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It's hard to believe how much life has changed over the last year and that in less than 8 weeks I will marry Andy! As this day quickly approaches, I would love to share our story with you. It's definitely a God-story, and I love seeing His hand woven throughout our lives and story.

When asked how we met, I often reply, "He drove in my driveway on his tractor in the middle of a pandemic quarantine!" It's not far from the truth...

I’ve known Andy’s family practically my whole life. He grew up on a farm around the corner from me. Their family bought eggs from our farm. Over the years his Dad crop farmed with my Dad and brother. But Andy and I were years apart in age, miles apart in distance, and lived far different lives…until last summer.

I was ‘supposed to’ be leading a summer mission trip of college students to Western Asia for the 3rd summer in a row. But due to the cancellations and shutdowns from COVID last spring, our trip was cancelled, and I was working from home on the farm. My Dad was unexpectedly diagnosed with cancer that spring, so working from home allowed me the flexibility to take him to his doctor’s appointments while also helping my brother on our family’s dairy farm.

Meanwhile, Andy and his Dad were graciously helping my brother in the fields all spring – plowing, working ground, planting corn and more. While I was helping on the farm or sitting outside working away on my computer at emails, zoom calls, phone calls and more, Andy was driving in and out of my driveway helping my brother in the fields.

We had occasional friendly interactions and exchanges. In fact, on one occasion he taught me how to drive his tractor as I was helping in the fields. I remember thinking, “Despite his rough exterior, he’s actually a nice guy. And a good teacher!” But he thought a little more. 😉

In mid-July he made his move. After working in our fields one day, he came in the barn as I was milking cows and began chatting. The conversation took a turn as he asked if I was single, and why.

My response? I laughed! Yes, sitting under a cow, I laughed with nervous laughter, so completely caught off guard by his questions and praying my brother would be ready to help me milk and, thus, rescue me from this unexpected conversation!

Then came the facebook friend request. I hesitantly accepted. He messaged me a simple ‘Hey there’. I waited before replying. Within a couple days he asked for my number. Determined to nip this thing in the bud I replied, “I need to be honest with you and let you know that I’m not interested in anything more than friends.” Done. Shut it down. But he wasn’t done. He asked if he could get to know me as friends.

Hmmm… Ok. Just friends. Besides, I’ve been stuck on the farm in quarantine for the past 4 months. The idea of going to a restaurant for a meal with someone besides my family sounded really inviting. If nothing else, I’ll get out of the house, enjoy a good meal and talk to him about Jesus! I did all that. But I also began to hear and see and start to know someone that before I only knew ‘of’.

Although I told him I wasn’t interested in dating, only in friends, he never stopped pursuing from that day on. He continued helping our family on the farm as I continued getting to know this new friend, and his family, and, when he had them, his 4 kids. (Yes, 4 kids.)

A month later I unexpectedly lost my Dad to a major stroke. He came to church with me that Sunday, and again to my Dad's service, and he never stopped showing up. He was a faithful, patient friend through the loss of my Dad. As he began walking with the Lord, I began seeing a changed man that might one day be more than a friend to me.

He waited for me.

In mid-October we began dating…officially. To be honest, he asked me out 8 times over the course of those first 3 months and I turned him down each time (apparently he was counting!). But this time, I told him to ask me out yet again, assuring him I would say ‘yes’! I guess 9th time’s a charm?! 😉

While Andy was confident that he wanted to marry me from the very beginning, I was unsure. I needed time to date to get to know each other further, and sort through my questions and hesitations. And I was still very much grieving the loss of my Dad and sorting through my life that felt as though it had been turned upside down so abruptly.

At Christmas he gave me a ring. At first, I was caught off guard, but he reassured me it was not an engagement ring, but a promise ring. “This is my promise to you to always cherish you,” he said to me. We spent the day together with his kids and dinner with his family. I had a taste of what the future could look like together.

The following months were filled with more dates, more future conversations, time spent with his kids on visiting weekends, and time with both of our families. As spring approached, I knew I would be leaving mid-May for 7 weeks in Ocean City, NJ for a Summer Mission trip for work. I knew I couldn’t expect him to wait forever, and I sensed we would be engaged or going our separate ways by summer.

By mid-April I was fairly confident I didn’t want to do life without him. I knew I could – I had been single for 44 years! I knew how to do the single, independent life. But I grew to love this man, and his crazy kids, and wanted to see where God would take us together.

Thursday morning, April 22nd, Andy called and asked me to come over to the farm (around the corner). I finished milking cows that morning and had a video call for work in about 30 minutes. “Just come over real quick,” he said. I jumped in my car, hair on top of my head, sporting my hoodie, vest, yoga pants and tennis shoes and headed over to his farm thinking in the back of my head, “surely this isn’t IT…is it?!!”

I walked in the barn as he motioned me to follow him into the milk house. With just the 2 of us, and his dog, he whipped a ring box out of the front pocket of his hoodie, got down on his knee, and asked me to marry him.

To say I was caught off guard and in a bit of shock would be an understatement. But once I snapped out of the shock, I said “Yes!” And shortly after, I jumped in my car and raced back home to make my video call, laughing, and staring at my hand the whole time!

Andy pursued me persistently, yet respectfully and patiently, and he still does. Through all my ups and downs, my questions and hesitations, even rejections, as well as the grief of losing my Dad, he has been steady and faithful. There are so many things I admire about this man. But mostly, He points me to Jesus in the way that he so faithfully and unconditionally loves me. His love for me is a tangible reminder to me of God’s faithful, persistent, patient, unconditional love for each of us.

Last year I unexpectedly lost the most constant man in my life when I lost my Dad, and I was heartbroken. But in the midst of that loss, the Lord so kindly ushered in a new constant man in my life. I don’t deserve it, yet He graciously gives us, His children, good gifts.

While I celebrate marrying Andy and beginning a new life with him, I also grieve planning this celebration without my Daddy by my side. But we will honor his life and my parents’ 60 years of a Christ-centered marriage as we will begin our married life together on their anniversary, October 2nd.

So like I said, he drove in my driveway on his tractor in the middle of a pandemic quarantine and started pursuing me! It may not be a fairytale, but it is a God-tale - truly a story only Jesus could write. A story full of God's power, healing, redemption, and hope. And I look forward to the chapters He is writing for our life together as husband and wife and as a family.

To be continued...



To see our engagement pictures and more, go to theknot.com/andyandlisawyss.

PRAY for me and Andy as we prepare for marriage and for the wedding, while he farms and I continue with ministry. I can often feel overwhelmed. Pray that I would keep my eyes fixed on Jesus and trust Him for wisdom in the next thing.

PRAY for Andy's kids (Mack, Makenzie, Ethan and Jared) as they adjust to their Dad getting married, to me as their Step-Mom, and that we all adjust to being a family together.

Thank you for your generous support and prayers, both in ministry and in life! So very grateful for you,



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Lisa Smith · 19459 Middletown Rd. · Beloit, OH 44609 · USA

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