Josiah -- Where to start!?!! God is good and that is a fact. Well I guess I'll start at the beginning. I was born at a young age close to my mother. She called it labor day…
Ok, so maybe not that far back. I’ll start in early 2007. Marriage was something I had always geared for, but early in 2007 God had been working on my heart to give those dreams up, and to be content serving Him single for the rest of my life.
That year Thomas, Abi, and Anna traveled with us to serve during Prairie Bible Camp in North Dakota, as they had in years past. I remember one day we were all having a discussion and I walked away afterwards impressed with Abi’s walk with the Lord. I could tell it was real, and it was her own. About that time God put the thought in my mind, “She would make a good wife and mother.” “Yep!” I thought, “for some lucky guy.” Went right over my head. However, God kept bringing it back and laying her on my heart for the remainder of camp -- and by the time camp was over I realized God was saying that to me!
I really prayed about it and finally came to the place that I remember realizing that if it was God’s will for me to marry, that Abi indeed was the right one. But for me the big question was, “Is it God‘s will for me to marry?”After much time in prayer, God gave me peace that it was His perfect will for me to marry -- and that Abi was the one. So I started praying He now would be laying it on Abi’s heart as well, and also her parents hearts. Before camp I had committed to work in Wyoming for some friends, the Atnips. In mid July I headed out to Wyoming and it was a time of continually laying the whole situation before the Lord and seeking Him in it.
I came back home the end of August and while my family was out traveling that autumn, I would head to the Rehm's and spend time with Thomas, my “Twin” (Abi‘s older brother). Thomas and I were really close friends -- to the point that people dubbed us ‘the twins‘. So naturally when my family was gone I spent the weekends with my best friend, my Twin!
And as I spent time at their house it gave me a good chance to observe Abi from a distance. The more I saw, the more I was impressed with her walk with the Lord, her character and joyful and serving heart. God used that time to confirm to me the peace I had in knowing she was the one. However, I also knew that it was not the right time to move forward in a relationship and I wanted to guard her heart and not send any messages that might defraud her. My dad and sisters (knowing where my heart was at) cautioned me concerning that as well. So all my time was spent with, Twin and Abi’s younger brother and sisters. Throughout the fall and winter I spent a lot of time with them, almost becoming part of the family.Abi -- Well...now that you all know, Josiah is engaged I'm sure you'd like to know who it is he's engaged to, and how it all transpired...at least from my point of view! First off, I'll tell you a little about myself. I'm the 2nd oldest of six children, and the firstborn girl in my family. I have 3 sisters, and 2 brothers. My parents made the choice to homeschool me for all 13 years of my education as their responsibility to bring me up in the fear and admonition of the Lord.
I live on a farm in Iowa, and love the peace and hard work of country life! I graduated from highschool in 2006, and since then I've worked at a care facility as a Certified Nurses Aide, giving care to the elderly there, until this past April. I've also done midwifery for the past 18 months, and absolutely love welcoming into the world each new little one God allows me to assist!! Playing the piano it like therapy to my soul, and I'm currently giving lessons once a week. My desire is to love, honor, and serve my Savior Jesus Christ, wherever He has me!
Now for the story! About 2 years ago (2006) God started drawing my heart towards Josiah. We had known each other from church for sometime, but could God be doing a deeper work in my heart regarding Josiah? At first I thought that is was just something I was making up, and tried to make excuses to push it away! I prayed, and prayed, and prayed that God would take it away, and give me His peace, but it continued to stay. I slowly started to realize that God didn't necessarily want to remove it from my heart, but that He wanted me to trust Him with every detail of my life. Whether or not that meant marrying Josiah! So I asked God to help me guard my heart, and if Josiah was the one He had for me, to SHOW him. Desiring it not to be anything I'd do, or say to even hint in that direction.
Josiah -- When my family left in January of this year, God began to impress on me that it was time to get things going. So, when I flew down to Florida the end of February, I talked with Dad and Mom, and they gave their blessing for me to move forward.
I flew back late in the evening on March 4th, and the next day I called Mr. Rehm and asked if I could meet him for lunch that coming Friday (March 7th). I think he had a pretty good idea of why I wanted to have lunch with him, and he was more than willing to make that work. Friday came and I headed up to Denison, Iowa to have lunch with Mr. Rehm. Due to my friendship with Thomas I was already accustomed to calling him ‘dad‘. But I was still pretty nervous!
Coming through one of the small towns where Abi worked at the nursing home, I remember thinking, “I hope I do not meet her here on her way to work“. But this was early and I knew that she didn’t go to work till 12:30pm. I finally arrived and figured Mr. Rehm knew exactly what this was about as he had a table reserved back in the corner, separated from everyone else. We had a good lunch I told Mr. Rehm that I was interested in Abi. Mr. Rehm seemed to really like that fact, and said he would talk to Mrs. Rehm and get back to me.
I ran a few errands and headed over to their house and got there just before, Twin and thought everything had gone really smooth. Until I overheard, Twin talking to Abi on the phone, “No, Josiah just got here!” I quickly picked up that she had met me on the road en-route to work and was she wondering why I had just gotten to their house a little after 3pm. She was very gracious and didn’t ask me anything about it that evening when she got home from work.
As the weekend progressed I was more and more convinced that Josiah had met with dad, and that it did pertain to me! I'll admit, it was very hard not knowing something. But I also felt God asking me, "Abi, can you trust me even now? Can you surrender to walking in this now, if that's my will for you? Will you obey Me?" For the following week I cried out to the Lord, holding it all before Him who knows best...not wanting anything to be what I had done, but only what God had planned!
Josiah -- The next weekend (March 14th) I meet with Mr. & Mrs. Rehm for supper before going to their house for the weekend. They had a list of questions to ask me and we had some great conversation. It was a blessed time. They gave their approval and blessing and said they would talk with Abi sometime within the next week. I was thrilled and will never forget the message that Mr. Rehm left on my phone saying that Abi was willing to let me court her!!!
Abi -- Though I did have a pretty good idea that Josiah was interested in me, because of having met him on my way to work that day, I had no idea if the timing was now. My parents knew where I was at, and I needed to trust their judgment. Finally...the long awaited night came! :) It was March 19th when Dad, and Mom pulled me aside into my room to 'talk to me'. Dad told me that what he was about to tell me would probably not surprise me, but regardless it was time for me to know. Josiah had asked permission to court me.
I guess you could accurately say that I was not surprised, but I was shocked that it was happening now! I was so content where God had me, why would He be calling me to something else? Was it true, that all God had been working on my heart these past years was happening before my very eyes?! My heart was overwhelmed at the lovingkindness of our God, and humbled to think that He would chose me for such a task--such a privilege--such an honor! My reaction wouldn't be one of jumping up and down, but of total peace that this was the will of God for me, and He was calling me to trust Him all anew, as I entered a plain of life I'd not traveled before.As time moved on it was fun and amazing to watch God work in both our hearts.
Josiah -- God has so specially handcrafted us in preparing us for each other! From big life issues to small tiny details and personal tastes -- such as both of us liking dark chocolate! It soon was clear to the both of us that this was God’s will for our lives. So, after doing some “diamond shopping” I took Abi for a walk Sunday May 18th at a county park not far from their place. It was a beautiful day, sun shining, and birds singing. I gave her a hug and told her that I loved her and wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. Then getting down on one knee I asked her if she would marry me and be my wife. And she said YES!! I pulled out the ring and gave it to her as a token of my love to her. Now everyone else can see and know that she is taken, she’s My Girl!! And I’m Her Man!
Abi -- Time changes things, and as God continued to work on my heart, and Josiah cared for it in a tender, loving way I very quickly moved from, "I know this is right, to I want to marry this guy!"
So while hiking the nature trails at a park near our home, Josiah popped the question. It was a gorgeous Sunday evening, on the night of May 18th. The birds were singing, accompanied by a soft breeze when we entered a meadow area with the sun beaming down on us. A great place to pull out a diamond ring to shimmer in its glorious rays! And glistened it did! Josiah told me he loved me, (proceeding to get down on one knee), and with a sparkle in his eyes, he asked me to be his wife tenderly saying, " Abi, I want to spend the rest of my life with you!"
I can't tell you the joy that flooded my soul! Could this really be happening?? God was giving me above and beyond the desires of my heart! "Yes, I'd be delighted to be your wife!" No one could be happier than I was, and am! We serve such an awesome God who desires to do great things in, and through us if we will only surrender our lives and will to His precious keeping! He who called us is faithful, and I stand in awe to think that He chose me to serve as a daughter in His kingdom!
"This was the LORD's doing; It is marvelous in our eyes." Psalm 118:23