Girl Meets Boy

Lee and I are just months away from our 10 year Anniversary (July 22).  Last week, I purchased our tickets to Milan, Italy for mid-September where we will spend ten days driving through Switzerland, Austria and Italy (we may even try to swing through France if we have time) to celebrate.  As we ramp up to this big milestone in our marriage, I will be recording some of the favorite memories of our life together beginning today with when we met…

scan0003It was March of 1998.  I was a 19-year-old sophomore at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.  One of the things I did with my free time was volunteer with a youth discipleship organization called K-Life.  Our two area directors were getting married and moving on, so they brought in a new guy, who would start serving as the Waco area director in the fall.

His name was Lee Stuart.

He came to one of our leaders meetings and the memory of that night is seared into my brain.  He was sitting on the floor, against the wall next to the front door of the K-Life house.  He had on a baseball hat, shorts and a T-Shirt and I thought he was adorable.  I tried not to be too obvious with my staring…

Did I mention that I was dating someone at this point?  Yeah – I should mention that.

We were split into groups to write monologues for an upcoming Easter Cross Talk where people would portray different characters from the crucifixion.  Lee was placed in my group and we were assigned Peter.  He laid on a bean bag behind me and we contemplated what Peter must have been thinking and feeling during that long night.  I fought hard not to be a silly, giggly girl.  I was being all aloof and cool.  I wasn’t going to be that girl who fawned all over the new guy, even though my heart was racing… 

After the meeting was over, I stood talking with a couple of the other girl leaders about the new guy.  “My only fear with him,” one girl said, “is that all the female leaders are going to see him as someone to date and he’s going to be a distraction.”

“Oh yeah, totally,” I agreed.  “Hopefully people can remember that he’s not here to find his wife but to lead the ministry.”  I said this while envisioning myself in a wedding gown.  Nice.

It should also be noted that Lee does not remember this first meeting.  Boys! *eyeroll*

Lee left the next day and I went about my business at school, dating my current boyfriend and planning for my next semester, which would be studying abroad in Kiev, Ukraine.  I went on a tour with my choir in May to Spain, then came home for a little downtime with my family.  During that time, I found out that Lee was working as the Program’s Director at Kanakuk Kamps, so I did what any self-respecting girl who had a little crush would do.

I wrote him a letter.

You see, I had worked at Kanakuk the summer before and I knew what kind of girls were there.  Cute girls.  Athletic girls who loved God.  The kind of girls that would  be very attractive to someone like Lee.  And he was quite the catch so I didn’t doubt at all that girls would be after him.  I knew I had to get my name out there before some other girl swept in and stole his heart.  And yes, I was still dating someone else at this point – but I was keeping my options open.  Clearly…

So I wrote Lee a letter telling him how excited I was to have him come to Waco and that I was praying for him as he prepared to move and change jobs.  I was completely shameless and my motives were anything but pure. 

I headed back down to Waco in June for a semester of summer school and while I was there, Lee and the other director, Dana, came down for a couple of days to meet some of the kids.  I met up with them for ice cream.  I laid on the charm and sent Lee on his way, confident he would be thinking about me at least for a little while.  Turns out he was pretty smitten by the time he left Waco. 

I’m good, folks.  Really good.

A week later, my boyfriend and I broke up.  I really liked that guy and I was very sad to see the relationship end, but I was equally relieved because I had a feeling, deep down, that Lee was the man I would end up with.  It’s the terrible cliche that you always hear, but in my case it was true.  I just knew.

I would see Lee one more time the night before I left for Ukraine.  I went to the K-Life house where a group of the leaders was hanging out.  Lee and I tried swing dancing together.  We were flirting terribly, but both trying not to be obvious.  I’m not sure we totally succeeded.

The next day, I left for Ukraine and I wouldn’t return until January.  And the first time I saw Lee upon my return is a pivotal moment that both of us remember…

To be continued at a later date…

Comments

  1. you are ROCKIN’ those overall shorts babe

  2. Oh yeah – that was taken on my 21st birthday in June, 1999. I was nothing if not stylish back then. :)

  3. I’m hooked…..waiting for the next post. I love how God always works things out.

  4. melissa says:

    oh how fun to relive. you failed to mention your fear of ever beautiful close friend Rachel being at the same kamp as him :) and I’m sure those rockin jorts/overalls were a total turn on to him.

  5. cliff hanger! :) can’t wait to see what happened next!

  6. Melissa says:

    He looks exactly like Sloan in that picture. Cute and can’t wait to read more!! :)

  7. Kel, I love reading your blog. Especially this, since I am a hopeless romantic. I can’t wait to hear more and am glad that I get to be a witness to the results of God’s plan for your life. You and Lee are a blessing! Ok, now I think it’s time to either go look at my wedding pictures or go watch “Return to Me” or “A Walk to Remember” … hmmmm choices, choices…

  8. Very romantic! Can’t wait for the continuation…

  9. I can’t wait either! I never did like shows that ended,”To be continued…”, and I don’t think I like this either. I do hope Lee will consider telling his side of this romance. I certainly don’t know all the details, but I can give some of his side. It is equally as sweet and obvious God was working His plan. Come on Lee, let us hear from you after Kelli finishes her story.

  10. I totally don’t think it’s cliche to know. I KNEW before even seeing my husband, just hearing his voice, that he was who I would marry. Surely God must have been joking, because when I looked up, he was wrong, all wrong. Everything about it was wrong.

    But right. :)

  11. I clicked on your blog from the Compassion site to see who is going on the blogging trip…just thought I’d say hello as we’re in Kyiv finishing up our second military tour here {on one hand it’s changed a lot since your time, but it’s also deja vu!}. Blessings as you prepare for Africa!

  12. Love your story…(and loved K-Life in high school. I was only able to do a weekend retreat at Kanakuk, but it was great).

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  1. [...] Read part one of this story here. [...]

  2. [...] life’s tapestry, they ended up in the right place at the right time.  Both boy and girl knew, after only a couple of interactions, that they were designed to be life [...]