Each Friday during February, you'll hear from one woman about her real-life romance! Today, I'm honored to have my dear friend (And my midnight Twilight Saga movie premiere partner) Charissa Kerley with us to share her unique story.
I was so blessed to know Charissa during her teenage years and watch God do amazing things in her life. She's always been a wonderful role model for my daughter and I couldn't love her more! Welcome, Charissa!
For as long as I can remember I have been a romantic even back to elementary and middle school. I was always daydreaming about my future husband, how we would meet, how handsome he would be and how we’d live happily ever after.
So naturally I was so excited when I got to high school and would be around a ton of older boys whom I could potentially date. However, in the 9th grade I strongly felt that the Lord was asking me to give up dating much to my disappointment. Unless He revealed the man I was going to marry with a ray of light and a hallelujah chorus, I would not be dating anyone until I graduated. This wasn’t to say that I didn’t have plenty of crushes and even a couple of offers throughout high school, but I knew that God had asked me to sacrifice those things for Him.
|These are not B & C's hands. :)|
All throughout this time, I learned so much about being secure in my relationship with Christ. I stood on the verse that said: “For your Maker is your husband—the Lord Almighty is his name.” Isaiah 54:5. Knowing that Jesus was the best husband I could ever ask for taught me so much about who He is and who I am through Him. I look back on that time in my life so fondly even though it wasn’t always easy when I was living it.
One of my closest friends in high school was named Kayla. We had an accelerated English class together and became fast friends, having similar views and taste in movies and music. Towards the middle of our sophomore year she began dating a guy who was a junior named Luke. Luke had a twin brother named Brad and I’d seen both of them around school before (they both had a notorious style, wearing huge baggy pants and their hair color changing practically every month.) I got to know Luke through Kayla, but I didn’t speak to Brad much.
Fast forward to my senior year. Kayla had moved to
and Luke and Brad had both moved away after they had graduated high school the
year before. I kept up with Kayla through Myspace (you can see how dated this
story is now) and I had also become “friends” with Brad on there at some point
as well. Iowa
Towards the middle of my senior year I began talking with Brad a little bit on our Myspace pages. He had recently been through a bad breakup while he had been away in
and I would get on his page to tell
him jokes and say silly things to cheer him up. We began to talk more and more,
eventually upgrading to text messages. St. Louis
As my senior year came to a close, my choir held a banquet to celebrate all of the year’s accomplishments. Even though Brad and I had never hung out one on one before and had only just recently began getting to know each other, I asked him to go with me. He immediately responded that he would be happy to go because he was coming home for the summer.
The first day that Brad and I spent any time alone together was (get this!) my very last day of high school. He picked me up from the school and we spent the rest of the day together.
|Me and Charissa at her|
wedding! I was a bridesmaid!
We had a whirlwind romance, getting engaged after only four months of dating and then getting married six months after that (at ages 19 and 20!). We’ve now been married over four years and it has been an amazing ride. It’s not always easy, but we constantly strive to grow closer to the Lord and each other on a regular basis.
Brad and Charissa Kerley live in northern MS. Brad is currently in grad school at the
to be an entrepreneur and they
both work heavily in their church’s missions department. They have a huge heart
for the country of University of Memphis Haiti
and hope to minister there permanently or periodically after Brad receives his
I love that story! And I love you, Charissa and Brad!
*Next Friday, you'll hear from a very special lady to me...my Pastor's wife! You won't want to miss this incredible journey of love!
Were you best friends with your spouse before you dated?