It isn’t often that a bride sends me a love story… I thought you all may enjoy to hear it too…
Daniel was born and raised in Taiwan, where his parents were missionaries for 30 years. Melissa was born and raised in Austin, TX. They both have a heart for brining The Gospel to the world and met in training to go be missionaries in two completely different countries, Lebanon and China. Daniel was planning on setting off for China in June 2013 and Melissa was headed for Lebanon in September 2013…or so they thought.
During schooling for their separate journeys, Melissa told a friend “I would be interested in Daniel if he wasn’t going to China.” when asked if she had any interest in anyone from their class. She found him “hilarious, kind and intriguing” but not near enough to alter her plans. Daniel also noticed Melissa but dismissed any thoughts of a relationship because it was too impractical. With his 2 years of studying chinese, and her heart for the middle east, this was just too far-fetched for this to work out. But, come Christmas break, Melissa’s “interest” started to evolve into “a crush”.
In January a small portion of their class took a 2.5 week outreach to The Middle East. On that trip Melissa decided she really liked Daniel, and the prospect of us moving to two different continents, and not seeing each other for years began to break her heart! But she felt like The Lord was saying just to wait it out. She also found out on this trip that the team she was supposed to be joining in Lebanon was relocating, so that was throwing a big wrench in her plans. They got back from the middle east, and finished their last few weeks of training school. Their group of single friends had gotten really close, and spent tons of time together when they got back, it eventually became clear to Melissa that Daniel was interested in her too. But Melissa figured they’d never say anything about it, and go their separate ways. On February 15th, Melissa got a voicemail from Daniel, while in a meeting with her pastors about where else in the Middle East she was going to move. She got home, freaked out, and called him back. He asked if he could drive to Belton, “I have something I want to talk to you about.” 45 minutes later they were sitting on her couch, and he was asking her out on our first date.
They both put their overseas plans on hold, and started officially dating a few weeks later. Their classmates raised support and moved overseas, and shifted gears in a huge way, and Melissa and Daniel settled into dating. Melissa moved to Waco so they could be in the same city last summer. And on February 15, 2014, he asked her to marry him.
They will probably be moving overseas in a year and a half to only The Lord knows where. But they are so thankful that He hijacked their plans!
This wedding. This wedding was the most God glorifying wedding I have ever had the pleasure of photographing. The Saturday before Easter, a gathering of Melissa and Daniels closest friends came to celebrate what The Lord has done in their relationship, worship together and spend time praying over their marriage under a beautiful tree in the middle of a field. I’ve never cried more in a wedding and the freedom and presence of God was so apparent, Michael and I even spent time to join in with them in praise of our incredible God. You’ll see…I think you’ll feel a bit of what we felt that day…