Monday, February 3, 2020

The Love Story of Kevin & Cheryl

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11
(NIV)

Graphic Design by Zach Smith

"The Love Story of Kevin & Cheryl" 

"Kevin was raised in West Virginia, I was raised in Ohio.  Kevin and his  parents moved to the east coast of Florida in July of 1981 when he was 17.  My parents and I moved to the west coast of Florida in July of 1983 when I was on the edge of 17.  Both of us started careers in banking on opposite coasts of Florida, and in January of 1987, I began contemplating a move to the east coast to attend Bible college.  Things were turbulent for me at home, and it seemed that God was shaking the nest to make it easier to leave.

After agonizing over the decision (you can read about my soul-searching here) and finally finding some peace about it, I left home for the opposite coast of Florida.  Soon after I got there, I applied at a local bank for a part-time job and thankfully, I was hired quickly and began training right away.

Our training class Teller Trainer gave us the names of our supervisors before we left her department, and I found out my Head Teller was going to be a guy, named Kevin Smith.  I knew he was really special because of the kind compliments she paid him while telling me about him.

I’ll never forget the first moment I saw him.  I walked into the branch that March 1987 day—young, naive, scared-stiff from being away from home for the first time, knees-practically-knocking-nervous about starting a new job, terrified about handling all that cash, and self-conscious.
All I really wanted at that moment was to somehow blend into the wallpaper that covered the far right wall and never be noticed or seen again.
.
As I stepped inside, there he was.  Tall, dark-haired, handsome, walking across the lobby.  I didn't know it then, but that is the day I fell madly and forever in love with the man of my dreams. I had seen him once in a sort of "vision" a few years earlier, and I knew it was him.



He introduced himself and showed me around the branch, took my teller drawer out of the vault for me, helped me sign on to my computer, and I couldn't ever remember a man other than my own Dad treating me kinder or with more gentleness.  Day by day, we became better acquainted.  It was a slow process because he was extremely quiet and shy, and believe it or not, so was I.  Our conversations were pretty short in the beginning.  Mom once drove us somewhere and later said if she hadn't been there to do the talking, no would have said anything!  But little by little, we became more comfortable with each other and found that we had a lot in common—both of us were Christians; we were both the youngest of five children; I loved bluegrass and old-timey country music, so did, he; we both shared the same views on politics and all of the important subjects.  Slowly and without realizing it, we became best friends.  I couldn’t wait to share things with him and run things by him and spend time with him.  Work didn’t really feel like work at all.



The more I got to know Kevin, the more I realized that I could trust him with my heart.  After getting special approval from upper management, we started dating, and it didn't take long to know that we knew we were "the one" for each other.  The following February, after a date at Olive Garden, he proposed to me on a moonlit beach.  We began our married life together that June.


I can't believe that, if God spares time and our lives, we will celebrate 32 years of married life this coming June.  I used to hear the term "soulmate" and wonder if there really is one other person on the planet who God created especially for the purpose of completing the puzzle of one's life.  Someone whose spirit is kindred, whose very existence fills the void of another's heart.  Now, I know, firsthand.  Time has proven that it is absolutely true.

In retrospect, we can see that God's hand was gently guiding, nudging, directing both of our lives
to that pivotal moment in March of 1987.  Our parents' decisions and the events of both of our lives had led to that day.  Kevin told me he started seeking God's will for his life when he was very young.
So did I.


No other relationship ever felt right or complete, for either one of us, until God led us to each other. We've enjoyed moments of abundant blessings and times when it felt like there was no way we could ever make ends meet.  We've laughed until we cried, and we have cried until it felt there were no more tears.  We have held on to God, our Source, and to each other through it all.

Mom and Dad used to tease us about "the glue" that holds us together because they got a kick out of the fact that we never want to spend one second apart, and while walking, we always insist on waiting for each other, just so we can hold hands.  Holding Kevin's hand is still one of my favorite things to do.

God has been here with us, all along.  Even on the darkest days—of sickness, overwhelming grief, and fearful uncertainty.  He has never failed.

He promised us a child of our own.  He didn't say how long it would take.  We didn't hold our sweet Zachary in our arms until 12 1/2 years after we said "I do," but God sent him to us and kept His promise just the same.

He has placed within our hearts an abiding love one for the other, true-to-the-core, that touches every, single part of our daily life.

We are sometimes asked how we do it.  How we are still holding it together after all these years
in a world where it is sometimes easier to give up and give in.

The truth is, we aren't.  God is.  With everlasting arms, He constantly enfolds us.  With tender love, He continually fills us.  With gentle mercy, He daily covers us.  We stand united, together after all these years through no merit or worthiness of our own.  To God be ALL the glory.


God is the secret ingredient to a happy, peaceful marriage.  It takes three.  God must remain at the core.

Kevin still opens my car door.  He still goes the extra mile and hands me my seat belt, often buckling it, too.  He shows his love to me in a thousand different ways, no matter how tired he is or how many hours he has worked this week.  His life isn't easy.  Yet, he makes mine as easy as it can possibly be.  He has never, in all these years, been anything other than extremely kind to me and is still the most gentle, caring man I have ever known.  Time has only served to deepen our love and respect for one another and strengthen the bond and "glue" that holds our hearts together.  When we first fell in love, I didn't think I could ever love him more.  Today, I say from the bottom of my heart—I have never loved him more than I do right now.

Someone once told me to marry my best friend.  I am so glad we did."


Today, we are celebrating Kevin's birthday.  Happy, happy birthday to you, my dear, sweet husband, my forever love.  May God grant us many, many, many more happy, healthy birthdays and years together, in Jesus' name!

This is one of the songs that was played at our wedding.


Annie's Song - John Denver

In case you missed them, you can read previous Love Story Posts by clicking these links:

27 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed reading you and Kevin's story. Your Kevin sounds much like my Dennis. God really has truly blessed us hasn't he? Thank you for taking the time and effort to post all of these stories for us.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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    1. Oh, YES, we are so abundantly blessed. I never, for one second, take it for granted and will never be able to thank the Lord enough for my dear, sweet husband. Thank you for reading, Betsy! Many blessings to you, too!

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  2. Happy birthday to Kevin! Oh I enjoyed this love story so much Cheryl. Only God...Only God! Don't you just love at how God goes before us......Such a precious story! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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    1. Oh, thank you so much for the birthday greetings to Kevin! Only GOD, indeed! YES, I love how He goes before us. It just blesses me so much to look back and trace His hand in our lives and how He has orchestrated every detail. He is SO faithful. Oh, how I praise Him! Many hugs and blessings back to you, sweet friend!

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  3. What a lovely story Cheryl. You both look so happy.

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    1. Thank you so much, Elizabeth! God has blessed us with more happiness than I will ever, ever deserve. I am SO grateful to Him. May He bless you today, my friend!

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  4. What a beautiful story of true love, Cheryl!!! And Happy Birthday, Kevin! May God bless you both with many more wonderful years together.

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    1. Thank you so very much, Martha! We are so grateful to you for the birthday greetings and your kind words and blessings! God bless you, too, my friend!

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  5. Happy birthday Kevin. And congratulations to you and Cheryl for such a lovely marriage together. May God bless you both and your son Zach always. And may you have many more years together filled with good health, happiness, joy and hope.

    What a great example you are to your son ... and to us all.

    God bless you all.

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    1. Thank you so much, Victor! We so appreciate the blessing you are to all three of us and your kind words and encouragement. May God richly bless you and your family, too, my friend!

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  6. I knew a bit of your love story but loved hearing more of it... what a blessing to love the mate God has given and experience the commitment together. What a blessing to be together in good and hard times and to grow in Christ together. 32 years is great! We just celebrated our 32nd year in November. :) Happy Birthday, Kevin! So thankful that God put the two of you together at just the right time and blessed you with Zach. What a family He had planned for you back then and how nice to see the outcome. God bless you both... Thank you for sharing your love story. :)

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    1. Oh, thank you so much, dear friend, for your precious words and kind encouragement and the birthday greetings! Congratulations to the two of you on 32 years, also! Wow, I just now realized you got married just a few months before us! That is SO neat. Just one more thing we have in common. We are so grateful for your friendship and sweet comment. God bless you!

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  7. Oh my, I LOVED reading the love story of you and Kevin! I love how you first met, and how you knew he was the one. My own beloved and I always held hands, too, and now I picture both of you doing that, just like we used to. You’re both so special and blessed that God brought you together, and blessed you with Zach. Happy Birthday to your special sweetheart! 🥰

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    1. Oh, thank you so much, sweet friend! Aw, that is so precious how you and your dear beloved husband used to hold hands. I know you miss him so much. God bless and comfort you and be so near you in every moment of grief. Thank you for your birthday greetings to Kevin, and for all of your kind words. God bless you abundantly!

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  8. A perfect match I think, you and Kevin! You both are an inspiration of what God does when two people put Him first. Your family is precious. Happy Birthday to Kevin and may the coming year bring God's blessings to him.

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    1. I agree wholeheartedly, my friend! A perfect match, indeed, that only GOD could orchestrate and make happen! Thank you so much for your kind words and the birthday greetings! We receive those blessings from God, in Jesus' name, and thank Him for your friendship and encouragement. May He bless you richly!

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  9. Happy belated birthday to Kevin. You two are so very perfect for each other and oh so very cute!😊
    God knew what He was doing when He put you two together.

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    1. Thank you so much for the birthday greetings and your kind words, Regina! I surely agree that God knew what He was doing. He is SO faithful if only we will wait for Him. I wish I could tell every young person in the world that it pays to wait on Him. It isn't easy to wait, but it is so worth it! God bless you, my friend!

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  10. Cheryl, I am so blessed to read yours and Kevin’s love story. What a beautiful story my friend of God’s plan that He sets into motion in ways we could never figure out. Love keeps growing when God is at the core of marriage. We will celebrate 47:years of marriage the 23rd of this month and it has gotten sweeter as the years go by. We have loved John Denver music since we were married. We saw him in concert 10 times with the last time being 1997, the year he died. So many people have said that Butch looks like him, and I agree, but he also sounds like him singing. Music brought us together in 1970!

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, sweet friend! And thank you for sharing with us about your and Butch's marriage. Wow! 47 years! That is SO wonderful and such a testimony! Especially in this "disposable" world where people go into marriage thinking "if it doesn't work out, I'll just find someone else." Oh, wow! Guess what? Your wedding anniversary is on my dear Mom's birthday! And, how neat that you saw John Denver 10 times!!!!!! Oh, my, we would have LOVED to see him. What a treasure he was to our world, and I will never forget the day he died. It felt like we had lost a member of our family. That is so neat that Butch sounds and looks like him and how music brought the two of you together. It was so wonderful to learn these new tid-bits about you and Butch. You are one very special couple!

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  11. Happy Belated Birthday to Kevin! What a precious love story from the Lord! I am so glad that you shared it here with all of us. It makes all the difference when God is the "glue" that holds you together, and your love is so obvious to all of us who read your words here. Thank you for sharing from the overflow of your heart for all of us. Blessings and love to you and your dear family.

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    1. Oh, thank you so much for the birthday greetings to Kevin, dear Bettie! YES, God is surely the glue, my friend. I am so grateful for your kind, kind words to us and trust the Lord will richly bless you for always being such a dear blessing to us and so many others. Sending much love and many blessings and hugs to you and praying for you!

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  12. I just love this series of love stories Cheryl, and your love story is so powerfully beautiful and touching! How amazing that the Lord orchestrated both of you moving with your parents to Florida so that you could meet! There is no greater joy than to walk through life holding your best friend's hand! Such a special love story, and I too love John Denver, and the song Annie, just soo beautiful! Happy birthday to Kevin!!! I pray the Lord blesses you both with many more wonderful years together! Much love to you dear friend!

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    1. I know. Isn't that the neatest thing? We have thought back on that so many, many times. Thank you so much for all of your kind words and for all of the encouragement you bring into our lives. You are so dear to our hearts, and we also appreciate the birthday wishes for Kevin. I pray He gives us many more wonderful years together, too, it is the daily cry of my heart! Much love and many blessings to you, dear friend!

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  13. Oh sweet friend, I literally smiled through this entire post!! What an incredibly sweet, sweet love story!!

    Indeed, the hand of God was working to bring you both together. As I was reading this post, I was also thinking how perfect God's timing was to send you Zach later in life because the Lord has used him in sooo many ways to bless both you and Kevin during hard times while he was still living in your home as a close and constant comfort.

    I enjoyed sooo much seeing the pictures of you too! You both are truly sooo very blessed. It seems that not many people enjoy a lasting love with consistent intensity as both of you do. Your marriage is an inspiration and a beautiful testimony of the Bride of Christ to His Church.

    May the Lord continue to bless you and Kevin abundantly in the years to come.

    Sending you much love,

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    1. Aw, how sweet you are, dear friend! Thank you SO much for your kind words! YES, yes, yes! I totally agree. We waited so long for Zach, and during those long years of waiting, I could NOT understand why God had us wait. But, oh, my! Looking back now, and with all we have been through, dear Zach is such a dear blessing to us now. Kevin and I often talk of similar things, and we give so much praise to the dear Lord that He did not give us what we wanted when we wanted it. He gave us what we wanted when we most needed it. Zach surely is a close and constant comfort. Such a dear, dear blessing to us. We surely are so very blessed - you are so right. Your words just touched me so deeply and really blessed my heart tonight. May God continue to bless you in a special way, dear friend. :)

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  14. I'm just now getting to your love story...you both are adorable and how sweet it is! I loved seeing all of the photos you shared. You both have been truly blessed, dear Cheryl!

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