2019. New Last Name. New Country. Same Page.

“What harm could a LUNCH DATE do?” – Kim

If I can “borrow” any line from my husband, it would simply be summed up in that question found above that he posed in the opening of his wedding vows.

Yes, wedding. Yes, we IS MARRIED. If you’re just joining this journey, and thinking you skipped a few posts, let me reassure you….you DIDN’T!

We are the ones that intentionally kept the weeks leading up to Kim’s arrival here in the States and then our beautiful & intimate wedding to ourselves. We looked forward to the time when we would share it all with you, but in the moments we were planning & prepping, we wanted to keep it private – to guard it – to keep it special & sacred.

The last post I left you with was Kim “meeting my parents” for the first time – but that was still all behind a screen. NOW the time has finally come to share with you so much of the BEHIND THE SCENES – of what happened since mid-October – when we first seriously began passionately discussing marriage & a future together. If you’ve been enjoying our story up until this point, you better buckle up & hold on as I get the honor & privilege to unfold the details of what happened off social media & the internet in the weeks leading up to our wedding day, January 5.

So WHERE do I BEGIN!? What harm COULD a lunch date do? That is what Kim thought when we decided to go on our first date in Ghent back on September 13, 2018. But perhaps the next question we could have asked was – what could come from a visit to Cheyanne’s cousins in Virginia in mid October 2018?

After a good, solid month of dating, Kim & I quickly knew we were very different and extremely unique when compared to anyone else we’d ever met. It was scary and exhilarating all at the same time to think – could we have both found the one we’d always been looking for, at a wedding, on a random night, with someone who lives over 6,000 miles away?

Despite all the odds set up against us, we couldn’t deny the incredible intimacy that was building between us during our long, and beautiful FaceTime conversations. It wasn’t however until one weekend in October, when I went to my cousin Andrea’s house in Virginia for her son’s birthday, that Kim & I were confronted head on with the reality of what was happening between us and the distance that also separated us.

Shortly after arriving at Andrea’s home, and several other family members began to come visit, I began FaceTiming with Kim. I thought this was the perfect time to “introduce” him to some of my crazy & fun family. Andrea is my mom’s sister Shirley’s daughter and she is one of 6 kids. (Shirley was actually the FIRST family member Kim ever “met” on FaceTime – the day after I MET him – more on that later!). Andrea is the only girl in her large family and she and I are only 6 months apart in age. We grew up more like sisters rather than cousins! And with 5 brothers surrounding her, I had a lot of protective cousins ready to “size this European guy” up…especially as this was HUGE news in our family – I hadn’t dated anyone in about 9 years.

Who we now affectionately call, “The Instigator”, Andrea out of no where, only a few minutes into our FaceTime, asked Kim point blank: “So, are you going to MARRY my cousin?”

I have learned in life, sometimes the greatest distance isn’t in miles or kilometers, but the space between your brain and your soul/heart. Our brains naturally aim to think logically and practically – but try to bring those concepts to a heart & soul that can’t “explain” what is happening but instead has this deep, inner knowing – and that distance can be quite large. But ONLY if you let it!

What began as a very straight-forward, kinda kidding…kinda NOT, question to Kim, launched us on some very deep, intense & vulnerable discussions over the next week.

The wheels in Kim’s mind has already been turning as I had just brought up the topic of marriage the week before. I feel as if God was preparing his heart for the discussions that lied ahead.

Kim & I originally came from very different perspectives & upbringings when it came to marriage. We began to discuss the differences in our cultures and then our own personal beliefs when it came to marriage. The more we dug deeper, the more Kim realized how I felt and how I had prepared for marriage. He soon discovered that how I felt was also what he had always wanted as well. To hear more on how his transition on marriage happened, I’ll let Kim share in his own words at a later time.

Below are some of the first photos I sent Kim, as I began sharing what marriage meant to me:

However until Kim shares in his own words, I’ll share with y’all what I began to share with Kim, unpack with him & how I’ve shaped my view on marriage – and it came directly from the Bible.

Did any of you roll your eyes? That’s ok if you did. I understand some of you reading may think the Bible is dead, old fashioned, and out of date. However, I think if you gave it a chance, you’d see it is very much alive & applicable to us, our human nature, even today. This is the lens in how I have always seen marriage & where Kim & I base our foundation of our marriage as a COVENANT to this day.

Covenant marriage is different than any other marriage vow or document by that it’s not just a LEGAL document, but a promise made to one another, and to God, to unconditionally love one another for the rest of your lives. A covenant marriage reflects the covenant relationship we have with Jesus…as He, God in the flesh, made a CHOICE, and came to us, (His bride as He calls us), to love us, to sacrifice for us and lay his life down for us.

It was during the last few weeks of October, Kim & I dug deeper and deeper into what this could look like for us and how for both of us – this was the direction our lives HAD ALEADY been heading and now that we found each other? It was the ONLY destination.

So, when people ask – WHEN did y’all get engaged & decide to get married? We don’t actually have a date. It just…WAS!

Kim officially proposed formally in Niagara Falls, Canada, on Christmas 2018. THAT will be for another blog post! However, we had been planning our wedding ceremony & celebration since early November 2018.

Our families already knew how serious we were, but when we shared the way our souls were aligning and the direction we wanted to go, I expected some hesitation. But NOOOO!!! If anything, our families had been WAITING for us to get to this conclusion too and BOTH Kim and my mom immediately were supporting us for getting married here STATE SIDE when Kim was coming to visit for Christmas & New Years.

I think I WAS more in shock than Kim! My parents, and every important wise mentor and family member in my life, were in full support. They felt it too – KIM was the man I’d been praying for. I was most surprised by my mom…she hadn’t met Kim yet and had NEVER given her support for any guy I’d dated or even liked…until now.

So, in the beginning of November, we began to plan! And what a true adventure showered full of God’s blessings began to unfold! Everything from the location to our pre-martial counseling…all I will share in upcoming posts.

First up for my next posts will be- WEDDING DRESS SHOPPING! I couldn’t have planned it out THIS good myself.

In the next post, I’ll reveal just HOW my dress came to me & the fantastic and just PERFECT people that were surrounding me on that special day….

xoxo,

Cheyanne Cleyman

Published by Kim & Cheyanne Cleyman

Married Belgian-American couple living in Europe helping families connect through fitness across cultures and continents; with a passion for well-being - mind, body, heart and soul.

4 thoughts on “2019. New Last Name. New Country. Same Page.

  1. Thank you very much! Haha its ok! It’s more cause I promised to nanny my cousin’s kids mid February haha! And I need to process my visa!

  2. Great read keep it coming. I think I have it figured out why you are waiting to fly to Belguim but will keep it to myself.

  3. Your calling is evident.. keep going.. do not stop. I am blessed with every posting. God is in all the details.. and I am blessed to see Him through His love of you.

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