Engagement PartyWith the most perfect ring on the most perfect finger, I had the most perfect gift from the most perfect God.

Engaged.  Ahhhh (contented sigh).  The promise of an amazing future together. 

Within days we had organised our engagement party and phone calls and emails and text messages were flying all over Australia with people sending their congratulations and expressing their heartfelt thoughts and warm regards for both Kylie and I.

I was continually in a state of amazement at the miracle that was unfolding before my very eyes.  Never, even in my wildest dreams, would I have imagined that God would bring me to a place that no one else wanted to go to simply to meet and marry the most beautiful girl. 

The only sadness that I had was that my boys were not part of this perfect picture.  Kylie and I would have to simply settle, at this stage, for holiday visits.  This again, was another miracle of God, that He would provide me with a life partner who is able to have every school holiday off and would then want to spend them with my boys.  The wonder of God’s grace is never ending.

Our engagement party was held on the 1st of  March 2008.  Some incredibly generous friends paid for the whole event, without us knowing.  We had a great spread put on at Kafe Laguna – it was one of the few places that we could go and sit comfortably and talk somewhat privately whilst still being in the public. 

Friends and family came to support us and show us their love.  We had a great night with great memories.  Friends and family from around Australia had been organised to call us via Skypeto share their blessings as well.  It was a special time and we were glad to be able to share it with so many special people.

At this stage, our wedding was still supposed to be in July – 3 months earlier than the original date and in the school holidays.  It was not long after we decided the date that Kylie found out that her Matron on Honour was due to have her baby the same weekend!  Well, that changed things somewhat!

We had to make a choice – change the date to be earlier, change the date to be later.  Kylie figured that since God had honoured her prayer (deal) initially about changing the date that He would be fine with us changing it again!  So, we looked through the calendar and found that the only time that would be at least mildly realistic for us to get married would be on the June long weekend. 

That gave us less than 3 months to plan the rest of the wedding and organise things.  To make things more interesting, we had decided that we would be married in Port Lincoln!  Kylie had done much of the ground work in the January holidays so some things just needed confirmation of bookings.

At this stage, only my Dad had met Kyls and they were as keen to meet her as she was them.  Our only opportunity for this was the April school holidays.  Kyls needed a wedding dress too, so we figured that we’d make the best of the situation and buy her dress in Brisbane.  She would have 4 days to find her dress as well as get to know my family!  Nothing like a little time pressure!

Again, Kyls had made a deal with God, although this time it was more of a purposed request.  She had spend countless hours reserachingand talking with me about “The Perfect Dress” and had in mind precisely what she wanted.  She knew the style, the colour, the cut, the fit, the price, down to the very last detail.  She now just needed to find it! 

Kylie and mum hit it off and got along like a house on fire.  They spent 9 hours on the second day walking the streets of inner city Brisbane trying on dress, after dress, after dress (Kyls was in 3 inch heels, none the less!).  Mum said that Kyls just looked stunning in every dress that she put on, but none were what she had dreamed and imagined.  None were her “God-dress”. 

Two days later, the day before we were due to leave, Dad drove Mum and Kyls around whilst I spent some quality Father-Son time with my boys.  After many hours, Kyls was “over” dress shopping.  There was a dress that she would settle for – it wasn’t quite what she wanted, but it was nice.  However, my mum, being my mum, said that there was one more shop that she wanted to look in.  Not wanting to appear rude, Kyls went along with the drive to the last shop.  What a God send! 

Kyls rang me from the dressing room in such excitement I could barely hear her!  She was standing in her wedding dress!!!  She and Mum hadn’t even gotten into the store when they saw “The Dress” in the window.  It had everything that Kylshad on her list – pure white, spaghetti straps, low back, minimal beading, no front line seams, short train (yes, she helped me with this part!!!) and it was the exact price that she’d asked God for.  How very blessed and delighted. 

One of the hardest things that we had to do was leave my boys.  Kylie was beginning to build a great friendship with them and I was desperately sad to have to say good bye to them, yet again.  We knew that the next time we would see them would be a the wedding and even then, we wouldn’t see much of them. 

On our way home, we had to stop in on a marriage counselling couple that the State Executive had set up for us.  Our counsel, from good godly people who sadly didn’t know either of us, was to put the wedding off for 6 months and assess our relationship then.  Our wedding was at this point, 6 weeks away. 

Kyls said to me on the way home to Whyalla that although she didn’t like the idea and she saw no valid reason for postponing the wedding, if I wanted to, she would submit to whatever I decided.  Knowing what we had already been through and what God had shown both us and other people, I saw no reason to postpone the wedding either.  In fact, to wait longer would have made life more difficult, for many reasons, some you’ll have to work out yourself!!!

So, that said, we made it official.  We would be married on the 7th of June, 2008. 

Kylie’s sister, Hayley, would be our first bridesmaid and Andrea, her long time friend, would be her matron of honour (she would also be 8 months pregnant on the day!).

Phillip, my youngest brother, would be my first groomsman and Jeremy, my long time friend, would be my best man.

Kristan and Harry would be our page boys and Becky and Jordan, our nieces, would be our flower girls.

Kylie was adamant that she wanted Kristan and Harry in the wedding – it was so important to her that they be part of the beginning of our new life together.  A life birthed in God and righteousness.

This just confirmed for me even more, not that I needed it by this point, that Kyls was truly God’s gift to me – a special and unique treasure, left waiting for me.  It was hard to believe that Kyls had been single, waiting, not even dating anyone, all this time.  She had kept herself, in her word, for me.  For the man that God would give to her to love.  I am blessed to be that man. 

Stay tuned for part 4 – the Wedding and the Honeymoon!