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Part 1: All of You

July 17, 2006

I never wanted to get married. I liked the idea of marriage, but not the reality I saw around me. Raising kids was the last thing I was interested in doing. My earliest thoughts of being grown up included going to college, writing, and mission work. As I grew older, I feared living a mundane, half-lived life. I didn’t want to go to work everyday, make money, come home, eat dinner, and do it all over again. I wanted to make a difference for God. I wanted to sacrifice it all in a real way. “An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit.” – 1 Cor. 7:34. This was my verse. I wanted to live it.

I struggled with what it meant to find God’s will. I agonized over college choices. I had peace in the midst of college and then agonized after college. What did God have for me? What were my motives? Were they pure? Impure? I just kept taking the next step and following the doors that opened.

It was 2002 and the singles’ ministry at my church was being revamped. I was asked by the pastor and his wife who lead the ministry to consider leading a small group of single girls. Eventually I found out that the singles’ ministry would be divided up into four groups and would be led by a godly single man, who’s job it was to lead discussion groups on the messages preached on Sunday. A sub-group of that was accountability groups. One for the guys, one for the girls. I was going to lead one of those groups.

I remember the night Jimmy announced the groups. My friends Libby and Emily S. and I were eager to be put into the same group. We were sadly separated. I was put into Josh’s group. Out of all the guys picked for leadership, I was happy to be put into Josh’s group. Although I didn’t know him that well, he was responsible and could lead worship well.

Prior to this, Josh and I had first met at Beachmont Chrisitian camp. He was one of three “Joshes” on staff, and I had a hard time keeping them straight. I thought he was rather stuck-up. We rarely talked to one another, mainly because our paths rarely crossed. He was doing the Outdoor Education, I was doing Arts and Crafts. One morning, however, we ended up doing chores together. We had been assigned a devotional to do by ourselves that morning by the camp director. We’d finished it and were now doing the various chores before camp started and we had our first conversation ever: we discussed the Apostle Paul. After that I thought he was less stuck-up. But we only talked about twice after that.

I started going to Chesapeake Community Church, Josh’s church, and became a member. I ended up on the worship team. Josh was also on the worship team. We still rarely talked. I felt awkward around him and had other guys I was better friends with. Our social circles usually didn’t overlap.

The summer before being assigned to Josh’s small group, we went to the Worship Conference together. I decided at the very last minute to go. I called some of the girls that were going and they already had a full van and were staying at Abby’s parents’ house, and didn’t have more room. I’d be staying at the hotel. I really wanted to go with someone else so I wouldn’t have to drive by myself. I called Josh because he’d mentioned he was going to get a carpool group together. I felt really strange asking him, because we hardly ever talked, and I never wanted him to think I liked him or anything like that (and a lot of girls did like him). He said I could go with him, Zac, and Rus, if I met them at Beachmont. So I did, thankful that the other guys were going, because I knew them really well. During the worship conference we got to talk more and on the way home from the conference, we talked almost the whole way home while Paul B. slept in the back. I decided then that I could, actually, be friends with Josh. The awkwardness seemed to lessen and he seemed more real. And, I decided that no, I didn’t “like” him. Nor did I want to.

So that was my experience with Josh before starting to lead Care Group with him. From that point on, we became in more contact with each other. Josh led the group with excellence and included me in all decisions. I really appreciated that. He seemed to always want feedback. Almost right away he started sending me an email after each Care Group, which he called “Care Group Evaluation.” He always wanted to personally critique how the time went, and have me critique it too, and see what we could do better, from worship to how the chairs were arranged. I saw his humility and care for people. I started really, really looking forward to his emails. But we only ever talked “business” and never talked about personal stuff that went beyond Care Group. For whatever reason, I always felt guarded with him.

We started the new Care Groups in November 2002, and by February 2003, I started struggling with the desire to be married for the first time ever. I don’t think at that point I even connected it to Josh, except maybe subconsciously. In my journal on February 2nd, 2003, I admitted for the first time that I was beginning to struggle with something I’d always been not only content about, but didn’t even desire. While house sitting for a friend, with the fire crackling and drinking hot chocolate I was listening to the worship song that had lyrics that said, “all of you, is more than enough for, all of me.” It hit me hard. I wasn’t feeling that God was more than enough for me. I also realized it was arrogant for me to assume that God could use me best being single, and that actually, one motivation for wanting to be single was related to the fear of being hurt. However, I didn’t want to waste my singleness, and continued praying that God would help me be content, as I did not want to desire what was not his will for me at that moment.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. July 17, 2006 11:28 pm

    This post has been removed by the author.

  2. July 17, 2006 11:30 pm

    Opps… I was fixing something on my sister’s blogger account and accidentally posted a comment on your blog under her name. I deleted it. Here’s what I said under my name this time. 🙂

    Oh — you left me wanting to know, “What happened next!”

    Thanks so much for sharing so openly the journey your heart was on through this. Looking forward to reading more.

  3. July 18, 2006 11:27 am

    Danielle, I am so glad you are sharing this, and the insights into your life so far have been amazing! Thank you and I am so glad that God brought you and Josh together!

  4. July 18, 2006 1:01 pm

    I love reading this story because it’s so obvious how God was working long before you and Josh got together. I’ll look forward to the next installment.

  5. July 18, 2006 1:58 pm

    good stuff, can’t wait for more!

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