Okay, so let’s start from the beginning. No, let’s not – you all know that would take too long from a wordy person like me. I believe most of us were aware that last June, after graduation from HSE, I started what I dubbed the ‘husband hunt’. However, the bark was much worse than its bite – really I was just getting to a place after two years of being single that I felt the Lord was getting me to a place where I’d be ready to date again. However, there was nobody on the Horizon. No one. Although I had people searching in different states, my grandma somewhat jokingly offering to hang flyers around Michigan, and a few free trials and subscriptions to Christian dating websites. Nothing. Combine all that with the fact that I am unwilling to compromise. I do not desire to get married to someone where our relationship would not exemplify Christ and the Church. I am quite happy in my Casa Camden Commune with four other amazing women! So, it’s been more of a running joke than anything. Amusing nonetheless.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago. Mom and I were meeting in Oceanside for some dinner and shopping. We were having a pretty eventful day walking around little shops and such and enjoyed a fabulous dinner and conversation at Soup Plantation. Afterwards, we started walking around the little strip center some more and mom was feeling lucky so we decided to stop in Marshall’s to see if we couldn’t find my grandma some shoes. We even decided to take a picture right there in the middle of Marshall’s.
As we wrapped around to the other side, a woman approached us commenting how fabulous it was to walk near other tall women. This opened up conversation about being tall and having instant camaraderie and how fabulous it was, etc. Then the lady made a comment on how her daughter feels like a shrimp in the family because she is only 5’9’’ and she herself is 6’ and her son is 6’7’’ – which, of course immediately sparked my interest. My mom and I looked at each other and laughed as I inquired if her son was single. To which she responded, ‘yes!’ and I quickly followed with ‘Is he a Christian?’ to which she responded excitedly, ‘YES! He loves the Lord!’. This led to another 20 minute conversation where her husband, Rudy, joined us and we talked about her son, Josiah, and lots of other random information (you can check out their website at healingstreamscc.org) Josiah is currently living on Catalina Island working as a chef at Intervarsity Ministries at a camp called Campus by the Sea – a place my mom had frequented with her Alanon group and absolutely loved! By the end of the conversation, Lynn and I exchanged names and said we would find each other on Facebook. I was unabashed in admitting I was on this so-called ‘husband hunt’ and she made the comment that she was ‘shopping for her daughter-in-law, but maybe she was shopping for a daughter-in-law!’ My mom gave Lynn a hug and told her it was nice to meet her daughter’s future mother-in-law and we left absolutely giddy and laughing hysterically!
That night, I went home and wrote Lynn an email and we had become facebook friends. The next day, I had an email waiting from Josiah! I shared my entire testimony with each of them and after a few more emails, Josiah asked if it was too early to ask for my number. That evening, he called and we talked for FOUR HOURS! I even took notes on the entire conversation so I could relay everything to the roommates when they got home. Each day, the conversations continued. We’d talk for 2-3 hours a night, with the roommates in and out and all about. We’d put him on speaker phone and have conversations and he was a trooper. I think he even really enjoyed it. After all of this, we decided it was necessary to meet him in person ASAP! There was so much lining up, so many conversations that were incredible, so many prayers and situations that were very similar, and come on – the moms had already even met each other (oh, and by the way, started exchanging emails themselves!)
So, I consulted with my roommates to schedule a wingman to accompany on my journey over to Catalina Island. Jen agreed! So Friday after work (that makes this sound like it was such an easy wait – which it was not!), we loaded up RegEnDev and headed up to Long Beach to catch the boat. My mom met us in Long Beach so we could enjoy some dinner before jumping on the boat. And Jen and I had a great time chatting and having photo shoots on the Catalina Express on the way over there.
We arrived at 8pm and Josiah was waiting at the dock for us (of course, we have all of this vide taped as well, for future viewing pleasure). We jumped on another little boat his roommate was driving in order to go over to their location. Upon arriving at camp, we met some people, took a little tour, saw our little cabin, enjoyed some coffee, and then played some games! Jen headed to bed and Josiah and I had some time to ourselves to continue to talk about how surreal all of this was and how crazy that I was out there. I mean, really all I can say is that it is crazy. We serve a BIG God! Jen and I stayed up a little later chatting and I finally enjoyed a full night of sleep!! We woke up to Josiah bringing us coffee (major brownie points) and then got ready for the day. We ate breakfast together and then headed out on a hike. We could not have asked for a more beautiful day! We wondered through the hills, the three of us talked, and we got to see more of his life out there in Catalina. We got back, got ready, and enjoyed lunch before jumping on the little boat back to Avalon where Jen caught the 2pm ferry back to the mainland! This left the whole afternoon for Josiah and I to walk around town! We even ran into people from HSE who were returning from their Wilderness Trip – so Josiah got to meet a few more people! We had a fabulous time at the wine bar in town (where the waitress told us with her sweet accent, ‘to just look at us and our body language and so in love’ – we just laughed because, little did she know, we were technically only on our first date!!) We walked around some more, asked each other questions, listened to stories, and headed to the pool hall so Josiah could take on some locals. I mean, what else are you going to do on an island?! It was fabulous just being with him. Talking, laughing, and getting a lot of looks – a 6’3’’ girl and 6’7’’ (I’m going with your mom, Josiah) man – quite the sight to see! We ate dinner at a little pizza place in town and then walked back over to the dock where we talked some more (talking is not something either one of us have difficulty doing!).
You all know I’m a photo freak so we were taking pictures left and right and he held it out to take one of us so a man came up and offered to take our picture for us. He was here from Russia and had been part of a big diving group that had come in to explore the island. He took our picture and then showed us a picture he had taken just moments earlier on his phone. He had been watching us from the other side of the dock and snapped our picture without us knowing! Kind of creepy, yes, but also kind of sweet! And supposedly, he’ll be emailing us a copy as soon as he can.
I got on the 7:30 boat with hopes that Josiah will be able to make it out for my birthday in a few weeks and with butterflies still in my stomach! My mom and Jim were there to pick me up where I got to relive the whole weekend and go through all the pictures.
It’s just incredible to sit back as all of this unfolds. So grateful for how sovereign the Lord we serve is. So amazed at how intricately involved He desires to be in our lives. And praising Him for all He is and forever will be!