Kelli’s Testimony Part 2 | The Rest of the Love Story

In 2010, I took a leap of faith and left a lucrative career as a bank manager in a job that I enjoyed. I had felt that the Lord wanted me to be at home with my two-year-old son.

At that time, I was divorced and was raising my son on my own. Most people thought I was crazy for leaving such a good job! But it was that leap of faith that led me into a business, where I could put my passions into action by serving others, producing beautiful timeless memories while also being a full-time mother.

I have enjoyed turning so many clients into friends through the years. It is my belief, that taking pictures of friends is much more meaningful than doing business with clients. It’s about building relationships with the people who are sent my way and sharing in their legacy as they grow their families.

Photographer arranging family for photo during session

A Photo from one of my first Photo Sessions years ago!!!

In 2011 I felt called into mission work and began to explore what I felt was a leading from the Lord. My heart had become tuned to the country of Nepal. After a lot of prayer and counsel, I was connected to a local missionary who had just returned from spending 10 years on the mission field in Nepal. It was in this meeting that I first learned about a new movement of house church evangelism that had started in Asia as a result of the persecution of people who converted to Christianity. Intrigued, I wanted to be trained to minister and evangelize in this way.

It was at that training that I first heard the voice of my future husband.

A month or so later at a follow-up meeting, I was able to connect that intriguing voice to the person I found out was Mike. He was passing out fliers for a dinner that they were having to benefit an upcoming mission trip to Nepal.

It was at that time that my friend elbowed me in the side and said, “you’re supposed to go on that trip!” I agreed but was overwhelmed by the idea of doing such a physical mission trip. This wasn’t just a trip where they were building a church or working in an orphanage… This trip was designed to reach people who were considered unreached. The journey would start in Kathmandu and travel over 100 miles through the Himalayan mountains to an area that was rarely visited by anyone from the outside world.

For a girl like me, who really does not enjoy hiking or camping (or sweating for that matter), this did not seem like my kind of mission trip. Yet the more I prayed about it the more I knew it was exactly what I was supposed to do. The training and fundraising began and I used that time to grow in my physical strength, spiritual faith and in connection with my teammates who were also going to be traveling on this trip.

Hiking to the top of White Oak Mountain

Success!!! We walked to the top of White Oak Mountain!!! I am ready for the Himalayans! (NOT!)

Hiking through South Mountain State Park to the Waterfalls

Our team that we were preparing with!

As Mike and I grew in a friendship we realized that feelings were being stirred up that had long been dismissed. We both had been so busy seeking and serving the Lord that we had been afraid to allow any earthly relationships to get in the way of that. But as the months went on, it seemed clear to everyone, except us, that God had something in mind for the two of us. You see, neither one of us had the desire to date and neither one of us wanted to make another mistake in our relationships, so we were committed to trusting in the Lord and following him at all cost.

Three days before the mission trip (Saturday), we found ourselves on a trip to pick up protein bars and the others who were supposed to ride with us were unable to go and we were finally alone. It was at that time that Mike confessed that he was in love with me and I was willing to open my heart and confess the same as well. The next day (Sunday) over an Oreo Mcflurry at McDonald’s after church, Mike confessed that he believed we were supposed to get married and at that time I also felt it was safe to say that I had felt the same thing. So that night we both went to the Lord in prayer and truly sought what the next step was. On Monday morning, after speaking briefly on the phone we felt led to meet with our pastor. It was at this meeting that we got the confirmation we needed that we were indeed meant to be married and that we were meant to be married that day.

By 6 o’clock that evening, friends had gathered the items that were needed to allow me to have a wedding dress, jewelry, shoes, and everything else that I needed for the service. Around 60 guests arrived to join in the celebration of our marriage, despite the short notice!

As I prepared to walk down the aisle, we realized that we had not even thought about music. Having a church wedding it seemed a little odd to have people there and everything ready but no music to walk down the aisle to. A few people asked around of those in the audience and my cousin who was around the age of 14 said that she knew one song, Amazing Grace. She gladly went to the piano and played Amazing Grace as I walked down the aisle proving that yes His grace is amazing.

Thank goodness my cousin brought her camera to capture these memories!

The next day Mike and I left for our mission trip along with the other teammates as a newly married couple.

There have been many adjustments and much learning that has taken place in the years since our love story began. Having done everything in a nontraditional way, we realize that our lives are not meant to look like everyone else’s. We are called to live with a reckless abandon, we are called to live in uncomfortable situations, we are called to follow even when it doesn’t make sense. This doesn’t mean that it’s easy even though we have this awareness…it’s actually quite the opposite! We are constantly reminded as we look around at our blended family that we are so very blessed!

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