A Real Life Love Story: Laura Rainey is Engaged!

laura and josh

Love stories are always favorites because they mirror the greatest love story ever told; the proposal and engagement, already accomplished by our groom Jesus, and future wedding we will enjoy one day in heaven as His bride.

Until then we delight in hearing stories of God’s orchestrating the unions of male and female as husband and wife.

And I’m delighted to tell you a love story!

My youngest daughter who has been faithfully waiting for God’s timing just said “yes” to God’s provision for her, Josh Dries (pronounced Dreez). Laura is 31 and Josh is 35. Both have waited for God’s best, which makes today’s joy even greater!

As Dennis and I watched this story unfold starting last fall, we heard snippets of Josh’s character revealed as Laura shared about their conversations and dates.  When we heard she asked him to step up and be more intentional we watched Josh step up because he really liked Laura and didn’t want to lose her.

She told stories of hundreds of faithful, consistent moments when Josh showed her again and again that he was who he said he was. That he could be trusted. That he could be counted on. That he would come through. That he’d call when he said he’d call.

Laura learned she could be herself with him. That made all the difference—to both of them.

Since they’ve dated long distance, Josh wooed Laura with the real stuff: long conversations late into the night, extra effort to connect regularly while they each lead busy lives apart, an intentionality to pursue her and be up front about that as their relationship progressed.

And now are you ready for the proposal story?

Something you need to know about Laura is that ever since she was a little girl she has had the hardest time sleeping before anything exciting happens: Christmas, birthdays, cheerleading tryouts, graduations, gymnastics meets, and anything else fun. And she is a passionate, energetic, loyal, creative, and very curious woman who loves surprises. So Josh had a challenge in front of him finding a time and a place that she wouldn’t expect or guess.

He asked us for permission to marry our Laura and said in his little speech that he “adored Laura.” I knew the request was coming, but his words of adoration for our daughter won my heart!  He told us he loved her for not being the same every day!  What a gem he is!

The plan was made and the proposal date was set for the first full day of our family vacation. My role was to pray Laura would not figure this out, that God would prevent her eyes and ears from picking up any hints. And God did.

Josh had told Laura he wanted to go on a walk on the beach with her every day of our vacation so that they had some alone time each day. They had to make a plan to be alone because our family is not small: five of our kids and their spouses and 17 grandchildren were gathered for this week at Orange Beach.

Josh and Laura

Sunday, June 19, Josh told Laura he wanted to go walk at 4 that afternoon. Everyone was “getting ready” for family photos at 5, which of course was a ruse. But Laura believed the story and carefully chose a sundress for their walk down the sand before picture time. Hand in hand they strolled. Once they reached the deserted spot of beach, Josh turned toward Laura and dropped to his knee.

Laura was stunned, truly surprised, and even speechless!    Laura without words is well…EPIC!

Then Josh held out a ring, looked into her eyes and began to tell her how she was the woman he’d been waiting for—for 35 years—and asked her if she would marry him.

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Laura was still speechless. But only for a moment. After his eloquent and honoring prepared speech to our Sunshine, she said YES, then she dropped to her knees and gave him a crushing hug.

Josh was now stunned! She hadn’t grabbed the ring.  He was slightly confused.  Did she even see the ring he’d been holding the whole time?

“Don’t you want the ring,” he asked?

Then Laura grabbed the ring, declared, “OF COURSE!” and they hugged some more.

A sweet detail that Josh pulled off was hiring a local photographer to trail them on their walk. He stealthily snapped pictures of the proposal, tears and all. Way to go, Josh! 30 minutes and 275 photographs later they made their way back to where Josh’s parents, Tim and Angie, and Dennis and I were waiting. On the balcony above, 27 family members CHEERED!

What a great moment of joy, thanksgiving and even more hugs, kisses, and tears.

We are now into serious wedding planning! It will be a short engagement and we’d love for you to join us on her journey to the wedding day as we share posts and photos along the way.

Laura grew up in FamilyLife, our ministry to marriages and families. Even though it’s still all theory for her, she is wise enough to know every marriage has challenges and trials. She knows their independent ways will take many adjustments. But I’ve watched Josh lead Laura well and have been so encouraged that already he is loving her wisely and steadily.

From day one we’ve seen God provide for this couple and work out the tiniest, sweetest details of wedding planning to remind us that He is in this.

We pray for Josh and Laura’s union that it will be a God-honoring day followed by a God-honoring life together. Would you join us in praying for these lovebirds and following their walk to the altar? We’ll keep you up on all the wedding details here as they unfold. Stay tuned to hear about wedding dress shopping!





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19 thoughts on “A Real Life Love Story: Laura Rainey is Engaged!”

  1. What a touching story this is. Tears! What a beautiful engagement! You can see the light of Jesus shinning in their faces. To make a long story short, in college I strayed from my walk with the Lord. I dated a guy and we got pregnant. We got married three months later. He truest loved me and I him. We began to let the Lord work and move in our lives. We were connecting the dots back to our roots as believers. My husband was an electrical apprentice and on March 21st 2011 he was taken instantly in a tragic accident when he came in contact with a live wire. Our son was 8 wks old. My world was crushed but I sought my Savior for help through a dark time. Within weeks I knew I was supposed to pray for the man I would someday marry. It was hard to pray that way as I was in no way ready for a relationship and so badly missing my husband. But I prayed anyway. A very short year later and much much sooner than I would have thought, God brought an old college friend back into my life. Shortly into dating I knew this was the man I had been praying for. His struggles and victories were exactly what I he been praying for for him. He would be a wonderful father to my son. He treated me like a princess! We asked me to marry him four short months later and we were married six months later. Everything moved fast but intricately woven by our Maker. We have been married three and a half year now and have a precious 1 year old. My son Jax loves his daddy and he loves all of us dearly. I’m thankful for beautiful love stories like these than have Jesus’s world written all over them. Blessings to Laura and Josh! Can’t wait to hear more!
    P.S. That turned into not so short of a story!
    P.s.s Jeremy (my
    Now husband) and I enjoyed a wonderful weekend to remember in Charleston SC the first year that we wer married. Thank you for your amazing ministry!

    1. thanks Hannah for sharing your story. what a beautiful one it is too.
      it’s always encouraging to hear how God works through tragedy to orchestrate something wonderful.

      blessings to you

  2. What a beautiful heartwarming story. Thank you for sharing. Beat wishes to Josh and Laura and to both families. God bless all of you.

  3. Jim & Cindy Holloway

    So happy for you all.. My eyes are leaking… what a beautiful way to propose.. So happy Josh was able to capture each moment thru the photographer…When is the wedding? Praying for the happy couple (& other family members) as they plan, plan & plan some more… Blessings to you all.

  4. I’ve heard said, ‘to run hard and fast after Christ not to get distracted with the things of this world but be consumed with Christ, enamored with Him. Then if you happen to see someone of the opposite sex running at the same pace you are to glance but keeping on running after Christ. If you see them again while in your separate pursuits toward Christ you might want to pray for them and see what the Lord does but don’t lose your first love-CHRIST”

    I love this as it is as it should be in marriage as well. As we are pursuing Christ individually we are able to pour into one another. We only know love because He first loved us and are able to live that out with one another. Thank you for sharing this precious moment in their lives! What a time of rejoicing in God’s blessings upon all of you!!

  5. I love “waiting for God’s best” wedding stories, and this was an extra special one! Hearing of Josh’s pursuit of Laura truly reminds me of how God pursues us with His Amazing Love ❤️

  6. Congratulations Josh and Laura, a wonderful story. Thank you Barbara for sharing the sweet proposal with us. God bless you all.

  7. Thanks for sharing your dear story. Yes we all love a good love story. And it’s so special when it’s one of our own. Dennis and Barbara we love you for your faithfulness to our great Lord. I know Laura has always been special to you. God is good and yes all this is simply a foretaste of our great romance to come. I love that Laura went down on her knees too. What a picture of us when our dear Bridegroom kneels before us – and I think He will but then we will kneel with tears of joy. Great picture! Love to you all!

  8. Frank & Sheila Miller

    Just beautiful!!! God always is on time – looks like they were steadily following and watching restfully for God’s time, and place… Pray they will ever honor God, and one another, loving and serving each other as pleasing to God, their Father…

  9. Barbara, this is beautiful. I was so overjoyed when I saw Laura’s post a while back. From the first time I met that adorable 6 yr old, to playing elevator tag with Thomas at FLC, her love for us through celebrating Samuel and Alexa. I am blessed to watch her take this beautiful step in her story.

    I’m a little sentimental, just watched most of FL40th. Hope you and Dennis both know how you impacted and continue to impact our lives and our family.
    Sam heads to college next week – can you believe it. God Bless.

  10. Congratulations!!!!! What a beautiful love story and amazing proposal. I am crying tears of joy for Laura & Josh and your whole family!

  11. We met Laura on this last Love Like You Mean It Cruise in Feb 2016 and are delighted to hear the story of their engagement! Thank you for sharing it with us. What a beautiful testimony of waiting on God’s timing.

    May God continue to bless Family Life for another 40 years (x7)! :)

  12. TIm (T.J.) McCleerey

    Thanks for sharing such a special event for the Rainey & Dries klans. We look forward to hearing what ever else you chose to share of their story. Your joy for your youngest child and her betrothal is so well written. We have 2 married children near your brood’s ages and they, like Laura, grew with parents hearing FLT on WAVA radio in our Metro Washington DC area.

  13. PreciousStory! We rejoice for this Godly couple. Thank you, Barbara, for sharing this and allowing us into a wonderful family event!

  14. Patricia maldonado

    What a wonderful story. Congratulations to Laura, Josh and the Raineys. While my daughters are still teenagers, I can’t wait for the day they too marry the men of God I have taught them to be on the lookout for. Thanks to your resources, they know exactly who to look for and won’t settle for anyone less.

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