I remember the first time I saw her. It was 8 a.m. on January 6, 1987 in Dr. Koivisto’s Gospels class at Multnomah University (although back then it was called Multnomah School of the Bible). I was just starting my 2nd semester of my junior year in a small Christian college in Portland, OR. The start of 2nd semester was always a time the young men looked forward to because it meant the possibility of a few new female students transferring in and broadening the field, if you know what I mean.
I saw her right when she walked in. I can see it like it happened yesterday. She was wearing a long black wool coat and had a coffee in her hand. She had beautiful blond hair and perfect skin.
She took my breath away.
She ended up in a circle of friends that intersected my circle of friends and before long we had met, talked, and often found ourselves talking long after our friends had left. We went on our first date on Valentine’s Day that year and I asked her to marry me on August 28 in downtown Portland on the Willamette River on a perfect night.
And 25 years ago today, Kelly Genise said, “I do” and made me the happiest, most blessed man on earth.
Our marriage hasn’t been perfect. Being married to a person with an artistic personality that also happens to be a wee bit controlling has not been easy for Kel. But she has stuck by me through lean times, “interesting” ministry experiences, and life transitions. And I have stuck by her.
We made a commitment early in our marriage that “divorce” was not going to be a part of our vocabulary. Murder, yes – but not divorce!
I love my wife so much it hurts sometimes. Not that I love her with a perfect love – far from it. I still have to work to be the man I need to be every single day. But I love my wife so very deeply that I cannot imagine doing life without her.
Kelly is the finest woman I have ever known. She is a wonderful Christian woman who displays the love of Christ in all that she does. She is a loving and patient wife and is the best mom I have ever met. She is my very best friend and the absolute love of my life.