Reggie Guðmundsson and Kalere Payton

Reggie Guðmundsson and Kalere Payton - Married April 2016

Kalere: In December of 2013, I had been on-and-off of DTHS for three years. I made a few connections here and there but nothing that led to a serious relationship. My mom (who is also a disciple) asked me if I was still on the site.

I told her my subscription was running out and I didn’t see a point in renewing it since I hadn’t had much luck. She had initially convinced me to sign up by saying “God may chose to work in your love live through DTHS but if you don’t sign up, He definitely won’t.” She urged me to stick with it once more and offered to pay for my subscription. I agreed and began to look through the new potential matches.

In January, I saw Reggie’s profile. As always, I scrolled down to the area where he would talk about the types of books he reads. I was intrigued by what I read; it was obvious he had a wonderful personality. I noticed that he was two years younger than me and lived in Iceland. Over the years, I had developed this idea that the guys my age weren’t mature so I was going to look for guys at least three years older than me. Also, Iceland? I thought, “That’ll never work.” The real thing that stopped me writing him is that I had been so discouraged when messages I wrote to other brothers went unanswered. When I joined DTHS, I decided to only give as much as I could give without expecting anything in return and writing him a message just seemed like too much.

Reggie: DTHS is the best thing to happen to me, after salvation. “I want to meet someone the ‘old fashioned’ way,” I told Charlie, my church leader, when he asked me why I wasn’t on DTHS yet. “Look around you” he said. “Is that likely to happen?” Living in the northernmost capital of the world: Reykjavík, Iceland, and being the youngest by 10 years in a church of 10 disciples, I could kind of see his point.

I signed up for a whole year right away, and was blown away by all the interesting, attractive, spiritual sisters on the site, but Kalere definitely stood out right away. I messaged her thinking “she’s way out of my league but here goes nothing.” To my surprise she wrote me back enthusiastically almost immediately. We chatted about art and God and our lives and before long I asked her if she was ok with me adding her on Facebook. Soon after that, I asked her out on our first Skype date and we hit it off right away.

I thought to myself, “This amazing woman must have gotten the wrong idea about me!” and made sure to vulnerably (but discretely) share my shortcomings and spiritual struggles, because I didn’t want her to feel I’d misrepresented myself when we finally met. I thought for sure she’d lose interest once she saw the real me, but to my surprise she seemed to like me even more for my candor.

I liked that even though she was obviously interested, she didn’t throw her heart at me right away, I could see that she was secure in her relationship with God and that though she liked me, she could take it or leave it – her peace would not be stolen. Her confidence and faith floored me. I also loved that while she was attentive and encouraged my advances, she let me completely take the lead, obviously taking care to not take the initiative, or even to bring up things like when our next date would be, but rather wait for my timing on those things.

Kalere: Thankfully, Reggie wrote me. February 9, 2014. I won’t forget that day. I could tell he read my profile and he seemed genuinely interested in knowing more about me. Saturday, February 15, 2014 was our first Skype date. I still remember the camera starting and seeing his big smile. Any reservations I had about his age or him being so far away were gone after talking to him for about 10 minutes. We talked about so many things and before long it had been about two hours. At the end of the conversation, he said something that got him on the path to winning my heart.

He said that he had gotten advice from his evangelist (Amen! The man gets advice early in the process!) and decided that he would message me less on Facebook, especially since we’d be talking on weekends. I could tell he was a God-fearing man who wanted to show respect for me and my boundaries especially when it came to my time and our communication. This is something I had prayed about and God answered it in full.

We may have been a bit on the quick side to start weekly Skype dates but given the distance, if we were going to learn enough about each other to decide if we needed to meet, we did need time to talk.

I was so impressed with how well he fought to honor our communication boundaries. Believe me – it wasn’t easy for either of us! I developed strong feelings for him quickly; I spent much time in prayer and talking with spiritual people to keep my heart at peace. I had been guilty all too often of giving my heart when it hadn’t been earned or asked for. I reaped heartache before and I wasn’t going to end up there again.

I made cards and sent them across the ocean and he would send me cards as well. He even sent me flowers- I couldn’t remember the last time I got flowers from a brother! He had figured out how to send me flowers even though an ocean separated us. To say I was encouraged is a drastic understatement.

In the spring, he asked if he could buy me a ticket so I could visit Iceland. I gladly accepted his offer. One of my best friends traveled with me, which was so perfect. He had begun getting advice from her as well so they had become friends.

Reggie: On advice I was given, I didn’t ask her to be my girlfriend there and then – as a matter of fact I even wound up leaving the country two days before she went home, due to a scheduling conflict with a church conference(!). It was hard at the time but I’m so happy for it now because it set the tone of us seeking God first, and tested the waters of her following and accepting my lead.

Kalere: We had the best time in Iceland! Reggie was an excellent host. We had a blast and I was able to meet some of the disciples in Iceland as well as Reggie’s family and friends. I knew that he wouldn’t ask me to be his girlfriend on that trip. At first I was bummed but it was all for the best. There was no pressure on the trip and we could just enjoy finally spending time together in person.

In the fall he planned to visit NYC but I left to go home to Georgia when my father was diagnosed with leukemia. Reggie asked if he could still visit me and I said yes. It was an intense time for my family with my dad’s treatment so it was wonderful that Reggie was so willing to visit me at that time.

Reggie: Having to go to Georgia instead of NY, even though it was due to difficult circumstances, turned out to be a blessing in disguise, since it resulted in me meeting her parents and extended family. I asked her to be my girlfriend after staging an elaborate scavenger hunt all around Atlanta complete with Bible verse clues, poetry, flowers, chocolate, and slaughtering Bright Eyes’ “First Day of My Life” on guitar. She very graciously accepted. We focused on just enjoying the time, going on dates and spending time with friends.

On the last day, we had our first “real talk,” a long discussion to define our relationship and where we were going with all this, what our expectations were and how our boundaries would develop now that we were dating. I felt God’s hand in everything, from how we wound up meeting in Georgia and not NY, to how I had made good friends with a Georgia brother traveling in Iceland that summer, who wound up hosting me and helping me plan, prepare and execute my scavenger hunt, along with his two roommates (don’t you just love the Kingdom?).

I’m glad that we took our time to build a friendship before we started dating, and I’m also thankful that we took the time to just enjoy being together and cherish each other’s company while I was there. I think the long-distance has actually really helped us, since it has forced us to pace ourselves and get to know each other mainly through talking.

Kalere: In the months that followed, there were many Skype dates. We celebrated New Year’s and birthdays. Reggie began teaching me to play the guitar. After a one-month visit to Iceland in May 2015, I made the decision to visit Iceland for three months in the fall. We had gotten advice to have me visit for three months but I didn’t see how it would work financially. I work consistently but I don’t make a lot of extra money. God provided a dream job that paid three times what I usually earn, as well as a sister who needed a short-term sublet!

I loved my three-month stay in Iceland. What a joy to be able to see Reggie and just grab a cup of coffee after he got off work or before I went to my Icelandic language class. My faith grew and I developed deep friendships with the disciples in Iceland. Reggie and I continued to grow our relationship and look to God for guidance throughout that time.

Reggie: This time, more than any other before, was a time of reflecting and seeking God’s will, and looking within to see if I am ready to become a husband, and deepening my understanding of what that means. It was by no means an easy process and has lead to my making serious changes to make sure my own spirituality is secure, lest I inflict my imperfections on her. Through prayer and Bible study and lots and lots of advice from spiritual brothers, I was finally ready to take the next step. I FaceTimed her father in Georgia and asked for his blessing, which he graciously gave, and her parents also sent me her mother’s old engagement ring, which was part of Kalere’s dream proposal scenario.

Kalere: On December 1, 2015, he planned an even more grand and romantic event where he sang to me (with a band!) and asked me to marry him. I joyfully accepted! Even as we plan our wedding and all the details have so quickly fallen into place, I see God’s fingerprints. Our relationship is an ever-present reminder that God is a God of details. God knows me intimately- he knows the corners of my heart that even I don’t understand. He faithfully carries prayers and hopes that I don’t have the strength to hold on to.

Reggie: I definitely see how God has worked throughout my life to bring me to a place where I’m humble enough to follow his (QUITE UNFORSEEABLE) plan for my life, and can see my need enough that I can truly appreciate the incredible treasure he has prepared for me in a life partner.

I thank God every day for leading us together, and His way of doing that was through DTHS. The work that the makers of the website are doing are a service and a ministry to the Lord, bringing love into people’s lives and giving glory to God through the godly relationships it fosters. I absolutely recommend the service for anyone who is looking for a Godly relationship, whether a serious one or simply to get to know people around the world to be mutually encouraged in faith and fellowship. If you’re thinking about it but you’re not sure, please, just take my word and GO FOR IT! ————– We pray our story is a beacon of hope to those who long to be married. Trust the Lord, get lots of advice, take your time – and don’t forget to have fun with it! Thank you DTHS for providing a way for us to meet even though we were an ocean apart. We can’t really see how it would have happened otherwise.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights – James 1:17

UPDATE: Reggie and Kalere welcomed their first child – a daughter, Valkyrja – in October, 2018!