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Jon and Kelly Johal



How did you meet?

Kelly- Our love story is unique and not how most traditional love stories go.

Jonathan and I met later in life--in our early thirties. We both were ready for a new

start and were hopeful that there was something better out there for ourselves. We

both have a past in that we have either experienced marriage or loss with prior

relationships that were not good for us. When we met for the first time, we were

brutally honest about our pasts and how we have learned from our past

experiences. We were on the same page in that we both were seeking a long-term

relationship and agreed that we only wanted it with God’s blessing. We were

hopeful to find the possibility of a compatible partnership where we would both be

continually growing. I explained to Jon on our first date that about six months prior

I had taken a trip to Israel with my mother. This was back in December of 2018

when my mom lost her house in the Paradise CA fires. That was a time of new

beginnings for both my mother and me and Israel is where the new start began. In

my prayers during that special trip, I had been asking God for His blessing in

bringing me the right man to marry. So many years of my life in past relationships

had been consumed with men who did not have my best interest and there was no

true relationship with the Lord that was evident. I knew that on this this new re-

start that I was about to endeavor upon that it was most important for me to find a

man who genuinely wanted to follow God. I was tired of the mistakes I had made,

and I was hopeful to find a man who would also help me grow in the Lord as well.

I knew this was key in finding a good man and I knew I needed something better

than what my past experiences had been.

Jonathan- Kelly and I do have a unique love story, as every story is unique. Both

of us had been in long term relationships before we met each other, and we both

knew what we were looking for. Since we met in our 30’s both of us knew what

we were willing to tolerate in a partner and what was a deal breaker. Prior to

meeting Kelly, a friend once told me that when he met his wife for their first date,

he told her the three things about himself that were unchangeable and if she could

live with those than they could keep seeing each other and if not, they could have a

nice dinner and move on. I liked this approach. When Kelly and I met I had done

something similar: I told her the things that I had been through in my past

relationship and what I was able to live with and what would be a deal breaker for

me. I too was looking for something much better and did not want to go through

what I had experienced before. I was surprised that Kelly agreed with the things

that were important to me, but I could tell she also had a similar experiences with

pain so we did everything we could at that time by being open and honest in hopes

to prevent future damage to protect our newfound relationship. It was a relief for

me to find a woman who agreed with me on so many things and was willing to

work at our relationship and discuss how we could best pave our path for the

future. The most important thing that we agreed upon was that God needs be the

focus of our relationship.

Kelly- Jonathan and I met in person for the first time on June 30, 2019, at an Asian

restaurant called Taroko in Grants Pass. After I met Jon, I felt like I already knew

him for years. We shared so much common ground and he checked all the boxes

on my list that I was looking for in a man. We also had a commonality in that we

shared similar childhood backgrounds, mutual hobbies, but most importantly we

had a mutual understanding of who God is and we both realized how important it is

to have God be number one in our lives otherwise it is easy to get off track. We

both admit that we are far from perfect Christians, but we realize this, and we are

continually discussing how to conduct ourselves to become more like Jesus. We

knew that if we were seeking for our relationship to truly last and withstand all the

challenges that would come that we need God to take first place above all else. By

doing this we know that we would be capable of meeting each other’s needs

throughout life’s challenges.

Jonathan-When I first met Kelly, I also felt like I had known her for years as there

was so much common ground. Upon seeing Kelly in person for the first time I

found she was quite easy to discuss matters with and within a couple of minutes all

the nervousness was gone. Prior to us meeting in person we had talked many times

and had already started laying the foundation for our relationship. We found that

we had more in common than we had even realized, and that was surprising to me.

What really impressed me was how we felt so comfortable praying together. We

made sure to pray every time we were together, and it did not take long for me to

start taking her to my church in Grants Pass. We discussed often what a healthy

relationship should look like and what we desired out of each other. Being a big

sports fan and into video games it is not always easy to find a partner that is not

only supportive but enjoys some of the same things, so it was genuinely nice to see

how Kelly supports the activities that I enjoy. After we had dinner that first night, I

felt that Kelly was a person that I could have a future with, someone that would be

worth my time to get to know better. So, I started doing something that my brother

had done, I started saving little bits of memories from each of our dates together. I

would keep a movie ticket stub or a receipt from our dinner, just little things that

we could look back upon and I saved it all in a box.

What do you absolutely love or admire about your soon to be husband/wife?

Kelly- Our first meeting at Taroko was quickly followed by several other dates.

Some of our most memorable dates or times have been spent at concerts in the

park, football games, go-carting or cooking meals for each other at home. As I

learned more and more about Jon, I was impressed with so many things. It was not

just that Jon was driven or that he has his master’s degree in teaching. What really

impressed me were the people in his life and the real relationships he has built with

his family and friends. I felt so safe with Jon because I could see how giving of

himself, he is. Some examples are how he has helped my mother with many of her

house endeavors. I could make a long list of all the projects he has undertaken to

help my mother but that is another story. By all these kind gestures I had

witnessed, Jon was showing me that he wanted us to be a family and what family is

supposed to look like. I honestly had never experienced anything like this before. I

come from a small family with no siblings and my mother, and I had been

separated by a four-hour distance for years when I had relocated from California to

Oregon back in 2011. Some of the stories that I will never forget from Jon and his

struggles was when he shared with me how he took a loan out to assist his sister so

she could attend phlebotomy school. She would not have been able to learn

phlebotomy which has helped establish her current career in the medical field

without Jon’s support. Jon not only has an incredible bond with his sister but also

with every member in his family. Jon and his mother have the most special and

unique relationship and I too love his mother, Susan. It was so refreshing for me to

be welcomed by Jon’s family members where I felt so much love and support. It

did not take me long to realize that this was all incredibly special, and he was the

kind of man that I needed in my life. Jon had told me while we were dating that I

was a woman worth waiting for even if he had to wait years. As flattered as I felt, I

knew that he was also a man that I needed, and I felt confident that I would be in a

healthy family dynamic where we could both grow, and I could reach my personal


Jonathan-After we met for our first initial dinner, Kelly and I started spending

more and more time together. It did not take me long to introduce Kelly to my

cousin to celebrate his 21st birthday. I planned a local activity at the jetboats in

Grants Pass and invited some of my friends and told Kelly I wanted her to start

meeting my family. All the people that were there ended up with the same thoughts

on Kelly that I had already formed: that she was an amazing woman, was fun to be

around, and worthy of the time investment. It was not that long after this that I was

able to take her on the most memorable date we had. That late summer I had

received my season ticket package from the Raiders in the mail. Since it was their

last year in Oakland it was going to be a memorable year to say the least. Although

I took Kelly to a few other football games that season the most memorable was the

last one in Oakland. I was able to arrange it so that Kelly and I were able to hold

the flag on the field for the national anthem at the last Raiders game in Oakland.

This was an incredible experience in that not only was I able to be on the field

where my team played, but I was able to do it with the woman I love, and she was

enjoying it!

Tell me about the proposal

Kelly- As the months progressed, we faced a challenge with the one-hour drive

from Medford to Grants Pass. We found that we just wanted to be together all the

time and the daily drives became exhausting. We got to the point where it felt

ready to start our lives together. After seeing each other for nearly six months we

chose to have small little civil ceremony and were married by the Christmas tree in

Grants Pass back in December of 2019. We were planning on having a real

wedding celebration the following May, but Covid quickly hit us in February, and I

also became pregnant with our first child. As time progressed, I have seen God

watch out for us with the challenges that have come our way. It seems that every

job and every house we have moved into as well as the house we just recently

bought that God’s hand has been overseeing it all. I now realize why some our

previous desires did not come to fruition as our current situation has enabled us to

avoid going into unreasonable debt while remaining just four houses down from

our family members.

Jonathan-With the birth of our first child, I know that Kelly and I have just started

this adventure together. I know that we have built a good foundation for the future

and are working to strengthen our relationship every day as time goes on. Life is

not always going to be easy, but I am sure that both of us will be putting God first

and making sure that we work to always be on the same team by remembering the

reasons in how we fell in love. I think I can safely speak for the both of us when I

say that our time together has already been blessed. There have been so many

times that unexpected blessings have come our way, or God has seen us through a

struggle. Time after time these little reminders and the birth of our son, James

further help show us that if we continue to love each other and put God first, then

there is no storm we cannot weather together. We are looking forward to sharing

this journey called life together for the rest of our days.


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