“DUSTI, YOU’RE GONNA LOVE OUR NEW YOUTH PASTOR.” – HE SAID.
“Ha ha”, she responded, already knowing how this conversation would end. She began to recount all of the young men her sister and brother-in-law wanted to set her up with from the church they lead, 1500 miles away from home, all of which didn’t work out. “I just got off the phone with him - we’re gonna hire him.” "They haven’t even met the guy and they’re already trying to set me up with him", she thinks.
She was in a season of life where boys were the LAST thing on her mind, especially a boy (was he a man?! who is this guy?) no one had met who was five years older and lived in another state. Dusti was in the middle of her first year at a Bible school in Texas, and Josh was about to move from Alabama to California for his first full time job in ministry. Aaron proceeded to hunt this new youth pastor’s Instagram down to make sure she was well aware of his good looks, that “OMG he’s a die hard LSU fan!!!” (many of Dusti and Josh's families graduated from LSU) , and that she knew just how incredible of a guy he was. She rolled her eyes.
Fast forward six months later and Dusti had just ended a season at Bible school and moved back home to Houston, and decided to take a two-week trip to visit family just outside of San Diego, California.
Dusti's sister picks her up at the airport and informs her that Josh is on vacation right now, but he’ll be back tomorrow night. Amanda mentions that she told Josh she was going to pick his future wife up at the airport. Josh jokes that he was sorry he couldn’t be there for it.
It was a Sunday morning when they met. Dusti looked up to see him walking in the room, and to her surprise, he came right up to her. He said, “you must be Dusti.” “Josh”, he says, “I’ve heard a lot about you.” She replies with the same. She texts her best friends: “OMG Josh ain’t bad…..he’s wearing a plaid shirt and just came up to me and introduced himself OMG!”
They spent a lot of time together that week. Dusti was secretly kind of into him. Two days later, she overhears that he told his friend that she wasn’t her type. Dusti made sure everyone knew she wasn’t into him, because she wasn’t. She really wasn't!
Her vacation ends and she moves to California for the summer two weeks later.
They spend almost everyday together with their new friends. But when Josh walks into rooms, Dusti rolls her eyes. Her friends ask, “what is your problem?!” “I JUST DON’T LIKE HIM AT ALL!”, she says passionately. She tried so hard to fool even herself.
Summer ends and Dusti officially moves to California to work for their church. She finds out that Josh is her new boss. “Oh, of course he is!”, she thinks sarcastically. They fist bump on her first day as Josh says “we’re going to be the best team ever.” Heck yeah they will.
Months later, on one fall afternoon, everything changed. It was like God himself looked Dusti in the eyes and said, “come on, girl, stop lying to yourself.” Dusti was moving into a new house and Josh came over to help out. She walks into her room to find it fully put together by the one and only. He comes over to her car and asks if she needs anything else before he leaves. She kindly responds, and walks-RUNS to her sister to say something along the lines of, “alright, I’m into him.” She prays a dangerous prayer that night, “God, if we are supposed to be together, you will put us together.” Ironically enough, God was doing the same thing in Josh's' life.
Those few months that followed were the most beautiful: They began to fall in love. It was in that season where Dusti learned that she wanted to be a pastor’s wife – one thing she swore she’d never be. She still says that Josh is everything I've always wanted and everything I thought I would never get.
She went into San Diego to pick him up after Thanksgiving when everything changed. She had never been so nervous to pick someone up from the airport! It had been ten days since they'd seen each other last, and Dusti's insecurity had her thinking he was not into her and she should probably “throw in the towel” now. She wasn't his type, remember? He gets in the car and they chat for a while about ministry stuff, but then without skipping a beat, he says this:
“DUSTI. Can I ask you a question?”
“Yes”, she says, very hesitantly.
“Can you see us together?”
Oh God, he knows. He knows I like him. I went too far. Was I that obvious? He just wants to be friends. I am so stupid.
She realizes that she still hasn't answered his question, and he is fearing the worst.
“….yes”, she responds.
“Cause I do too.”
He then tragically and beautifully shares the conversation he had with our pastor days before about how they should take six months building a friendship before they start a relationship. They both agree that it is wisdom and will honor their pastor’s request.
1 month and three weeks later, their pastor gave them the ok to start a Biblical courtship with the intention of marriage. Dusti might have prayed a few times before practically begging the Lord to not make them wait six months :)
THEY SPENT SIX MONTHS BEFORE JOSH PUT A RING ON HER FINGER AT THE TOP OF DOUBLE PEAK PARK IN SAN ELIJO HILLS, CALIFORNIA.
After a year of trial, heartache, major life changes, obedience to God, and a new start, they married on March 24th, 2017. Their goal is to have a marriage much greater and more beautiful than their wedding.
Jesus always knew. He knew Dusti wanted to be a pastor’s wife before she even knew her future was in ministry. He knew she needed Josh before she even wanted him, and vice versa. He knew Josh would be a pastor when Josh had nothing to do with God. He knew they were both going to live in California when it wasn't even on the radar. He knows all that has yet to be done in Josh and Dusti’s lives, and all the ways they are going to fall deeper and deeper in love with Jesus because of their commitment to both the Lord and each other.
"And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns."
-Philippians 1:6 [NLT]