To write my whole story in a few short paragraphs is not even possible. To trace God’s hand working through all the details would take pages upon pages, which is obviously seen in my extensive journals. However, what I can say in short is that I met Esther Grace Rojas one day at her house when her parents invited me over for lunch after church. Initially, there was no interest because I thought all the Rojas daughters were way too young. I was greatly mistaken.
To make a long story short, I met Esther, and almost right off the bat, there was something different about her. Yes, I did think she was beautiful, but there was something way beyond that. There was this love for the Lord in her heart and a desire to share Him with others, even to the nations who do not know Christ yet. We began having so many conversations about missions, about the Lord and His faithfulness, about our values and our weaknesses, and it was during that time that my heart really began to be stirred up for Esther. Was this the woman for whom I have spent many years praying for? Had the Lord heard my prayer for a godly wife and future mission partner? The more and more I got to know her, the more I knew I wanted to marry her.
It was at the end of March last year, that I remember writing in my journal that I knew Esther was the one I wanted to marry, and I would be willing to wait for her. During that time period, I had no idea if she was interested in me, but one thing her father encouraged me with that was painted so vividly in my head was, “Put your trust in the Lord, not on whether or not she likes you.” So that began what felt like a long waiting period of the unknown, but it was during that time that the Lord really began working and preparing my heart for marriage.
Father and Mother Rojas have been beyond amazing examples and encouragements throughout this whole process, and I am honored that they would give me their blessing in marrying their daughter. I love Esther Grace Rojas, and I am so ready to serve her as a husband, to love her as Christ loved the church, to go alongside her wherever the Lord sends us, and then, if the Lord so blesses us with wonderful children, to raise a godly heritage, sharpened arrows to send out flying to this dark and lost world. Praise God for all He has done in us and through us, and praise God that He is joining us together to walk before Him as one.
Thinking back over the past 12+ months, I am filled with joy and gratitude to the Lord for his great mercy and hand in our lives. Our love story is unique but every detail is truly marked by the grace of God and his sovereign working in every minute.
In late fall of 2017, the Lord had been doing deep work in my heart and in my life, drawing me closer to himself and helping me surrender different areas completely and fully to himself. I had to really go before him, asking if his will for me was the missionary/pastor wife life that I have always kind of expected ‘felt called’ to live. Was God leading me away from that? I spent much time before God, praying, and seeking him and asking, “what is my flesh and what is your will?” I came to a place in my prayer time, where I felt sure, yes, I am called to serve him in an intentional mission lifestyle, whether I marry anyone or not! But I also especially asked him to show me that there were young men with high standards and a passion for proclaiming the glory of God among the nations.
And then I met Kalub. :) Initially, my curiosity was piqued, especially after being asked about him by both of my parents at different times but when I realized that he was younger than me and we also had a slightly awkward phone number conversation, I figured it was a lost cause and kind of dismissed him mentally. 😂
Thankfully, he did not dismiss me! He started to hang out with our family a lot, and I could definitely tell that there was something different about him. His love for God’s word and devotion was something that I didn’t see in many people his age. Over the weeks, we saw each other at church and *somehow* ended up talking a lot about various things, missions, money, movies and I was constantly (internally) amazed at how similar our convictions and values were.
As that year came to an end, the Lord had been drawing me closer and closer to him and I was filled with joy. I was so excited for 2018 and just expectant of what He was going to do! I was really super blessed by how he was speaking to me and revealing more and more about himself to me. It was so sweet and precious.
Around my birthday, I was really praying about Kalub and I felt like I just needed to let him go to the Lord and wait on Him and draw closer to Him. A friend I hadn’t talked to in ages sent me this text: “God may use delays in our lives to reveal our hearts and our level of trust in Him.” and I just knew I needed to lay it all down and just trust in Him for His timing. His will is perfect and he knows what is best for me. So I laid it all down. I had no assurance if he liked me or not and if I didn’t intentionally pursue Christ, my mind would often wander with daydreams and imaginations. The morning of my birthday, I had a really super sweet prayer time and prayed for intimacy with God above all else this year. Later in the day, I got a text from Kalub with a very sweet and humbling birthday message and at the end, it had the same prayer that I had prayed for myself! I was floored. Whaaaat?!?! It brought tears to my eyes. It was such an encouragement and confirmation of the work the Lord is doing in my heart!! And for it to come from Kalub, of all people, the guy I just handed over to the Lord—it was so sweet. At this point I started praying about him as I really felt a connection but didn’t know if it was from the Lord and really didn’t want to go down a path that is not of Him.
Over the next several months, even though it was a long time of waiting, I had more and more assurance in my heart about Kalub. I was able to have wonderful conversations with both my parents and spend time in prayer both personally and together.
A huge encouragement for me was in May when I had a dream that Kalub got back from a trip, handed me a ring as asked, “Esther, will you wait for me?”. When I said yes, I could see the peace of the Lord come over him and I felt it in myself as well. Around the same time, in my personal devotions, I had been reading through Isaiah and got to chapter 64:4-5 and was so encouraged by the verses that said, “From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him. You meet him who joyfully works righteousness,”. From this, I knew that I needed to wait and that the Lord would work out his plan and not just by sitting around doing nothing but actively living out His word in whatever path he opened up.
In late summer 2018, the Lord opened the doors for Kalub and me to both take different trips overseas (Kalub to Colombia and myself to the Netherlands to serve a family there). We were not in contact very much during our trips, which was hard but also good because we both needed to focus on the tasks at hand. Despite the little contact, the Lord used it all for good, giving me 110% confidence that he was the one I would marry! :) Plus, I just knew I never wanted to be apart from him that long again!
When Kalub got back from his trip, we ‘officially’ started our relationship and it did not take long for us to be ready for the next step! He proposed to me on February 17, 2019 and of course I said yes!
I am so thankful for the active involvement of my family and dear friends on this journey and for their prayers and words of advice and encouragement. I’m especially grateful for the hours and hours both of my parents spent with me and with Kalub. Their sacrifice is priceless and I will treasure those times always! What a blessing it is to know that we are starting this season with so much love and support. I am so full of joy and excitement in knowing that in just a little while, Kalub and I will be husband and wife, and that we get to serve one another, serve the body together, and be a light to the lost. May the Lord be glorified! Hallelujah!
If you’re looking for a nice fun getaway place to stay close to the wedding ceremony, check out one of these log cabins in the mountains that are only about 5 minutes away.
Barefoot Hills Hotel
Cedar House Inn and Yurts (Bed & Breakfast)
A little farther but closer to town, there are also more normal hotel options (about 10-15 minutes away).
Holiday Inn Express
Dahlonega Square Villa
Hall House Hotel
The Park Place Hotel
The Smith House
Ceremony - Holly Hill Tree Farm
276 Woodland Ln, Dahlonega, GA 30533
Head south on Woodland Ln toward Ridley Rd (0.3 mi)
Turn right onto Ridley Rd (1.5 mi)
Turn right onto US-19 S/Georgia 9 N (4.6 mi)
Turn left onto GA-60 S/S Chestatee (7.3 mi)
Reception - Christ Family Church Building
7788 S Chestatee, Dahlonega, GA 30533