Posts tagged Beaverton
OUR LOVE STORY: by ram and kellee hernandez

Ram: background

I like to tell people that I grew up in the Seattle area, but truth be told I grew up in Federal Way, Washington (a.k.a. the home of Wild Waves and Enchanted Village). My parents were divorced when I was 12 years old. My mom worked hard to support us and we always had a special bond.  My dad remarried shortly afterwards and I spent the next 5 years going back and forth from mom's house to dad's house, spending every-other-week at a different home. Sundays had gone from family days to days spent packing my suitcase. We did not go to church as a family, but my mom and I would go for an occasional Easter service or midnight mass on Christmas Eve. My stepmom started going to a Foursquare church in FW regularly and I was exposed to the church through her coming to faith in Jesus.

My outlet came in the form of athletics. More specifically, tennis. I spent my entire childhood playing tennis for hours a day and lived at the tennis club.  I played competitive tennis from 8 to 22 years old. Tennis brought me a singles and doubles high school championship, a college education, a career track, and most importantly, the girl I was meant to spend the rest of my life with.

Kellee: background

I was born and raised in Beaverton, Oregon and I still live in the same wonderful neighborhood I was brought up in. I had an extremely tight knit family who were all believers. My parents displayed an amazing example of a godly marriage and a true partnership. My brother, Jason, and I were best friends growing up and still remain very close to this day.  We were raised to live by faith and not by sight.  I always had faith in our Savior and was baptized in elementary school along with my brother. In high school and college I had fallen away from living like a believer.  I sought the approval of all the materials things this world had to offer.

Tennis was not only a large part of my life, but was in my family lineage. My dad played professional tennis and my mom was a very good player as well. At one point in time my grandpa built a grass tennis court for all of the family to practice on. Tennis required my focus and attention and always brought me back to my roots. After high school, I played tennis at University of Portland.

Ram: early encounters 

If it hasn't already been highlighted, tennis was and is a huge part of both our lives. From an early age we began playing competitive tennis. Jason, Kellee's brother, and I are the same age and competed against each other growing up from the age of 10 years old. Even though we lived in different states, we competed in the Pacific Northwest region. Kellee and I first met in Arizona at a team competition. Jason and I were on the same team and Kellee's dad was our coach.  I was 10 and Kellee was 8 years old at the time. We grew up seeing each other at tennis tournaments a few times a year up until high school, but it wasn't until college that our paths would really cross.

Ram: reunited 

After 2 years at Seattle U, I decided to transfer to the University of Portland. The summer before starting at UP, I was playing a tennis tournament at Tacoma Lawn and Tennis Club and spotted Kellee, all grown up, from afar. Kellee's mom recollects that I was hanging around their family more than usual at that tournament. Later during the fall, I saw Kellee at another tournament at the University of Oregon (Jason was a Duck!). Yes, I spotted Kellee once again!  I commented to one of the guys on the team that Kellee had caught my eye and I proceeded to get mocked the entire drive back from Eugene because she was "Menke's sister" (a.k.a. Jason's sister).

Kellee was at UO that fall, but a rumor was going around when I returned from Christmas break that she was transferring to UP to play tennis. I wasn't sure if these were just rumors or if the guys on the team were still giving me a hard time. I was driving home from the tennis center shortly after coming back from the break and there in the parking lot was Kellee, walking back to her dorm room carrying her Babalot tennis bag. I narrowly missed hitting a parked car as I passed by!  I immediately became the #1 fan of the girls’ tennis team and was doing my "homework" while watching their home matches. Kellee's parents were at the matches and noticed I was there a lot.  Her dad says that I was "shopping" for my significant other at those matches.

Kellee: the beginning 

For my 19th birthday on January 19, 2002, Ram asked me out on a date and gave me tickets to a Jack Johnson concert. I was excited!  Ram was like no guy I had ever dated. He actually called me on the phone and genuinely cared about me. In fact, he started to call so often that I got scared and asked him to give me a little space. I was used to being very independent and this made me panic a bit.  Well, Ram being the kind man that he is did just what I asked and stopped calling! Oh he knew what he was doing because sure enough I was begging him to call me again. I knew Ram was the one for me and was like no other guy.

Going into my sophomore year of college I was living with three girls from my tennis team and it was a very bad situation. I was hazed, verbally abused, bullied, and pushed to do things I was not comfortable with. I turned to Ram as my shelter, he basically lived with me at my house because I was fearful of being alone. I developed severe anxiety and moments of depression which lead me to quit the tennis team, transfer to Portland State, and move back home. In February of that year, Ram and I had dinner with my parents and we spoke to them about our future plans together.  They told Ram they loved him, but did not agree with our living together.  We assured them of our intentions.  By this time Ram truly was part of the family.  Ram was about to graduate, had no money, lots of school debt and ended up moving in with me at my parents' house. Now this was not an ideal situation for my parents. They were trying to support me and Ram, but clearly disagreed with our living situation. I also felt God pulling at my heart many times but felt like I had already sinned. How could I change my situation and not lose the man I loved?

Kellee: surprise! 

Two months after moving home, I was driving to PSU one morning and suddenly felt horribly ill. I got home having no clue what it could be and suddenly my heart sunk deep into the pit of my stomach. I was pregnant! I was so ashamed of myself and the sin I was living in. What is Ram going to say?  My parents? My friends? That day when I picked Ram up from work I told him everything. We agreed we needed to get married, and fast!  I was so thankful that I could once again run to Ram for shelter. Now we had to tell our parents. My dad got the news first because my mom was on a business trip. My poor dad. Both of my parents were amazing and showered us with unconditional love, never judging or reprimanding us. Everyone was in full support of the marriage. We looked at the calendar for dates and the only day that worked was a Wednesday night…in 13 days!

Ram: salvation 

Now as you can imagine, finding a pastor to marry us was quite the challenge. We had done no marriage counseling, were living in sin and we wanted to get married in 13 days!  Not exactly a recipe for marriage. However, Kellee and I knew that we were meant for each other and our intention was to eventually get married, so we searched tirelessly until we found someone. We met with our pastor three times to take a crash course in marriage counseling and by the end of our first session, I confessed with my lips that Jesus was the Lord and Savior of my life. Somehow in the whirlwind of school, work, the pregnancy, and trying to get married in 13 days, it all came together and made sense to me. That this was all happening for a reason, that Kellee and I were knowingly living in sin, that God's plan trumped all of my plans and was far bigger than what I could fathom. Satan tried to spoil our plans for marriage a few times before the big day and one of those attempts was that our pastor had a stroke four days before the wedding. Luckily the lead pastor at the church was able to step in. A few days later we confessed before God that we would love each other in sickness and in health, until death do us part.

Kellee: getting married 

The rehearsal dinner was finally here! Family from near and far gathered for a beautiful barbecue at the home of family friends.  Right before heading to the barbecue I started having horrible stomach cramps. Scared to death, I had no clue what this meant, but I continued to cramp and bleed while trying to pull myself together to face our family and friends. I think I spent the majority of the night scared and crying in the bathroom trying to conceptualize what this could mean. The next morning I woke up and it was much worse, more cramping and bleeding. My extended family was at the house along with some of the bridal party making flower arrangements for the wedding as my mom and I raced to the doctor's office. Remember, I'm 20 years old and this is on my wedding day. The doctor told me just what I feared, I was having a miscarriage and that it would happen very soon. With my mom holding my hand, silent tears streamed down our cheeks and many prayers were said.  As we left the office to head home I was literally balling and so sad for the loss and fearful that Ram would not want to marry me anymore!  Calling Ram on the way home to tell him what had happened and that we had lost our baby filled me with such dread.  The first response Ram had was, "I can't wait to marry you today!"  Wow, I love this man!

We went on to embrace a day of two lives becoming one with nearly 200 family and friends by our side - on a Wednesday night mind you. The wedding was one of beauty, grace and unconditional love.  I ended up miscarrying that night in our honeymoon suite. It was so hard to grasp all that had happened to us in thirteen days, but not once did I question God's intentions. It was very clear that we were living in sin and needed to make things right with our Father. I'm so thankful that we love a God that would cover my sin with grace and redeem my husband through salvation! What an amazing God we serve!

Kellee: nine years later 

Here we are almost nine years later, seeing God's miracles every day in our lives. Ram is a CPA and works in finance at Novellus Systems. I am blessed to be able to pour into our two amazing boys (Luka 5 and Tristan 4) and I work as an Psal on the side from home. Ram and I continue to love life and laugh together, just as we did when we started dating ten years ago, but have now put Jesus at the front of our marriage. We are striving to live out each day placing our trust in the Lord and just maybe through our story, we can show God's glory to others as we continue to grow in the Lord.

God's plan for us has not been without challenges and tests. Luka was diagnosed with autism at 2 years old.  We are so thankful for our trust in the Lord's plan. We have never asked, “Why us or why Luka?” We know that God never gives us more than we can handle. Luka's journey has made us more patient, kind, and understanding as parents. We've continued to grow closer to Him through it all!

Jesus, you could have written our story on any other day, but truly Your power is perfected in our weakness. Thank you Lord for saving us from our sin and covering us with your grace. We love you!

“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.” Psalm 37:4-6

A LOVE STORY: by kaitlynn peterson

Hi! My name is Kaitlynn, and I am so excited to share my love story with you...

I gave my heart to the Lord seven years ago at the age of 19. God saved me out of a life entrenched in sin and darkness and brought me into HIS marvelous light. I was living in Hawaii at the time when the Lord wanted me to move back to Beaverton, a place that I definitely did not want to return to considering this is where I grew up and had moved away from on purpose. I had left my old life behind and was coming to the same place to start fresh.

When I moved back here I started going to Solid Rock. I was instantly home, I felt so loved, welcomed and embraced, like I belonged. I thrived, grew and started to heal. I was like a hungry newborn needing to eat every hour. I was going to church on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays and soaking up all the Lord was pouring on to me. I was new.

I started to make the best of friends and loved being a part of The Way, which was the college age ministry at the time. I never considered dating or even liking anyone because I knew Gods heart for me at the time was to find and learn who I was in Him first, there was also lots of healing to be done. He was showing me how to love Him with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.

As time passed and I had begun to grow firm roots in Jesus, I was ready and started to date this guy, who is wonderful, and godly. Our relationship was pure and fruitful, but he just wasn't right for me. By Gods's grace it didn't work out. It was so healthy for me to have had that experience and I share this with you because I know a lot of people when they experience a relationship that doesn't end in marriage they see this as a failure. I didn't. That relationship set a standard for me that I knew I couldn't go below. For that I am GRATEFUL.

In the summer of 2007, I was focusing on school and an upcoming missions trip to India. There were amazing people from the church on the trip and a few of them had just begun dating. Those relationships looked different. Something about them was so natural, easy, just perfect, like you were watching God write their love stories in front of your eyes…I wanted that. Not in an impatient way, but a 'lay it down at the feet of the Lord' kind of way. I specifically prayed for that: to have it be quick, perfect, certain and so from God there was no mistaking it.

I came back from India with a freshness and excitement. I was content. I didn't want anything except deeper intimacy with Jesus and dating was honestly the last thing on my mind.

One night at The Way as I was listening to the teaching and taking notes, he caught my eye. This handsome, unfamiliar face that I couldn't stop glancing at… I was so distracted.

At church, I became aware of where he was in a room, and I would suddenly "find myself" in the same area as him or talking with the people around him. I was so surprised by how he affected me. Every little exchange we had would would knock the wind out of me. I was so embarrassed every time I got to talk to him because I was sure he could tell how nervous I was.

One Friday night, there was late worship after The Way. I was really tired and probably should have gone straight home afterwards; instead I went over and started talking to a group of people, which he happened to be in. I was going out on a friends boat the next day and I thought I should invite him. So I turned to face him, while someone else was talking, and singling him out I blurted, "Do you want to come out on my friends boat tomorrow?"

Silence…

He asks, "Um, sure. Well who should I call?"

"Oh you can call me…"

I wanted the words back in my mouth, SO BAD.

This may not seem like that big of a deal, but let me clarify by saying I am shy, and would never have: A) invited a guy I barely know to go anywhere, and B) given out my phone number to a guy I have a crush on with out him asking.

While this awkward dialogue is happening externally there is an internal dialogue where I am yelling at myself to STOP. I quickly redacted with, "Wait, let me give you my friends number instead…"

More silence… Then someone else started talking, and he never asked for the number. So I slipped out of there as fast as I could, trying not to think about what had just happened.

The next morning before boating I went to breakfast with a friend, telling her all about the "incident". We were laughing hysterically and then my phone rings with some random number…

"Hello"

"Hi Miss, this is Ryan Wesley Peterson..."

I was shocked: he got my number somehow and ended up coming out on the boat. The whole time we were staring at one another, just awestruck by the other. My friend teases me still about that day on the boat because of how gaga we were.

So we started to talk and spend time together. He was perfect to me.

Ryan was playing in a touring band at the time and was frequently out of town so in the beginning, before we "officially" started dating, we spent a lot of time on the phone. We would talk for hours about everything. I have never been able to talk to anyone like that. He came into town and asked me out on a date. On October 2nd 2007, we had our first date. He picked me up and we walked all over Portland, talking, laughing, going on little adventures. It was cold but I didn't notice. We went to the Ace hotel and snuck up onto the fourth story fire escape and talked forever. Our date lasted something like 10 hours.

Everything was so… EASY. On october 4th, Ryan asked me to be his girlfriend and the next day he left for a two month long tour.

For those two months we learned about each other over phone, email, and iChat. I saw that he was a man that pursued and loved God with all his heart. His life reflected that. He was the first person I met that truly had a servants heart. I was so impressed by his character the more I got to know him. He was someone I looked up to, respected and wanted to follow. I was falling in love. Sometime during mid-november he became a little distant, the emails started to become sparse and phone chats weren't as long. My 22nd birthday was the 14th and he didn't really mention it so I convinced myself that I was about to be broken up with.

Two days later I got a HUGE box in the mail, and as I opened it I cried… It was filled with 22 different gifts specifically picked out to show that He knew me. He had studied me. Each item came with a page long hand written letter explaining the item and what it meant. The packaging he used to keep everything safe was a hundred pages with "Im crazy about you" written over and over. He KNEW me.

Right then and there, with tears on my cheeks, I knew Ryan was my husband. I wrote in my journal that night, " I want a love story written by Love Himself. I love him, I am crazy about him. I would marry him if You led and he asked. Thank you Father for your sweet grace and your love for me through Ryan."

He came home for thanksgiving and told me he loved me. I loved him back.

On April 1st he asked me to marry him on that same fourth story fire escape at the Ace hotel.

On July 26th 2008, The day I became his wife, I wrote these scriptures in my journal:

"The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life." Proverbs 31:11-12.

"So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together let no man separate" Matthew 19:6

"You shall fear the Lord your God; you shall serve Him and cling to Him, and you shall swear by His name. He is your praise and He is your God, who has these great and awesome things for you which your eyes have seen." Deuteronomy 10:20-21

In November of 2010, God gave us the sweetest gift: our son, Truman.

And now we have another little one on the way!

Ryan is the answer to my prayers. He covers me the way that Jesus does. He sees me as new and God has used him as a part of my redemption, and continues to use Him. He is my best friend, my lover and the most special surprise of my life. A covering of grace. As with the others, God wrote our love story (I know that there is no possible way I could have). I am so thankful for Ryan and for our life together. We are continuing to learn about one another and grow together. We have been married for almost four years and I fall more in love with him, I deeply respect who he is. I discover more each day that he is  what I need. Our marriage is filled with times of bliss and joy and fun and times of sharpening, failing, repenting and learning. We are by no means perfect but I know that we are growing more in God's likeness.

Waiting for the person you marry looks different for everyone. Some people get married young, some when they are older. Some people date and marry one person. Some date a few before they get married. Some people don't get married. Everyone comes from unique walks of life. So of course, all the stories of waiting, falling in love and getting married and living life look different. When it is right, the common thread is that God is Author. And in the waiting for the desires of your heart, it is vital to allow Him to prepare you, learning to find satisfaction in Jesus alone.

"Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord." Psalm 27:14

Kaitlynn