Does It Mean To Be A Christian" were almost identical. In fact, it impressed her enough that she decided to respond to my smile, even though she had always ruled out any profile listed as "divorced" before. We started talking via ChristianMingle, explaining to each other about our faith, and of course I shared the story of my early divorce. Soon after, we started communicating through regular email and I learned her name, Laurel.
After learning enough about each other through email to know we were interested in finding out more, we started talking on the phone. We spent many hours, staying up late nights, talking about everything under the sun. Finally, we realized we had to actually meet. Although we're both adults, we are both traditional, and with her, being a young single lady living close to home, I offered to call her father and ask his permission to fly out to Georgia and meet his daughter. The phone call lasted about 90 minutes. He grilled me on many theological questions and asked me about my background. I guess I passed the test as her mom declared after the call that Laurel's dad had a new best friend.
In June of 2007, I flew to Georgia to meet Laurel. We met at a restaurant in Atlanta and she was with her whole family, parents and brother. This time she wasn't very talkative though. I came to found out later she was very nervous. After the meal, her folks suggested we all go to the park, and that Laurel could ride with me so we could talk. Conveniently however, her family never made it to the park. (They later called and said they "couldn’t find a parking spot".) We had an amazing time together that weekend, and of course I stayed in a nearby hotel. We went to church, played tennis, went dancing, made lunch for everyone together, etc.
Only a month later, I asked if I could fly her to Texas to meet my family, which she did. She had planned a trip in September already to visit family (grandparents, brothers, etc.) in California, and at some point asked if I would like to come too, to meet them all, which I did. It was a full week of not just meeting her family, but getting to know each other very well. The funny thing about the trip is that her grandparents were so worried about Laurel having met me online; they insisted she run a background check on me before the trip. When I heard, I offered to pay for the background check to calm her grandparents' fears. Now they laugh about it having made me do that.
After this trip, it was clear to me that God had brought us together. At this point I was 35, and Laurel 28. I honestly saw no reason for a prolonged courting period. I planned to propose at Thanksgiving, after having asked her father for permission. However, it seems my plan leaked, and I wanted to surprise her. I flew her out in October so we could join my parents at their college reunion and homecoming game. I decided to go ahead and propose then to surprise her. After a nice date, we went to the lake to watch the sunset and I proposed there, October 26, 2007. It very much did surprise her, but she said yes right away.
We began making wedding plans and thought about a May wedding. However, with two of her four brothers in the military, and another one moving soon to Italy, scheduling it was difficult. We ended up moving up the wedding to February. Her birthday is February 16, which fell on a Saturday that year. After joking about getting married on her birthday, the joke ended up turning into reality, marrying on February 16, 2008. Eventually she decided it was a good thing since I could never forget our anniversary. Laurel moved to Texas in January, taking a job as a live-in nanny with a couple I know from work. This way, she could be here to help plan the wedding (we had decided to have it here in Dallas instead of Atlanta because so much of her family is still in California, so it made a good half-way point.)
Our wedding was wonderful, and so was our honeymoon (a cruise to Mexico). I had already bought a house as an investment in 2006, so we decided to live here rather than find another. We had an amazing first year of marriage, and really enjoyed becoming very active in our church together, teaching Sunday School, and eventually serving on an outreach committee, and serving on the deacon and deaconess boards. At the end of the first year, we got the opportunity to go to India on a mission trip. The timing worked out that we were in India for our first anniversary, and it was amazing. They made us real flower lays, a homemade cake, and sang to us (not just our church members, but the people in India did most of it).
We've really enjoyed our marriage together since, and in fact only recently took a study tour of Israel together. We haven't been blessed with kids just yet but continue trying and praying for them to arrive.
Laurel & Kyle
Q&A from Laurel & Kyle
- Q. What is your advice to ChristianMingle members waiting to find God's match for them?
- A. Be patient. I got a late start, but waiting for who God had in mind for me was without any doubt worth it. We try to force things to happen when we want them, but His timing is always best.