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Part 2: Living Sacrifice

July 18, 2006

I had no idea that while I was struggling with marriage, Josh had been praying about marriage and considering what he was looking for in a wife. One day, while having lunch with our singles’ pastor, Jimmy, Josh shared that he really felt like his wife wasn’t at Chesapeake. Jimmy asked if he’d ever considered me. He mentioned this offhandedly, while leaving lunch. Josh replied that he hadn’t.

Being almost four years older than Josh, he respected me but never saw me as a possibility. Plus another guy who was a mutual friend had expressed interest in me, and Josh was aware of it. But after Jimmy’s comment, Josh suddenly realized that he had the liberty to consider me. Prior to this, he’d mentally considered me off-limits.

Time went by and we all went to Celebration in May of 2004. By that point I was quite aware of the fact that I liked Josh and was trying to hide it and pretend it didn’t exist. I hated that fact that I watched everything he did out of the corner of my eye and could barely concentrate on other people and became jealous if he talked to other girls. Meanwhile, Josh was also crazy about me and we kept running into each other at Celebration. Josh enjoyed it, and I tried to stay away from him. Josh shared with Jimmy at that point that he was really interested in me. Jimmy encouraged him to keep waiting until he was sure. There are some funny stories I could share from that weekend, but it would take too long. Then came the singles’ white water rafting trip. Again, being around Josh made me really struggle with being myself. Josh tried to find ways to be around me, including driving my new jeep the morning we were to go rafting when I felt sick.

I was aware that being around Josh was more and more of a struggle, and jealousy would start to rise up whenever he talked to other girls. I never for a moment thought he liked me back. He never for a moment thought I liked him. He still had one more year of college, plus I thought he was too young, despite the qualities I saw in him.

It was time to do battle.

Not long after the white water rafting trip I sat down with the Lord to give it all to the Lord. Ephesians 5:15 convicted me: “Be careful, then, how you live—not as the unwise but as the wise.” I wrote in my journal that I realized I was not “living in the power of the living Lord, but am willing to indulge my lustful appetite. I need to followw hard after holiness, looking to Christ.” Again the lyrics of the worship song rang true: “All of you, is more than enough for all of me, for every thirst and every need. You satisfy me, with your love, and all I have in you is more than enough.” The battle was growing harder, and I didn’t want my jealousy to in anyway disrupt my interaction with Josh or my interaction and service of the girls in my small group. I gave up my desire, and sacrificed it to Christ as a living sacrifice of worship. I felt relieved and ready to start fresh. That was Saturday morning of June 28th, 2004.

Saturday night, I went to a leadership meeting for all the Care Group leaders. I sat down by Cheryl’s mom, who’d been ill, to see how she was doing. Josh was leading worship for the event. I didn’t realize his Bible and notebook were two seats down from where I’d sat down (really, I didn’t!). He looked out and was excited I sat down where I had. After worship he came and sat by me.

“O Lord,” I thought. “Did you have to test me right away?”

The evening consisted of Jimmy sharing about how the “new” singles’ Care Groups were going. He shared about the guys, then read encouragement that the guys had written about the girls who led with them. Although it was all read anonymously, I immediately recognized Josh’s writing style as Jimmy read and could pick out exactly what he’d written about in praise of me. It was the first time I had an inkling that he might like me. After the message, Josh made small talk and asked me if I’d gotten his note.

“Note?” I repeated, bewildered. He shared that he’d sent me a thank you note for all I’d contributed towards Care Group. I told him no, I hadn’t gotten it yet. Then he proceeded to ask for my dad’s cell phone number, to ask if he could borrow chains for hauling something.

“I can ask him tonight and tell you tomorrow morning,” I replied (the next day was Sunday, remember).

“Uh, that’s okay, I can just give him a call. I need to ask a few other people too,” he answered. I gave him my dad’s cell phone and left the meeting.

My mind was in a whirl as I left. Josh asked for my dad’s cell phone. Why wouldn’t he just let me ask? Besides, he already had my home phone number, he’d called it many times before. Why wouldn’t he just use that? I suddenly had hope and was faced with the reality that Josh might like me. I could barely believe it and burst into tears on the drive home. But I didn’t want to jump to conclusions yet.

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. July 18, 2006 5:04 pm

    Wow! Danielle, what a story. Can’t wait to hear how it unfolds next!

    Reading your story makes me start thinking back to Ted and my courtship. I may have to sit down and blog about it sometime in the future — I’m feeling inspired by your posts and am remembering how God’s hand was working in bringing us together.

  2. July 18, 2006 5:55 pm

    You’ve brought a smile to my face, like all good love stories do. Thanks for sharing. Can’t wait to read the next “installment”.

    How sweet!!!

  3. July 18, 2006 7:20 pm

    “Plus another guy who was a mutual friend had expressed interest in me, and Josh was aware of it. But after Jimmy’s comment, Josh suddenly realized that he had the liberty to consider me. Prior to this, he’d mentally considered me off-limits.”
    Come on, one comment from Jimmy had that much power? Puhlease! :)-

    Okay, so now you’re playing the mystery writing and leaving us hanging on the ole cliff. Thanks a lot. :0

    I remember that night of the CGL meeting. You had stars in your eyes for that guitarist up front. He seemed abnormally exuberant as he strummed, like he was auditioning for a toothpaste commercial. I commented to Paul later, “Did you SEE Danielle? She couldn’t keep her eyes off Josh?” (Paul was clueless.) So it didn’t suprise when Carol Turek asked me a few weeks later, “Do you know who’s courting? I can’t tell you but, can you guess?” I said, “Of course I can. Danielle and Josh.” She was like, “Who told you?” I said, “No one. I just figured it was inevitable” (and told her of the gaga stares you were giving him.

  4. July 18, 2006 8:46 pm

    Ashleigh, I’d love to read your story. It is amazing, thinking back on it all, about how God works every detail together!

    Zoanna, well, you are perceptive! And I thought I was hiding my gaga stares really well!!!!

  5. July 18, 2006 9:29 pm

    Hiding them? Pshaw! If romance had wings you were ready for take-off.
    Funny thing is I didn’t even know you then! I wasn’t even trying to notice. It was like your brown eyes were super-glued to his, whatever color they are. You only looked away when he got close to looking your way. It was downright comical from where I sat (back row, right side. You were on the back row, left side, I believe). Wish I’d had a videocamera; woulda secretly taped you. Sap, sap, sap!

  6. July 18, 2006 9:33 pm

    babe,

    I’ve enjoyed reading your version of our story and it brings back some sweet memories…and some painful ones. Did I really think that asking your dad for chains was a “smooth” way to get his number? Yes I did. (at the time) I actually practiced by asking my sisters! How could a suave guy like me get it wrong here at this critical moment in any guys life? This would be the moment for me to shine and be a smooth talker and…well you still graciously played along and gave me his number and then kindly said yes to courting me 10 days later (Tuesday). But now I’m going ahead of you!

  7. July 18, 2006 10:43 pm

    what a great story…I feel like I am on the edge of my seat…like waiting for the next book in a series to come out!! CLIFFHANGER!!
    Such a wonderful story of how God brought you two together! Cannot wait to read the rest…when does your first book come out again!?? 🙂
    And a note to Josh, you have a FABULOUS wife, which I know you already know, but I love that you admit your “smooth” moves…I love to tease my husband about his former “smooth” moves but deep down it means so much to me that he showed so much interest in me, and I know Danielle thinks that too! 🙂

  8. July 19, 2006 1:17 pm

    I think chains are such a comical metaphor for the official beginning of your relationship. hehehehehe

  9. July 19, 2006 6:18 pm

    this is a great story so far! I’m reading with great anticipation 🙂

  10. July 24, 2006 6:40 pm

    Aw. I love reading this. Thanks for sharing, Danielle.

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