Just engagedSo having gone out for coffee and chatting for some 4 hours, Kylie and I decided that life together was going to be our pursuit.  Slowly, were her words.  What exactly that meant, neither of us really knew, but we were willing to explore what God had in store for us and see where He was leading us. 

The day after our first coffee, we met again and talked for many hours.  We made so many discoveries and talked through so many things – the most intimate of emotions.  Everything was laid bare, our souls were exposed and we were completely vulnerable with each other.  We laid our hearts on the line and realised as we did that our friendship, our relationship and our destiny was being cemented in God even more with each passing word. 

We determined that day that we would let the church know that we were ‘pursuing a friendship’.  In a small town where I was the Pastor and Kylie was the Youth Leader, gossip and stories had the potential to be created very quickly.

So, the very next day we announced to the church our intentions.  The standing ovation and the cheering took both of us by surprise!  So did the congratulations and well wishes for the next hour and a half!  The church couldn’t have been happier for both of us.  They had known and watched Kylie grow and mature over the past 8 years and were delighted for her that she had finally found the “man of her dreams” (her words!). 

Over the next few weeks, Kylie and I spent countless hours on the phone, sitting in MacDonalds and at Kafe Laguna or at the beach…talking and holding hands.  SHE WOULDN’T KISS ME!!!!!  We shared our hearts, our souls, our hurts, our dreams, our desires, our visions and what we believed God had called us both to do and be. 

Kylie had started what she called her “Husband Journals” in June of 2007.  In these she wrote prayers, dreams, ideals, and desires about her husband to be.  The first entry contained a list of things that her husband had to be (short version):

1 – A Godly Man

2 – A Musician

3 – A Preacher/ Speaker

4 – A Builder

5 – From a Loving Family

Amazing how God sees the desires of a persons heart and gives, very specifically, over and above what we ask. 

One of the other main things was that I had to work out what the key to her heart was.  Now, no one, not anyone, not even her closest friends knew what this was.  She told me, just ask God, He’ll tell you.  I prayed, I beseeched, I petitioned, I begged, I got Dad to ask, I had Mum try and ask, I had everyone praying and trying to find out what it was.  I was a desperate man!!!  One day, I decided that I wanted to send Kylie some flowers.  I knew that she wasn’t a fan of roses, but that her favourite flowers were sunflowers.  So, I ordered a bunch of sunflowers for her.  They had to be specially ordered in from Adelaide as they were not yet in season. 

Kylie came to my office later that day.  She had a bunch of sunflowers in her hands and her eyes were moist.  She looked like a little girl who’d just been given the most incredible gift.  She looked at me and looked at me and looked at me.  On the card I had written, “The Key To Your Heart”.  She walked over to me and said, so simply, yet with so much depth and feeling, ” I LOVE YOU”.  It was the first time that she had said it aloud and told me later that she had been waiting for the key to her heart before she could say it out loud.  I had indeed found the key to her heart. 

BUT, she still didn’t kiss me!!!

As a young girl, not long after she was saved, Kylie was given two prophecies.  One was that she would never experience first hand the pain that she saw in her parents when their marriage seperated.  The second was that she wouldn’t have to go looking for her husband because God would bring him to her, through the doors of the church.  Both of these, the first especially, provided great comfort and confirmation for me that we had made the right decision to pursue our relationship. How exciting that God would make these provisions, years before I would even get married the first time, let alone go through  painful divorce. 

God’s sense of humour is always entertaining.  Within a month of us beginning to ‘court’, I was asked to perform a wedding ceremony.  Kylie just happened to be one of the bridesmaids walking down the aisle!  What great practice for her! 

We talked very early about marriage.  Kylie was not willing to pursue something that God hadn’t ordained and we both felt that either it was for eternity or not at all.  Too much was at stake. 

We set a date, October 4th 2008, exactly one year since I arrived in Whyalla and officially met Kyls. It was exciting thinking and talking about our wedding. 

A few days before Christmas, we went to Adelaide for another friends wedding and I met Kylie’s sister and Dad.  I asked him then, on the first meeting, for Kylie’s hand in marriage!  Quite a bold step really!  He was happy for Kylie and did give us his blessing, which meant the world to Kylie.

That same weekend, we picked out Kylie’s engagement ring!  Still no kiss though!  I had so much sympathy from the church!  They were all praying for me, “poor Ted” they would say!!!  Kylie would just smile and say, not yet.  WHEN!!!!!

On Christmas day, after doing the Christmas service at church, Kylie and I drove to Port Linoln to have Christmas with friends.  Kylie’s mum was still overseas at the time.  We had a great time and on the second to last day, after 6 LONG weeks of patience, long suffering and self control, Kyls kissed me!  What a moment!

It was, looking back, such a gift from God that she made me wait so long to kiss her.  Having been through so much and having faced so much betrayl, Kylie had purposed that our relationship would be built upon trust, respect, a deep knowing of each other, friendship, God, love and truth.  Nothing else came before these things.  I realised after just how siginficant this was for me.  It made our first kiss so much more special and meaningful – it had purpose. 

After this, I went back to Brisbane for the 10 days with my and my family and Kylie went back to Port Lincoln.  It was terrible being apart!  We were on the phone as often as we were able.  It was amazing just how strong the bond between us was and how quickly it had grown in us.

After attending Influencers Conference with my boys, and Kylie at the Youth Influencers, we went back to Whyalla and my brother David came to stay with me for a few weeks.

While he was there, Kylie was able to come over and spend time with us (really, she cooked and ironed!!!).  It was during this time that we talked about getting married earlier.  I coudn’t understand why we had to wait until October and would have happily made it earlier.  I still hadn’t proposed to Kyls at this point and so a definite date coudn’t really be changed.

Kylie said to me one day that she had made a deal with God about us getting married early.  I told her that you can’t make deals with God to start with and asked her what it was.  Of course, just like the sunflowers, I was to seek God.  If it was His will, He would show me.  Great!!!  This girl wasn’t making it easy for me!

On January 30th I asked Kyls to organise a picnic at our beach after music practice the following night.  She did this extravagantly, as well as buying a new outfit and getting dressed up for our beach picnic.  Music practice always finished at 8.30 and so Kyls was expecting me around then.  By 10, she had called to find out where I was.  I said I’d still be a while as David and I were working with some of the team.  I was purposely stalling!  By 11 when I got home with David and suggested that we all just watch a movie instead, I could see her face fall, though she held her composure well.  What I didn’t know at this point was that the deal that she had made with God about us getting married earlier, in July, rested upon me asking her to marry me that very night!!! 

After a while, I said to Kyls that we should go for our picnic anyway.  So, at 11:45pm we drove to the beach, set up the fabulous spread that Kyls had prepared and we chatted.  It was important for me that I propose at midnight, so after what I thought had been long enough, I started telling Kylie all the things that I liked and admired about her.  I told her that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her and that she was my soul mate, my princess.  Then, i asked her to marry me!!!!  WOOHOO!!! It was such a beautiful and exciting moment.  The waves crashing on the beach, the moon reflecting on the water, the food, the Maison, the two of us.  It was romantic, it was special, it was one of the best moments of my life.  When she leaned over and kissed me, that was all I needed!!!!  She said yes and I slipped the most perfect solitaire ring onto her finger. 

It was then that she told me of the deal that she had made with God.  I was blown away.  When I realised that we were getting married much earlier, I was just amazed at God’s goodness and His faithfulness. 

We drove home shortly after and told David.  He was so excited, he cried!  Then we text everyone we knew, we were so excited (sorry to those who were sleeping)!  Our families and friends were ecstatic knowing that this was the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in His eyes. 

Stay tuned for part 3!