Josh and Courtney

image_4A year ago this New Years, I was praying for one thing… My future husband. I never dated much because I had faith that God was preparing an incredible man and love story for me. All I needed to do was trust, be patient and watch him work in my life. I prayed specifically that even if I didn’t know the man yet, God would make him aware of who I am.

Fast forward a few months to February 2014…. I receive a follow request on Instagram from @joshduinker. I didn’t know a Josh Duinker… So out of curiosity, I check out his page. I discover first that he is VERY attractive, and athlete and LOVES Jesus. Three very attractive things to me. But realizing this man was playing professional basketball in Holland, I had no idea what our connection was or if we even had one! Either way, I thought he was good looking so I accepted his follow request and followed him back. About a day later, I couldn’t shake him from my mind. I wanted to know more. How does he know me? Was he mistaking me for another Courtney? So I head to Facebook and search his name. Sure enough he pops up, and surprisingly, we have mutual friends!! Recognizing the mutual friends, I still know I’ve never met him. So I friend request just to see if he says anything… If it’s a mistake he will say so, if it wasn’t maybe he’ll still message me, and if not, I won’t hear at all from him. Sure enough on Valentines Day, a day later, I received an inbox from my mystery man.

He stole my heart right away saying, “hey, your heart for The Lord is super encouraging!”

I was shocked. My shock quickly wore off and we began messaging constantly. After a week, we Skyped for the first time. It was your typical awkward making sure the other person was legit situation. But then we continued to skype, the talks grew longer and sweeter. A month in he told me he had feelings for me. Another month later, I flew to Amsterdam to meet him for the first time in person. He brought me flowers at the airport. As soon as we got in the car, he held my hand. And things just unfolded naturally and wonderfully. We became official that week. He surprised me before I left with a day trip to Paris to tour the city of love. I knew then that this was exactly who I had been praying for.

I went home, we carried on long distance for 2 more months. At the end of his season he flew to California to be with me and meet my family. Then he flew home to Sydney. We carried on long distance until I made the move after him to Sydney this past august. 10 months into our relationship, he proposed. The proposal happened this past Saturday. My gift from him for Christmas was a seaplane ride over the northern beaches.

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My parents were in town but they had left early that morning to go see my brother in Canberra. I had a suspicion maybe something could happen because a seaplane is an expensive gift. But I was convinced it would to happen until we reached our destination. Well I was caught off guard because of this.

Josh and I arrived to rose bay early. We spent some time reading the bible together at a local cafe. Then we left and began walking by the bay to the dock for the plane.

Josh stops and starts pointing out things and talking. Meanwhile I’m confused because I thought we would miss our flight. He puts his bag down and kept looking behind him. I turn and see a photographer but didn’t think it was for us AT ALL. Then josh walks over to me, gives me a big hug. I could hear his heart hammering. Thinking it strange, I dismiss it assuming it has something to do with the plane ride. But then he stepped back and told me he had an important question to ask me. That’s when I knew.

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He dropped to one knee, told me I was the most important thing that’s happened to him, I am the one he wants to spend his life with. I said yes! He still hadn’t asked the question. He then asked if I would marry him and I said of course.

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He then showed me the photographer was for us and is one of our life group members at church! So surprised! She proceeded to do a mini engagement shoot capturing incredible photos of how incredibly overjoyed we were to make that choice together to spend our lives as husband and wife.

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Following the photo shoot, we jump on our sea plane up the coast. We land and get escorted to a beautiful restaurant overlooking whale beach called Jonah’s. To my great surprise and delight my parents and his family were waiting for us to surprise us with an incredible lunch together! It was the most perfect, and beautiful day I could’ve ever asked for. My fiancé showered me with love and all the things I hold most dear.

Photos by Studio Eclectic