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In the Details

Wednesday, February 14, 2024 @ 10:04 AM In the Details Lauren Bragg Stand Writer MORE

In the Details: One Couple's Story of Immeasurable More

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen (Ephesians 3:20-21).

How about some good news?

It’s so easy to forget these days that there are still good things happening around us. Between the news and social media and, of course, it being an election year, sometimes it can feel like we’re drowning in the ick of it all.

So, when we ran across this couple’s sweet God-wink story, and just before Valentine’s Day nonetheless, we knew we had to share it with you to encourage your heart not to count God out!

When the divorced daughter of a small church pastor (and mother of two), Elizabeth Christensen, logged into a dating app for the first time, she had no idea what the Lord had up His sleeve for her.

In April of 2023, just a few months after getting back in the dating saddle, Elizabeth matched with a man named Joshua Colbert. The pair wasted no time sparking up a conversation.

As they began to get to know each other virtually, the run-of-the-mill small talk questions quickly turned into raised eyebrows and disbelief.

“She asked where I had grown up and I said I grew up in Andover and went to Northside Christian School," Joshua told CBS reporter Caitlin O’kane. "And she's like, 'No kidding, I went there too in kindergarten.' And then we put it together we graduated high school in 2007 so we're like, 'Maybe we were in the same kindergarten class.'"

On a mission, Elizabeth dug through boxes of artifacts from her childhood. There it was. Her kindergarten class picture – and there was little Joshua.

Are you smiling yet? Just buckle up!

As if that wasn’t enough, God said, “But wait, there’s more!”

It turned out that both Elizabeth and Joshua were born, not only in the same hospital but on the same day just hours apart on September 13, 1988, at Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids, Minnesota.

According to the article from CBS News, outside of kindergarten, the pair’s paths had never crossed again until now. Elizabeth told The Stand that Joshua had lived out of state for eleven years and had spent 5 of them in the Army.

She added, “I like to share this [because] there are always critics who try to minimize the God factor [and say] that because we grew up in the same county … meeting one another [must have been] by chance.”

Originally, after matching on the dating site, they had made plans to link up for dinner the next week, but the excitement and intrigue were too much to bear.

Joshua asked Elizabeth to lunch the next day.

Of course, the couple beamed to their parents about their odds-defying discoveries. "We did actually find our old kindergarten graduation video, so we're both in there," Elizabeth gushed.

"And the crazy part is, her mom zoomed in on me in the video," Joshua added, “then panned out and zoomed back to Elizabeth. So … we saw that and were like, ‘No way!’ … a mother’s intuition I guess.”

According to Joshua, his father was a bit more hesitant than Elizabeth’s family. He urged his son to “take things slow and steady.”

"But after meeting Elizabeth and meeting her parents, he was totally sold and totally supportive,” Joshua said with a grin in his voice.

The coolest part of it all is Whom Elizabeth and Joshua give all the glory.

Elizabeth, who was previously married for just shy of a decade, and Joshua, previously married for 5 years, both found themselves in dark places following their respective divorces.

"[But] that's usually when we've seen God really work in our lives. It is when you are down and you are in that vulnerable state and something happens and the course of your life is changed forever," Elizabeth said gratefully.

“We believe it was God," Joshua chimed in. "In spite of the fact we could have had all these similarities but been complete polar opposites. And that's not the case at all. So, I feel like it was just the perfect match … I think it was divine for sure."

“Our story has nothing to do with chance or coincidence,” Elizabeth told The Stand. “Our story is about God. [He] has shown Joshua and I His unfailing love by pouring out His grace to us.”

She continued, “God's plan is always greater than our own. ‘We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps’” (Proverbs 16:9).

Just one month into dating, Joshua found himself on one knee. “I'm old school, so I had asked her dad for her hand in marriage," he said. "Her family's very tight-knit. We meet for dinner every other weekend after church."

Four months later, the couple was married on – yep, you guessed it – September 13, 2023, their 35th birthday. Elizabeth was walked down the aisle by her then 6-year-old son, Knox, and her father officiated the ceremony.

“Our kindergarten teacher, we actually were able to hunt her down and we mailed her an invite and she showed up," Elizabeth told CBS. “Not only did she show up, but she found a photo of us on track and field day together …

“This whole divine intervention, as we call it, has just really reaffirmed to me to continue to try and spread our story of hope and second chances. I'm just really grateful to [the Lord] for bringing Joshua back into my life and it's [been] really fun to try and share that little bit of light [with] others.”

Elizabeth and Joshua continue to share their story in hopes of loving on discouraged hearts and in prayer that someone will be encouraged by their story of redemption!

And we know, that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).

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