Sunday, July 25, 2021
Burnt Orange, Terracotta, Blush Pink or Linen/Cream
My name is Jared Dragt, and my parents joined Remnant Fellowship Church in 2004. I was 3 years old, so I have had the blessing of getting to spend almost all of my life in this church. We lived in California, and the first time that we visited Tennessee was in November of 2004 for the Dedication of the Church building, and that path would change the rest of my life. As I grew up, I realized that this church was different in the things they taught and the way they went about their daily life. These differences really stood out as I attended public school and watched the choices other people made. That made me grow more attached to Remnant Fellowship and made me want to live like the people at the Church that I looked up to.
I am grateful for the opportunity to grow together with my best friend and soulmate, Alyssa. I could not have asked for a more perfect God-fearing, loving, kind, selfless, patient woman like Alyssa. She is my perfect match, helping me in every area and always challenging me to do better. I only hope that I can do the same for her and help her as much as she helps me. I know we will be even better and stronger for God together than apart.– Jared
In 2016, my parents made the sacrifice to move our family across the country so we could live closer to others who were living wholeheartedly to put God first. Because of this sacrifice my parents made, God has blessed our family so much that I could never repay Him. My sister and brother and I have all been so blessed now with even more friends and more family, and I even have many “second mothers” (mothers of my best friends in church) who treat me just like one of their own sons.
Another one of those blessing was being able to find a perfect girlfriend and soon-to-be wife. This was something that I really wanted deep in my heart. This perfect gift from God is Alyssa Joaquin. We had known each other for a while because her brother was one of my friends, and we hung around the same friend group. However, Alyssa and I had not really spent too much time together until December 2019 when we unknowingly ended up on double date. It was one of the best days ever ,and since that time we have not stopped talking to each other.
Alyssa is always so encouraging, loving, and kind. We grew closer by going on dates, praying and reading the Bible and Gwen Lara’s books over Facetime in the evenings, attending services, and serving together in various ways to help the church.
I’m so grateful for this amazing church full of upright people who point me up to God. With the examples of our amazing leadership and youth encouragers, getting married is not something that I have anxiety about…instead, it is something that I look forward to! I am grateful for the opportunity to grow together with my best friend and soulmate, Alyssa. I could not have asked for a more perfect God-fearing, loving, kind, selfless, patient woman like Alyssa. She is my perfect match, helping me in every area and always challenging me to do better. I only hope that I can do the same for her and help her as much as she helps me. I know we will be even better and stronger for God together than apart.
My testimony starts from when I was just a toddler and my mom would sit and read the Bible with my brother and me almost every night. We would go to church as often as we could, but even from a very young age, I remember going home confused with no desire to go back. This continued until I was about 11 years old when I would do anything I could to get out of having to go to church, and my mom finally gave up on trying to get me to go. When I was 12, my mom’s friend, Stephanie Giles, had introduced her to Weigh Down and eventually invited us to her house in Minnesota to watch Remnant Fellowship’s Wednesday night church.
I was skeptical at first, but soon realized this wasn’t like any other church service I had been to before. During the service, entire chapters of the Bible were actually read and explained…compared to the other churches I had been to where you were lucky to hear even one scripture followed by some related story that barely had a meaningful conclusion and was more like a motivational speech than a sermon. Needless to say, my mom didn’t need to fight me to go to church anymore because I wanted to learn how to change my life for the better, especially when I got into high school.
It is so easy to love Jared. In any difficult situation, he immediately prays for God’s will to be done. He brings peace with gentle and kind words. He’s not afraid to tell me the truth, pointing me back to God with more patience than I thought possible for any one person to have. He always has the church at the top of his mind. I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life making the most of every moment with Jared, my best friend and soon-to-be husband!– Alyssa
I went through a season of severe anxiety. To the point where I was having daily panic attacks. It got so bad that there were days it was hard for me to even leave my bedroom. I couldn’t go outside. I couldn’t be in a car. Miserable doesn’t even come close to what I felt. I felt so hopeless. It was at this point that I realized that God truly needs to be my everything, and I really started to put the teachings I was hearing from Remnant Fellowship and Gwen Shamblin Lara into practice. I put all I had into getting my heart right and learning as much as I could, and I started changing and being set free from the anxiety.
When I turned 21, I moved to TN with my brother. After moving here, my whole life changed even more for the better! I was finally able to completely kick any anxiety I had, and my whole life opened up with full peace!
I tried dating a bit, but after a few relationships didn’t work out, I found myself praying, “God, if there is no one out there for me, I’m more than happy to call You my companion and husband for the rest of my life.” And then I let it go…in fact, I was almost hoping that I would never have to go through dating again! But God knew deep down that was not really how I felt, because soon after that I started to spend a lot of time at the Dragts’ house, as I was looking for any opportunity to spend fellowship time with other Saints. Without even realizing it, I would find myself wanting to be wherever Jared was and finding any way I could to talk to him, all while denying every thought I had about being interested in him.
Several months later, I finally started to come to terms with my feelings, but I had not told anyone yet, not even my mom, who called me one morning and said, “What about Jared…?” I was caught off guard but finally admitted, “I’ve been thinking about that, too!” We decided we should both pray for a sign but not tell each other what the sign is until that night. God quickly showed me several signs throughout the day, and at this point, I knew He was up to something! I called my mom that night eager to hear what sign she had gotten, and I told her about mine, and she started laughing because we both had asked God for the same personal sign from Him!
Not long after, Jared and I ended up being set up on a double-date and the rest is history. As with all grounded relationships, it took work, and it has taught me so much. Through our tests and trials, we have both grown so much, and it has brought both of us closer to God. I am so over the top grateful that God would allow me this opportunity to learn what real love is.
It is so easy to love Jared. Without hesitation, he will grab my hand in any difficult situation and immediately pray for God’s will to be done. He brings peace with gentle and kind words. He’s not afraid to tell me the truth, pointing me back to God with more patience than I thought possible for any one person to have. Jared is the most generous person I’ve ever met, and he would never hesitate to give to those who are hurting and always has the church at the top of his mind. Finally, and probably my favorite thing about him, is he is so slow to anger. He wants me to know I can go to him for anything, and he always makes sure we make time to talk things out.
I still catch myself in disbelief that God gave me someone that would choose me, too! I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life laughing, going on adventures, and making the most of every moment with Jared, my best friend and soon-to-be husband!