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They Gave Up Their "Perfect Match" and Found Something Better

Shannon Woodland - 700 Club Producer
Amy Reid - 700 Club Producer

“It felt like God had let me down.”

It was 2001 when Josh started dating the woman he was convinced God intended him to marry.  Like him, she was Christian and came from a great family. But after six years, Josh felt God was leading him to end the relationship.

“I started seeing these signs that this wasn't where I was supposed to be, I would pray about it and I would ask God to fix it or I would ask God to bless it, and he was not blessing it,” Josh remembers.

Josh broke up with his girlfriend, but his obedience wasn’t based on trust.

“Inside I knew that I was only being faithful because I had this sense of duty, and I think all that turned into kind of a shaking a fist at him, you know, ‘Well, why not?’ because I did my part. I'm not going to follow your rules anymore, I'm going to do what I – all these things that I've never done before, I'm going to go out and I'm going to get drunk and I'm going to go to the places I don't belong, and that'll show God.”

When rebellion didn’t solve anything, he took his frustration about his future to God.

“I started praying and just kinda letting God have it, and just telling him, you know, ‘God, I don't understand why.’ And I felt God just say to me, you know, ‘She exists.  And she's not very far away, but she's very special to me, she's a very special person and I'm not giving her to you in the state that you're in right now.’ And he followed that up by saying that, ‘You need to get this relationship right. The relationship you need to be concerned about is the one between you and me.  That's the one that's broken; it has to be about you falling in love with me.’”

Just a few miles away on the campus of Charleston Southern University, music major Ashley Williams was also seeking God for answers. Like Josh, she had found someone who seemed to be the perfect fit, but something just wasn’t right.

“God has a way of getting our attention because when that holy discontent comes, it's like it just won't let go until you make it right.  And that's what happened with me is I just – I knew I was not going to have peace in my heart until I made this right, until I broke off the relationship,” Ashley recalls. ‘“It was a leap of faith, it really was, because God's telling me ‘I have something different.  I have something better.’  and yet I'm going to call off this stable relationship?  I mean, there were plenty of people who thought I was crazy.”  

Ashley dove into scripture for comfort.

“Even though I didn't understand, his word kept reaffirming me that he had a plan, Jeremiah 29:11.  That his plans were good, Romans 8:28. You know, that he had something more in store but I had to wait, and that was really hard. I’m not a very still person! I want to have answers; I want to know what’s next; I want to know where I’m going, and as I began to focus on, you know, those things, the things that are true, that are good, that are right, this peace began to come in my heart.”

Meanwhile, Josh had a revelation of his own.

“The shift for me became, not just doing the right things, but doing those things because I'm seeking him. So, when I studied the Bible, I did that looking for him to speak to me and desiring to hear what he had to say into my life.  When I prayed it wasn't just ‘let me list all the things that are on my heart’ it was, you know, a conversation with God and learning how to be quiet and let him speak to me. When I woke up in the morning, he was the only thing that mattered,” Josh remembers.

On Valentine’s day, 2008, Ashley made a declaration in her journal.

“I just remember writing, ‘God, if I don't have anybody, you're enough.’ I wanted to celebrate my love for my Savior and for the people that he had put in my life.’”

Just two days later, Josh and Ashley met at her senior recital.

“I know this sounds cheesy but it's like time just stopped for a second.  I'm serious,” Ashley says. ‘“I saw him and God's like ‘There he is.’ What?  Are you kidding me?  That's him? I will never get over that feeling.’”  

‘“I remember the second I saw her, I heard the Lord whisper, ‘There she is,’" Josh recalls. “I just remember hearing her talk. She was so passionate about the Lord.  She's the most radiant person I've ever met in my life and she just absolutely exudes this joy and this zeal for God.”

Josh and Ashley started dating, got engaged and on November 22, 2008 they married. They say the most important thing, whether you’re married or single, is pursuing a love relationship with Christ.

“You've got to follow him first,” Josh says. “And you've got to be stable in yourself and in your relationship with him first.”

Ashley agrees. “When we wait on his timing, amazing things happen.  We begin to experience the abundant life that he really wants for us.”

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