One year ago TODAY! Only GOD!
As the evening ended, this girl Sarah started to pray. I thought to myself, who is this girl? Who is it that she LOVES so intimately, I mean I love Jesus, but I don’t know that I know Him like she does.
Honestly, hearing this girl pray made me want to go home stay up all night and read the Bible. I so desperately wanted to know who it was that she knew. She spoke of Jesus with such familiarity and admiration!!
I wanted to know Who and what she knew. So I started to come to every gathering she held, to every retreat she planned, I couldn’t get enough of her passion for God and Jesus. I wanted to know the Creator of the Universe like she knew Him! She would tell candid stories and speak such truth and teach straight from the Bible and I was shocked by this girl. Then I met her family and thought “Oh my word they all know Jesus like she does” I just hung around them every chance I got!
a little history…
About 10 years ago Sarah was engaged and thought it was JUST WHAT GOD HAD PLANNED- including a ministry, money, and “fame” all in the very name of Jesus!
But life takes turns and sometimes turns we least expect! Her dreams were suddenly shattered by a realization she came to while spending time in prayer with Jesus. Trying to fight it with everything in her, she knew, it wasn’t right! Shattered and heartbroken, her faith was tested to the core. As Sarah has said, “God saved her from what she thought she wanted and gave her what she really needed instead, Himself in a deeper way”!
God used this very life shaking event in her life, for her good and His glory! 1 Peter 5:10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.….became her verse, and then became her ministry. He began to strip her from the identity craving she had defined by marrying a certain person and replace it with who she was IN CHRIST.
Her brokenness, she knew God was asking her to leverage this story for His glory and continue to wait well in the midst of “lack” and in the wake of losing everything. She was asked to speak on several platforms and guess what story the Lord wanted her to share! Not the one she “thought!”
Sarah threw herself into the arms of God and let Him direct her steps from there on out, although she wasn’t expecting a decade of singleness it was in that decade that her now ministry called Establish Her was born! Officially in 2008!
Pause on Sarah, Meet Josh.
Josh on the other hand led a different life than Sarah, truly a wandering soul (which I can so relate) Josh, after many failed relationships, striving after worldly success and money, a deep family crisis that divided all he ever knew as love, found himself sitting on a tree stump one evening staring at the moon and cried out to God without anywhere else to turn. In 2008, Josh surrendered his life to and in the power of Jesus Christ.
Anyone notice how these two lives began a new chapter in 2008! #ONLYGOD!
From that very moment Josh sought Christ with everything he had. He began to fervently pray for older men as mentors. He continued to find his source, his conviction, and his healing in the person of Jesus. His successful marketing career in the corporate world was transformed by God into one in the non profit sector where he is the director of marketing at Atlanta Mission.
You see, timing and preparation are everything! Josh would not have been ready to meet such a gal like Sarah any earlier than he did. Sarah would tell you that she would not have been free to receive or trust his love any sooner than when God released her heart to do so. Ironically, they actually lived only 4 miles apart in the major populated city of Atlanta and shared multiple groups of friends.
Late spring last year Josh and Sarah both “ended up” speaking at this gathering, although in different months. Later they were connected but more out of a ministry heart than a “you should date heart”.
So Josh and Sarah had coffee (one year ago TODAY!) to talk “ministry stuff”…
The very next week, a huge group of friends gathered for Sarah’s 30th birthday, Josh was on the invite list, but that wasn’t abnormal, it was a big party!! Sarah was truly not sure what she thought of Josh at this point but will tell you she was drawn to his presence!
God had a plan, because it was at this party that God allowed Josh to meet Gary!
Now Gary is the man you want to meet if you want to know more about Jesus. Remember, Josh had been praying for a Godly mentor.
Apart from Sarah even knowing, Gary and Josh simply connected over Christ and agreed to meet for biblical discipleship, the very next day. Hours every week they opened scripture together. Sarah never was the topic. Josh would take avid notes weekly as Gary would share his wisdom throughout the last 50 years of journeying with Christ.
Technically, Josh began dating Gary before he ever dated Sarah! (which as Sarah thought back is exactly what she had prayed for)
God remembers ALL our prayers!!!
OH and did I mention Gary is Sarah’s dad? (I know CUTE)….
I remember sitting across from these two that “were not dating yet” thinking, this dude, he knows his stuff about non-profits, about social media, about marketing, about fundraising, hmmmm, this guy, he could really help Establish Her…. but I knew not to tell Sarah this yet, I didn’t want to freak her out!
God was still waiting and weaving until the moment in August that would change everything.
God knew, God knew when Sarah was heartbroken years earlier that ‘this guy’ would come along. He knew because God puts us on this planet to accomplish what He wants accomplished, He knew Sarah was an anointed, gifted teacher of His Word, and He knew that her husband would have to be a humble but confident man who would help her steward this gift of God.
He also knew Sarah had to be broken, poured out, and single for longer than she had hoped but even she will tell you it was the best path! God, He knew, He knew He was raising up just the man. He knew what needed to happen in both of these individual lives in order for His purpose and their good. It is all about His kingdom advancing first. They had prayed separately, “Your will, Your way Lord”. Which is how we have to be… as hard as it is!
There is much more to this story and these two amazing people, a story only God could write and it is just begun as they are getting married this November! To read more about Josh and Sarah see http://ottdeyton.ourwedding.com/view/9639975701316041/34297430
OH AND RE: Josh and Gary: Josh and Sarah’s younger brother, Seth, have encouraged Gary to start a men’s Bible Study much like Establish Her but for men! Guess who is doing all the social media and website design on this one!!!! I love how God works! (I wish I could go, I love to hear Gary teach on the Word, but guys only) 🙁
Men Check Out www.hungryheartsbiblestudy.com
I asked Sarah and Josh what book they would recommend while in a season of waiting (waiting for a mate, a baby, a house etc…) and they said “Falling in LOVE with JESUS” so watch on my Putting the Pencil Down Page on Facebook as I am going to do a couple book give-aways of this book!