Amanda's Story

Updated on July 31st, 2008

Like Andy, I had made a commitment as a teenager to guard my heart and to not seek deep friendships with guys without my parents’ blessing. Because of that, I didn’t think much about him the first time we met in 2001, other than the fact that he seemed like a nice guy and he had a really nice sister.

amanda_familyIn October of 2004, I was attending a music course in Indianapolis. The last week of the course overlapped with a counseling seminar where Andy was working as a staff member. Both of our families lived in eastern Tennessee and had been in the same home school program.

My sisters Courtney and Hannah were also attending the seminar, and throughout the week, the four of us talked a few times. As we talked, Andy mentioned that his family was without a church home and had considered coming to our church. They lived about an hour away. A few weeks later, the Warners started attending our church. Before long, Andy was leading the singing, and since I was the pianist, we ended up working together with the music.

In August of 2005, Andy headed off to a three year Bible school in Texas. The Sunday before he left, we hosted the church at our house. The Warners were able to stay the afternoon and our families had a great time. He hit it off with my brothers right away. As the Warners were leaving, I remember thinking to myself, “Three years.” As I watched them going down the driveway I started praying, “Oh God, you’re going to have to give me the grace for this one!” By then, I knew the feelings in my heart could grow strongly towards him really quickly, but I had made that commitment to guard my heart.

Andy’s Bible school schedule was three months in Texas and three months at home in Tennessee. Getting to see him was wonderful, but I knew that he was focused on his schooling. I didn’t want to distract him or get in the way. I also didn’t want to let my heart go to anyone prematurely.

During that time I prayed a lot! I prayed that he would follow the path that God had for him and that he would listen to His voice. I also prayed for me to love God more deeply and to find my contentment and true happiness in Him – whatever the cost.

When the fall of 2007 rolled around, Andy was in his next to last semester. I was really struggling to stay focused on God. I knew Andy was on the home stretch with school and I wondered what he was going to do next.

Towards the end of March, thoughts of Andy were squeezing into my mind! I couldn’t get away from it. Over and over I would try hard to give my feelings to the Lord. On March 27th, I headed up to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to lead a girls’ retreat similar to one Andy had led for young men a few weeks earlier. The week I was at the retreat, I was able to get a grip on my thoughts and truly look to the Lord to find continued contentment in Him.

By the end of the week I clearly remember being so happy, again, in the Lord. One day I was out with the girls sledding and I was walking back up the hill alone. I remember stopping and just standing there, laughing. I told the Lord, “Lord, I am so happy. I am so content in You and fulfilled doing Your work. I could do this the rest of my life and love it!” Then I added, “Oh, and by the way, I don’t even think I like Andy Warner any more!!” The Lord had truly given me contentment that He was enough. Little did I know what was happening back home.

During this week, Andy was talking with my dad to ask if he could begin a relationship with me. I had no clue that any of this was going on at all!

Things wrapped up with the retreat and we were driving back toward Chicago to arrive in time for a Sunday night service when I got a phone call from my dad. He told me that Andy had just taken on a job in Chicago with the same ministry that had sponsored the retreat. Dad asked me to “run into Andy” at the service that night. I thought to myself, “Okay…?” Then I asked, “What am I supposed to say when I run into him… ‘Hey’?!?” My dad said, “Yes. Just run into him and he has something he wants to ask you.” I then asked, “Well, can you enlighten me as to what it might be that he’s going to ask me?” He said, “No, I think he wants to be the one to ask you, so I’ll just leave it at that. I just wanted you to have a heads up.”

When I got off of the phone, I gasped for air! I could not believe it. One of the girls climbed up to the front of the van and asked if I was okay. I tried to assure her I was fine and then put in a sermon tape for the girls to listen to so I could look out the window and think. So many thoughts were running through my mind. What was going to happen when I got to Chicago??

When I arrived in Chicago, I was taken to meet him. He greeted me with flowers, a brand new red cell phone, a lovely invitation to dinner with his family, and a request to begin a courtship. I couldn’t believe my eyes! God had been quietly orchestrating all along. In His timing and with our parents’ full blessing, he was bringing Andy and me together to begin a journey toward marriage.

with girls from the retreatEarly that next week, I returned home to Tennessee. For the next six weeks, I got quite a bit of use out of my new cell phone talking to Andy. God directed our conversations and we were able to talk about many important issues. God had led each of us to similar convictions on how He wanted us to live. Over and over, our conversations kept confirming that God had prepared each of us for the other.

In May I was invited to attend Andy’s graduation in Texas with his family. Graduation was such a momentous occasion for Andy that I figured that was why I had been invited. An hour before graduation began, I had just gotten ready for the graduation dinner when he asked if we could go for a walk. Little did I know what he was up to! When we walked through the trees and came upon such a beautiful setting of a white-clothed table, two dozen red and white roses, and a white little box, I began to cry.

The answer? Yes!The next thing I knew, Andy had dropped to his knee and was asking me if I would accept his request to spend the rest of our lives together. I, without hesitation, replied, “Yes!”

Through this whole chapter of my life I am seeing the goodness of the Lord played out so clearly. He has seen fit to bless both of us for our years of resting and waiting in Him. God knows our needs and wants. I am seeing more and more that when we give those up to God and find contentment in Him, He directs and works in our lives in ways far greater than we can ever imagine.

Read Andy’s story…>