For the 4th of July, I normally post something about freedom because the 4th of July is all about freedom. However, today’s patriotic post includes a special interview with my friend, Kennedy. She’s been engaged for a few months and is getting married on the 4th of July! I’ve enjoyed getting to know her, and I know you’ll enjoy getting to know her, too.
Q1. Tell me about yourself! Who are you and what do you do?
I’m a native Floridian living in Lakeland, which is right between Tampa and Orlando. I work fulltime in human resources at an ag lender, and I work part time as the Content Manager for Wholehearted Quiet Time. I also lead a weekly women’s Bible study and spend my free time baking, gardening, exercising, and having people over. Right now, wedding planning is also a big part of my life because I’m getting married on July 4, 2021.
Q2. Describe your relationship with your now-fiancé. How did you both meet, when did you start dating, when did you know you wanted to marry each other, how did you get engaged, etc.?
Believe it or not, Stevan and I met online! (Hinge, to be exact.) I still cringe a little bit when I think about it, but I’m forever grateful that we found each other. God certainly has a sense of humor! Stevan claims he knew I was the one from the moment he laid eyes on me. I walked away from our first date knowing that he was different, but it took me a couple months to know for sure. I think it was after we spent New Year’s together in Nashville that I knew I loved him and wanted to marry him. We got engaged on March 20, 2021 at Pass-A-Grille Beach. He pulled off the surprise of a lifetime—it was perfect.
Q3. What’s it like to be engaged? What do you think makes engagement different from dating?
Being engaged is overwhelming in the best way! Stevan and I have both felt so loved and encouraged by others. So many people (from all stages of life) have kindly rallied around us. Our entire dating relationship was somewhat long distance because Stevan lived about an hour and a half away, but now that he’s living and working in Lakeland, we see each other almost every day, which is absolutely amazing. I love doing life with my best friend!
Q4. How did you and your fiancé establish physical and emotional boundaries in your relationship—especially when you knew that you wanted to get married?
I can be difficult to read. Stevan has referred to me as an onion multiple times—ha! I speak feelings best through the written word, so he and I exchanged multiple letters on lots of important subjects during the beginning of our relationship. Physical boundaries are hard and only become harder during engagement. I’m reminded every day how much I need the Holy Spirit because I can’t withstand the temptation on my own! Stevan and I have had multiple conversations and resets. It’s so comforting to know that Stevan’s main priority is to love and serve the Lord and to fulfill His will. We stumble, of course, but our goal is to glorify and honor God with our bodies.
Q5. Before you met your fiancé, had you been in any dating relationships? Whether you answer yes or no, how did that prepare you for your relationship with your husband-to-be?
I’d only been in one serious relationship before Stevan. That was during my freshman year of college. Apart from that, I had dates for school dances and sorority formals, and I went on a handful of dates after graduating from college. Nothing ever came of those relationships, but I learned a lot about what I didn’t want—or need—in those relationships. And I was constantly having to check myself by asking, “Am I excited because I genuinely like this man, or am I more in love with the idea of love?” It wasn’t until I dated Stevan that I could confidently answer that question. Not only did I genuinely like him, but I also loved him and trusted him.
Q6. What are your plans for your wedding?
We’re getting married on July 4th, 2021 in Tallahassee, Florida (where I was born and raised). Our colors are red, white, and blue, and there’ll be an amazing firework show (in honor of the 4th of July). We can’t wait!
Q7. What advice would you give to women who are dating or engaged?
With dating, don’t waste your time if you ever think that he might not be the one. It’s true when people say, “When you know, you know!” It’s the most mysterious and surest feeling in the world! I also suggest introducing the guy that you’re interested in to your friends and family sooner rather than later so that they can share wise insight with you. Also, have fun! The early stages of dating are so romantic and giggly and nerve-wracking and new. Savor every minute!
With engagement, soak up all the love and support from your friends and family. Delegate as much as you can, and intentionally remember to put your fiancé first. The wedding is not the most important; the marriage is. Don’t forget that!
Q8. What advice would you give to single women?
“What you don’t have, you don’t need.” This quote by Elisabeth Elliot helped me so much whenever I became sad or discontent in my singleness. I constantly had to surrender my desires for marriage and a family to God and realize that His plan for me is always better. When we surrender to God and confess to Him that He is all we need, that’s usually when the magic happens. God loves you more than you can ever imagine. Trust that.
Also, don’t waste your single years! There are so many things you can do to make the most of your singleness. Travel the world, lead a Bible study, volunteer, have people over, learn a new hobby, and be spontaneous! Make the most of it!
Act as free people, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bond-servants of God. (1 Peter 2:16 NASB)