Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Our Love Story

Where does a person begin to write a love story that seems built on so many vivid, real events of earlier years?! Although Alan and I only met nine months ago, it is incredible to look back on the many, many ways the Lord used situations in my life to prepare me for the joy of falling in love with Alan -- long before I knew he existed.
It has been a full, active, unforgettable adventure, this season called the ‘single years’. I’m so grateful for the opportunities I have had to pour my life into my family, music, and a variety of projects. Yes, there were times when I would earnestly desire the special privilege and joy of marriage. It is a high and worthy calling! But as we begin to share our love story, I want to write a word of encouragement to you single friends:
A life poured out for Jesus is a life of no regrets. 
And honestly, looking back, the only regrets I have were times when I doubted that reality in my life. On many occasions I would remind myself of the quote by Jim Elliot, “Wherever you are, be all there! Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.” Even today I desire more of that passionate urgency to treasure and make the most of each season of life! 

Alan and I hope that our story will be a personal encouragment to you. Not simply because we're getting married later in life than the average person. But because we serve an all-caring, all-knowing Lord. He is the God of the impossible and the Author of the very best and beautiful love stories. 

[Alan's story will be writen in plain text, mine in italics]

Alan: Growing up I always assumed I would be like most guys and be married by my early twenties.  As I finished college and began my career, finding a wife was more complicated than I had anticipated.  Either they weren't attracted to me or I wasn't attracted to them or neither of us were attracted to the other.

As time moved on I began to sense a growing restlessness and frustration inside. I began to wonder why it had to be so complicated for me when it went so smooth and easy for so many of my friends.  Eventually I realized that my frustration was a result of not trusting God's power and perfect love for me, so I decided to memorize certain verses that spoke of God's acute awareness and interest in every detail of my life.
I came across Romans 4:20,21 where the example is given of Abraham who in light of impossible circumstances believed what God had said, and the reason for his belief was rooted in who God was.   I also memorized I John 5:14,15 which helped me realize that anything I ask that is according to His will I can be completely confident that He will answer it in the best way for me whether it makes sense to me or not.

Through these truths and others that I found, I concluded that God loves me more than anyone else in the world ever could. So much so, that He gave His life for me and therefore has a very deep interest in every detail of my life. And, like Abraham, I could trust that whatever circumstances He allowed in my life were best for me for that time whether I understood it or not.  And so I was able to surrender that struggle over to Him.  Psalms 62:8 was a verse that I put into practice many times and continue to use as life moves on.

Sometimes it seems like God holds things we really want away from us until we surrender control of it over to Him. And that was exactly the case in the scenario which was about to unfold.

Rachel: I grew up like many of you readers. Dreaming of the day when Prince Charming would sweep me off my feet. I had read the Laura Ingalls books as a girl and decided that 18 was the perfect age for marriage. (Please tell me I’m not the only one who thought she lived an idealistic life?!)

But ‘eighteen’ came and went. And I decided that I probably wasn’t mature enough anyways. I still had new horizons to explore and a list of skills I wanted to learn. So 23 became the perfect age. Yep, I would be married by 23.

‘Twenty-three’ came and went. I was still single. There had been opportunities for relationships, but it was obvious my Prince Charming hadn’t arrived on the scene. My dream-world was shaken up a bit. Where was the man of my dreams?!

Then a memorable turning point happened in my heart. I can remember exactly where I was sitting in a church concert, listening to my dear friends, the Berge family. Their daughter, Mindy, was sharing her beautiful love story. And my heart was asking, “Why does everyone else have a guy, Lord? What about me?” Mindy made a statement that suddenly burst into my questioning, “Marriage is not the ultimate purpose of life. Our ultimate purpose is to glorify the Lord.”

That comment blew my complaints out of the water and was a new, exciting thought to me. It meant that I could 100% fulfill God’s plan for my life right now! Life didn’t begin with a relationship. It begins with knowing and glorifying the One Who created me. And actively pursuing what He has placed in my path to accomplish. 
The Lord wasn’t worried about my need for a husband. He wanted me to see the open doors He was placing in front of me. Today. Not wasting today by wishing for tomorrow. 
I bowed my head in the middle of that concert and prayed that the Lord would keep me where I could be most glorifying to Him...whether married or single. 
And the adventure and challenge of singleness continued. But this time, however, I could live with the peace and excitement that I was fulfilling God’s purpose for my life. The years passed as I grew -- and truly treasured the season of being able to give my complete attention to God’s call for this season in my life. Music, ministry, and my family. Life was full!
Fast-forward seven years to May 2011. I was only 7 months away from turning the big 3-0. Seriously! How did I get to be so OLD?! *smile*   Life was still full, but in the routine of life, I somehow lost sight of everything I just wrote in the above paragraphs. I began to wonder: Was I really where God wanted me? Maybe He wanted me to go somewhere else so I could find my Prince Charming? Maybe I missed meeting my prince because I was so busy?
It was time for a re-evaluation. A re-focus. And a long, tearful talk with Dad. I spent some extra time just seeking the Lord in His Word. Asking if I was truly in His will. Searching. Struggling. 
But the Lord is always faithful and once again used several verses to renew my vision for investing in my younger siblings and several other local opportunities. He also started to show me that I had become a human-‘doing’ instead of a human-‘being’. Frantically focusing on various projects until the point that I felt the urge to simply be ‘busy’. It was time to slow down and live intentionally. 
I loved it!! Summer 2011 was an incredible time for me! I was once again living with a sense of purpose and joy. I thanked the Lord every day for the opportunity to pursue the things I was passionate about!

Alan: Last July I was at a wedding anniversary celebration for my parents and one of my cousins told my sister that she knew of a girl who she thought might be a good match for Alan.  When my sister mentioned it to me all I remembered her saying was that it was a girl who was involved in a traveling music group.  I all but wrote it off thinking, "How would a guy get to know a girl like that?"  But she was persistent and said that all I had to do was google 'Wissmann Family' and I would be able to learn more about her.  As I began reading the blogs they had posted I was still dubious but then I began to think that most girls I knew by the age of 29 were more than ready to get married and that Rachel probably, at some point, had the same struggle I had gone through.  As I read the blog and watched some concert clips I began to sense a surrendered spirit about her that was very attractive to me. At that point I was convinced. But how does a man get to know a traveling musician? It's not easy.

After much thought I checked their music schedule and saw that the closest concert was going to be in York, Nebraska, in less than two weeks at the York County Fair.  So I decided to go, but I still remember thinking to myself on the way up that I must be crazy driving eight hours just to attend a county fair.

Rachel: Fast-forward to August 4, 2011. I was excited about heading up to the Lake Itasca Music Festival that weekend and Dad had lined up a concert at the York County Fair just previous to the festival. It was a fun, outdoor, casual event where we sang two 45-minute sets. 

After our first set, Dad mentioned that I needed to practice a song with the boys before our second concert. So I headed to find the boys on the far side of the tent. I inwardly sighed when I saw them actively engaged in a conversation with a tall gentlemen -- and started to scheme how I could politely inform them of our need to practice. 

I walked up and eased into their circle of conversation. But before I knew what was happening, the gentleman started directing his questions to me! He was a very pleasant conversationalist, and I answered his questions regarding our music and travels. I discovered he was from the Wichita area and was passing through York during the fair event. Still focused on the duties at hand, I excused myself at the first opportunity and headed to the bus to practice. 
Little did I know I had just met the love of my life!

Alan: After the concert was over I was visiting with two of her brothers and the conversation was going really well when Rachel came over, and being the optimist I am, I thought: "She is going to make this easy, in fact, she must be interested!" She talked for a brief minute or so and then told the guys they needed to brush up on a song before the next concert.  My ego quickly deflated, but when you drive four hours to a county fair a man doesn't give up that easily.  So I stayed for the second concert, but afterwards she was busy at the CD table and so I talked with her dad and then traveled home.  I remember being impressed with the sense of humility and spiritual passion the family exhibited throughout the evening which was attractive to me.  But what does a man do next? Getting to know a traveling musician is not easy.  

As I mulled my predicament over in my mind I began to think that this day and age if I had a daughter and some stranger called her out of the blue I would want to know a few things about the man before I let her spend time with him.  Several days later I decided to call her dad  before they forgot who I was. Traveling musicians meet a lot of people.  The only number I had was the number on the web site which I assumed would be his -- or at least the secretary for the group, which it was. Rachel was the secretary, which I found out when she picked up the phone. I quickly recovered and asked to speak to Mr. Wissmann.  Thankfully she didn't ask who I was and gave me his number.  

When he picked up the phone I told him who I was and why I was calling.  I remember there being a long pause in which all sorts of assumptions ran through my head, but then since he was in the middle of setting up for a concert he said he would call me back.  When he did, we had a really good long conversation, and when we hung up he said he would mention it to Rachel and get back with me.  I remember thinking when I got off the phone that even if things didn't work out with Rachel that this was a man with whom I would like to stay in contact. Our interests were so similar.  After several days he called back and said Rachel was willing to get acquainted and that they were going to be singing at a four day event called Old Threshers' Reunion in eastern Iowa over Labor Day.  They had a place I could stay, and it would be a great low pressure event to get to know each other better.  I agreed but when I looked at the route I realized I would be spending fourteen hours on the road to get better acquainted with a girl who had shown very little interest.

Rachel: One week after the York concerts, I received a phone call from the gentleman in Wichita. Since he wanted to talk to Dad, I figured he was interested in booking a concert. I was pleased because we had an ‘open’ evening we needed to fill in the Kansas area the following month. Perfect!
Later, I asked Dad if the ‘man from Wichita’ called about wanting to schedule a concert?! When he replied in the negative, I instinctively knew why he had called. It was about me. And I actually didn’t think twice about it. I figured that I had plenty of other stuff to focus on. 
Dad had a couple phone conversations with the ‘man from Wichita’ (I still didn’t know his name!), and invited him to join our family for our annual trip to Old Threshers'. Dad was very impressed with their phone conversations and seemed eager for us to meet. I was completely fine with that as Old Threshers' is always lots of fun and action. We could get to know each other without pressure and both still have a good time.

Alan: As I stepped out of the car in Mt. Pleasant and began walking to where I knew the bus would be parked, I began to sweat -- mostly from the hot humid Iowa summer, but also from a nervous feeling knowing that awkward moments lay ahead. But then I remembered something I had heard once. If the relationship is God's will, despite any blunders you make, it will still happen, and if this wasn't God's choice then I should be thankful for that since His way is always best.

As I came around the corner of the bus one of her brothers was just heading into the bus as the family was about to pray before the concert would take place.  I stepped on and everyone looked at me, and I knew the awkward moment had arrived. To make matters worse, Mr. Wissmann reached out his hand and said:  "And your name again?"  My heart sank as I concluded that I was probably just boy number ten who had stepped on this bus.  I figured at least I could enjoy the festivities.  This was a huge step up from the county fair. One thing led to another and as the weekend progressed so did the relationship. Getting to know this traveling musician was getting easier and more enjoyable by the moment!

Rachel: It was around noon when Alan arrived at Old Threshers. Our family was just gathering to pray before our concert, so he stepped in the bus and joined us. As we headed up to the concert location, I welcomed him to Old Threshers' and asked about his trip. (It was a 7 hour drive).
My heart was in neutral in regards to this relationship. Yes, he seemed like a very nice man. And yes, he was an excellent conversationalist. I found myself completely at ease just talking to him -- at least when I had a chance to talk to him!! I was surprised to discover that he seemed to always be hanging out with my brothers or talking to the younger kids. I wondered if he had really come to Old Threshers' to see me?!! 
As the weekend progressed, we had a couple great conversations...and a lot of fun together. I was impressed with his sincere love for the Lord and depth of character -- and was caught off guard by his fantastic sense of humor! I found myself admiring so many things about him.
Our whole family gathered at the end of Old Threshers' and said ‘goodbye’ to our grandparents, Alan, and other friends who had joined us for the weekend. Alan waved goodbye to me, but I had no idea when -- or if -- I would ever hear from him again. Somehow, I had entered the weekend indifferent, but I left curiously hoping I would see him again. Soon!

Alan: When it came time to leave we had not had a chance to really talk about where things were going and since there were others around I just waved good bye and walked away to my car.  The seven hour trip home flew by as I thought back over the weekend and realized how easy and enjoyable it was to talk with her, especially about our relationship with God.  I was enthused but had no idea what she was thinking.  I knew that if she had no interest she would have acted differently, but then again she might have just been showing courtesy since I had driven so far.

Rachel: I didn’t have long to wait! The next morning I got a phone call from a number I didn’t recognize while I was deep in conversation with Bethany. When I went back to check my messages, I heard, “This is Alan. Give me a call when you have the chance.” My heart jumped!
Unbeknownst to me, Alan had asked Dad’s permission to call me -- and he wasted no time! I eagerly dialed back his number and we had the first of many 2+ hour long phone conversations.

Alan: The next day I called her up and told her I was interested in pursuing the relationship, and she voiced the same.  I was on a cloud.  Better yet, I realized that in less than two weeks they would be traveling through Kansas to sing on the way to Branson.  As they had some extra time the family was able to spend a day and a half at my home getting to know my side of the family.

We quickly moved into a season of friendship as our phone conversations centered around getting to know each other’s family, background, ministry vision, Scriptural insights, and every day activities. I was constantly amazed at how we seemed to be instantly on the same page, no matter what topic we chose to talk about. His depth and insight into life always left me inspired and challenged. He was a leader, but very servant-hearted and humble. I was cautious, but kept wanting to know more about this handsome man.

In mid-September our family was able to spend a few days with him and his family on their farm -- it was our first time to meet any of his family. With Dad and Mom growing up on midwest farms, we instantly had a lot in common with the Busenitz clan. His parents and brother’s family were so welcoming, and we had such a good time with them. Again, Alan and I had some good conversations, and I was reminded how much I enjoyed hanging out with him. 
We were headed to Missouri after our time in Kansas, and I casually invited him to join our family for a day or two in Branson. It was a 5 hour drive, so I figured he probably wouldn’t be interested. I was so thrilled when he messaged me shortly after we left his farm asking if it would indeed be okay to join us?! Our time in Branson was a blast, and I realized that I was sincerely beginning to really like this man! 
In October I was able to spend a week with Alan’s family as they harvested soybeans. It was a fantasic opportunity as he gave me a tour of the Kansas countryside, and we spent several 10-12 hour days riding in the combine. And talking all the while. We shared priceless memories throughout this whole season, through November and into December. I again and again marveled at the godly, courageous, humble, clever, hard-working, funny, wise man that he is. Everything I had prayed for in a man...and so much more!

[Making gingerbread with Alan's neice and nephew]

Alan: One thing led to another and on December sixteen we were engaged.  Looking back I can truly say that God does give exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think. I am so grateful for Rachel and I am looking forward to seeing how God will use us together in the future.

Rachel: Fourteen weeks after that memorable weekend at Old Threshers, we were fast approaching Christmas. At the rate our friendship was growing, I was beginning to wonder if I might get a diamond for Christmas?! I had spent time in prayer and knew that if he would ask, I would have full confidence that becoming Alan’s wife was God’s perfect, beautiful, and joyous will for me.

But my suspicions of a holiday diamond were quieted when he told me that his friends were teasing him about proposing on Christmas -- and that he had decidedly told them they were all wrong. So I mentally deduced that it wouldn’t be Christmas. Maybe January before we left on our 2 month tour?! 

Around December 16, my dad mentioned to me that he had to go to Kansas for a business trip. Since Alan was planning to come up for the weekend already, I asked if I could catch a ride south and then drive back with Alan on Saturday. Alan was excited about the prospect, too, so we eagerly planned for a ‘bonus’ day together. He was full of plans to spend the evening in Wichita, looking at Christmas lights. Since most of our time together had consisted of working on the farm or hanging out with my family, this would be our first ‘real date’. I was thrilled! 
8:00 in the morning, Dad suddenly realized there was a problem with the airplane he planned to use. The trip was almost cancelled, but thankfully a repairman got on the job, and by mid-morning we were headed south! Alan picked us up at the airport and we had lunch together before Dad flew to his business meeting. Alan and I headed home and did some farm work before heading out for the evening in Wichita. 
Alan was pretty laid back and asked if I would like to eat first or head to the Christmas lights. Since we had a late lunch, I opted for the Christmas lights. It was a gorgeous display with hundreds of thousands of lights. We walked around and tried to keep warm as we enjoyed the atmosphere and live music together. 
An hour or so later we were chilly and ready for some food, so Alan asked where I’d like to go for supper. “Mexican?...or ...” I opted for Mexican, so he took me to a fantastic spot -- “On the Border." Afterwards, he asked if I’d like to go on a walk around the lakefront. The Christmas lights from a small island reflected down on the clear water and the whole scene was incredibly beautiful. 
We sat on a park bench and Alan mentioned that he had a gift for me. My heart skipped a beat -- until I saw the package and realized it was obviously a book. I unwrapped it and turned the book over to read the description. He quickly reached for the book and turned it right-side up again. This puzzled me as I just wanted to read what the book was about. I turned it upside down again, only to have him right it. Finally, I quizzically opened the book and discovered a center hole whittled out of the book with the world’s most gorgeous diamond ring tucked inside! (Since we were sitting right at the river’s edge, he was afraid the ring would fall out when I kept tipping the book over!!) 

I wholeheartedly said “YES! I would love to!” when he popped the question. And I continue to fall in love with this incredible, wonderful man every day since then. On June 30th I look forward to becoming Mrs. Alan Busenitz and the great and many adventures we will have together. May the Lord be glorified, great things HE has done!


goatpod2 said...

Enjoyed reading your love story! My sister was engaged before Christmas too and my now brother-in-law proposed to her on a lake and had some friends light some Christmas lights that said, "Will You Marry Me" inside a heart shape with lights, I think their friends also got it on video, we saw the pictures of the whole proposal too, and they've been married for 4 years now.

I'll always be single, I'll be 30 in December '12.

God bless you on your upcoming marriage.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the coming event to the both of you and your families!! God's timing is tremendous as your trust was in HIm.
Cathy Cattle

Hannah Elise said...

so enjoyed reading this! what a beautiful story of how God brought you together. thank you so much for sharing.

Julianne said...

What a BEAUTIFUL story! Rachel, thank you so much especially for sharing your journey through your years of singleness. I think as young women we can often feel all alone and as if all those around us are getting married and leaving us behind - thank you for sharing the reminder of the true purpose of life to be to serve God wholeheartedly!

Many blessings to you and Alan as you approach your special day and begin your new life together!


Amy said...

Thank you for sharing your story. It was an encouragement to me.

Hannah said...

Beautiful story! And I love, love, love that you both had surrendered yourselves to GOD's will in your lives! He has begun a good work in you both, and I am so excited to see it grow and flourish in your marriage!

TheBeadtriss (aka Krista) said...

Its neat to see how God works, even when we think nothing is happening!
Blessings to you!


Hannah said...

Such a encouraging story. It is so amazing how God can bring two people together. Also a fan of your families music.

Sharon said...

Yay!! What a beautiful love story, y'all!! I've been hoping you would share it. And I've been eagerly waiting for news on the wedding this Saturday!! So excited for you guys!!!
And WOW, Alan's quote really hit the nail on the head for me with something I'm going through right now...
"If the relationship is God's will, despite any blunders you make, it will still happen, and if this wasn't God's choice then I should be thankful for that since His way is always best.

Meg said...

Thank you for sharing this beautiful love story, Rachel and Alan! Many thanks also for your encouraging words to those of us that are single and trying to love God's Will first and accept the place He has for us right now.

I've heard a few love stories within the past few weeks from dear friends and neighbors and each time felt my heart ask the same question yours did at that conference, Rachel. This was the first love story that I read that gave me HOPE instead of a wistful, "why is it happening to everyone else" reaction. Your words and the testimony of your life and how you BOTH accepted the place God had for you without looking to tomorrow has challenged me to again surrender myself to God's plan - with joy!

Tonight, I opened my internet browser, discouraged and wondering if my time will ever come. Now, I close it with the renewed trust that if comes or not, my only care is to follow God's will. He will take care of the rest. Alan's point about God loving us more than anyone and wanting the best for us is well made.

I will pray for your both, that God will bless your upcoming marriage with His choicest graces. "What God hath joined together, let no man put asunder." Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

This is so, so beautiful.. Thank you for sharing!! I'm praising the Lord with you.

- Lilly Rice

Holly said...

Thank you for sharing your story! I remember seeing you and Alan together at Old Thresher's last year and my first thought was that you were with the person you would marry. I thought you had been dating a while though! I had no idea you had just met!

Congrats on your upcoming wedding and marriage!


Anonymous said...

Wow!! You have such a beautiful story, thank you so much for sharing it! I love seeing how awesome God is to his children, I couldn't help smiling the whole time I read it!

Rachel, I want to especially thank you for sharing the part on your single years. I'm 23 now and I think the quote “Marriage is not the ultimate purpose of life. Our ultimate purpose is to glorify the Lord.” is just the thing I needed to hear! :D


Naomi T. said...

Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story. Isn't it amazing when that special one comes into your life and you realize with great clarity that all those years of waiting for this season of life were completely worth it. God's path for each of us is made for learning and walking and waiting.

This is just the beginning of the joy you will share together. You are so blessed!!

I remember when Jesse and I were getting to know each other, he became my best friend very quickly because we could talk to each other so easily. :) Sounds like you've found your soul mate.

Anonymous said...

So inspiring Rachel!

Thank you for sharing your beautiful story and these beautiful pictures from your courtship.

I wish you and Alan many happy years together.

You have been an inspiration to me for many years. So glad I found your blog.



SineTimore said...

I completely agree with the comment that Meg wrote above. As an "older" single woman I have many times asked the Lord, "when Lord, when"? This was SUCH an encouragement to me... Your blog has always encouraged me of the Lord's goodness but this specific post had such a personal encouragement to my 32 year old heart that the Lord is in control, and that He has the best in mind for each of us. THANK YOU so much for your story- it is beautifully hopeful and such an inspiration!!
Many Blessings,
Rebecca :)

Graham Donahue said...

Great story!

We get so stressed sometimes, in all aspects of life, and need to just rest assured that God will help us through. We need to do our part and let Him do His.

Thanks for sharing and God bless you two and your families. I will continue to keep you in my prayers.


Marshall Arts said...

Dear Rachel (and Alan!),

"He is faithful to supply my needs. He is faithful to give me joy abundantly!"

Much love and support,
Mrs. Marshall

Godly-young-widow said...

Thank you for sharing this story. Yeah; I was 27 when my late husband and I started out relationship, and we were married when I was 28. And then I was widowed at 36. I'm 40 now, and this brings me encouragement that God brought me my husband then, and He has plans for me now, and in the future. Whether that means another husband someday or not, it's in Him, and my life is full. I do find it very encouraging that he first found you from your blog.....God bless your future marriage

Desiree said...

This is such a sweet love story! I enjoyed reading it and how God brought you together.

Rachel, you have been a wonderful example to me! I pray God will bless you (and Alan)!

Rebecca at Cotton+Wood said...

I looooooooved reading your love story.

I'm 29 and the Lord just brought a man into my life (he's older, too). Our relationship is still in the beginning stages but we're excited about what God has in store.

It is so true that single girls should embrace their singleness and make the most of it. I don't regret the time I've spent working for my family or for the Lord through my church....I just wish I could still do more!!

I hope your wedding day is perfect in every way.

Marshall Arts said...

The way God scripts love between a man and woman who love Him above all is more wonderful than anything we could make up on our own!!

Thank you both for sharing!

Sending you Texas-sized blessings for your special day and life ahead together!!

In Christ,

Karissa said...

Congratulations to you both and thank you so much for sharing your story. It was a huge blessing and incouragement to not let my time a lone be wasted! I can't wait to see pictures of the wedding!!!

His Way Services said...

Thank you for sharing your wonderful story! It's so amazing how each story done God's way is the same in that context, but the way He brings it about-no two stories are exactly alike! It's neat how busy and unsuspecting you were when it came about, Rachel.
You know, Rachel, you seemed so happy and content through the blog serving the Lord, your family, and others that I was wondering if you'd ever get married, but you seemed so joyful where you were.

Congratulations! God bless you both! Your special day is only 3 days away!

Rebecca K.

Maria said...

This is SO SWEET. How amazing is God? I am a wife and mother in Iowa. Although my daughter is only 7, I may print this off for her so someday she can read all about the real blessings of waiting on God for ALL THINGS. What a testimony! Congratulations on your engagement and upcoming wedding. Your entire family must be thrilled.

Andrea B said...

That has got to be the sweetest, most inspiring story I have ever heard of or read. Congratulations Rachel & Alan. God bless you abundatly through you married life :) I'll be praying for you on Saturday!

JoyfulJewels4Jesus said...

Thank you SO much for sharing, Rachel! I'm so happy for you and you have been such an encouragement to me. I'm looking forward to reading the story more slowly, but for now...thanks so much!


maureen said...

Such a beautiful story and such an inspiration to everyone to live in the moment for God's glory!

Congratulations to you both. I will be thinking and praying for you on Saturday!

Shaylyn said...

Wow, you guys have no idea what a great encouragement that was to me! Thank you so much for sharing your story Rachel & Alan. I pray the Lord's blessings on your new life together starting Saturday!

Emily Brown said...

It's been fun for me to read (and see in the photos) the amazing joy of this journey! I was 33 when I met my husband, after a fabulous single life too! We've been married over 2 years now and it's been the most glorious time! I tell people that I whole-heartedly recommend waiting until your 30s to get married!!! :)~

Your wedding day will be wonderful....and God certainly has splendid things in store for you!

Nathan and Katelin said...

If you think it's hard to get to know a traveling musician, just try getting to know a missionary! :)

Rebecca said...

Rachel and Alan, congratulations! I loved reading your love story and how you both stayed true and faithful to God's plan. I am praying that you decide to create your blog for your family for us to follow. You both are such an inspiration! Sending you love and blessings from Texas! ~ Rebecca

Lady Bibliophile said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lady Bibliophile said...

Congratulations Alan and Rachel! Your story is so inspiring. I am praying for your wedding celebration tomorrow.


Becca said...

Thanks for sharing this. I am so excited for both of you - I am encouraged by your story. Thank you, Rachel for the encouragement to press on and use our single years for the Lord. I have to say that you have been a BIG encouragement to me the past few years. Thanks for your example!

Blessings to both of you,

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing the long-a-waited post!=) Such a cool story!! I will be thinking of you, Alan and Rachel, as the BIG day is fastly approaching.=)=) The pictures are great too.


Amy W. said...

What a beautiful story!! Thank you so much for sharing it. It was very encouraging!

"A life poured out for Jesus is a life of no regrets." Amen!


Desirae Clopper said...

What a beautiful story! Thanks for the encouragement to singles. My twin sister is getting married on July 4th, and moving to AL. Congrats on your upcoming marriage, and May God Bless you Both!
In Christ,

Mikala said...

That is an AMAZING story, Rachel!!! God has really blessed you!!!

Talitha said...

Aww, this is so beautiful and encouraging! God's timing and will is always perfect! Thank you so much for taking the time to share.

May God bless you abundantly, Alan and Rachel. You'll be in our thoughts and prayers on your special day.

Keep serving Jesus and radiating His light!

With love,


Elizabeth said...

What a lovely story!
Elizabeth Lindsay

Annie said...

Aww, congratulations! I'm excited to see what God has in store for you! :)

Unknown said...

You have a beautiful love story! It just goes to show that because you let God write your love story that he was faithful at bringing you two together. As I read your love story; Isaiah 55:8-9 came to my mind, where it says that "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts."

Like you said Rachel, that when you were 18 you thought it was the perfect age to get married but those definitely weren't God's thoughts for you. Rachel you are an insperation to me of what a content woman looks like while she is waiting for God to bring along that special someone, I appreciate your heart that was devoted to serving Christ even as a single woman.
10 Summers ago my family was getting ready to welcome my dear soon-to-be sister inlaw who was Tammera Busenitz in to our lives. The wedding was also at Emmaus Mennonite Church(in the old chruch builing.)

Congratulations Alan and Rachel!! I am so very thrilled for you both!

Theresa Moody

BethanyGrace said...

Congratulations on your wedding day, Alan and Rachel! May God bless you both!

EMD said...

Thank you for posting! It was worth the wait. :)
May you continue to hold God's hand through your marriage!

Leah said...

How moving. What a testimony to God's sovereignty. Your love story is so inspiring in so many ways. I am very glad you shared. It touched my heart and encouraged me.

May God bless your marriage!


Denise McNaught said...

Loved reading your love story, first of all of your love for our Lord & second of your growing love for each other. God has an amazing plan for you both & I hope to read of what He is doing in your lives. May God continue to bless you both abundantly.

Anonymous said...

You are one blessed girl Rachel! I went to high school with Alan, and he is a class act guy. His younger sister Lisa was in my class, awesome family. Congrats :)

Rachel said...

Ya'lls story of how y'all met and became one is truly amazing! This is one of the most sweetest stories I have heard! God Bless ya'll and y'alls life together!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! I love how involved your family was with him and vice versa! I really think that's the way it should be if at all possible :) and the fact that you all had so much in common was amazing!
I'm so happy for you and you've given me home that maybe, someday soon, a gentleman will come along and ask my Dad for permission to get to know me. I'm praying :)

Juf said...

Beautiful story. As a single woman in her late 30's, this was encouraging to read!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful story! My favorite part was the Little House reference ;). I, too, was going to get married at 18 to a man who was about 10 years older than I ;).Never met any one that old, but did meet my husband several years later and I think a six year difference is better!

Yasmeen Elsayed said...

شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام
شركة تخزين اثاث بالدمام
شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام
شركة عزل اسطح بالدمام
شركة رش مبيدات بالدمام
شركة تنظيف خزانات بالدمام
شركة تنظيف بيارات بالدمام
شركة تنظيف موكيت بالدمام
شركة تسليك مجاري بالدمام
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام
شركة تنظيف شقق بالدمام

Yasmeen Elsayed said...

شركة تنظيف منازل بالدمام
شركة تنظيف فلل بالدمام
شركة تنظيف بالدمام
عزل وتنظيف الخزانات
خدمات التسليك والتسربات
نقل وتخزين الاثاث
مكافحة الحشرات ورش المبيدات
خدمات التنظيف
شركة تنظيف مسابح بالمدينة المنورة
شركة تنظيف موكيت بالمدينة المنورة

Yasmeen Elsayed said...

شركة تنظيف منازل بالمدينة المنورة
شركة تنظيف مجالس بالمدينة المنورة
شركة تنظيف فلل بالمدينة المنورة
شركة تنظيف شقق بالمدينة المنورة
شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالمدينة المنورة
شركة تسليك مجارى بالمدينة المنورة
شركة رش مبيدات بالمدينة المنورة
مكافحة حشرات بالمدينة المنورة
شركة تخزين عفش بالمدينة المنورة

Yasmeen Elsayed said...

نقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة
غسيل خزانات بالمدينة المنورة
شركة تنظيف بيارات بالمدينة المنورة
شركة تنظيف بالمدينة المنورة
عزل وتنظيف الخزانات
خدمات التسليك والتسربات
نقل وتخزين الاثاث
مكافحة الحشرات ورش المبيدات
خدمات التنظيف
شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام
شركة تخزين اثاث بالدمام

Yasmeen Elsayed said...

شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام
شركة عزل اسطح بالدمام
شركة رش مبيدات بالدمام
شركة تنظيف خزانات بالدمام
شركة تنظيف بيارات بالدمام
شركة تنظيف موكيت بالدمام
شركة تسليك مجاري بالدمام
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام
شركة تنظيف شقق بالدمام
شركة تنظيف منازل بالدمام

Yasmeen Elsayed said...

شركة تنظيف فلل بالدمام
شركة تنظيف بالدمام
عزل وتنظيف الخزانات
خدمات التسليك والتسربات
نقل وتخزين الاثاث
مكافحة الحشرات ورش المبيدات
خدمات التنظيف

sara jems said...

شركات نقل الاثاث
شركه نقل اثاث
شركات نقل العفش
شركه نقل عفش
شركات نقل الاثاث بالقاهره
شركات نقل العفش بالقاهره
شركات نقل الاثاث بالاسكندريه
شركات نقل الاثاث بطنطا