Saturday, August 24, 2019
First and foremost, I want to praise our Heavenly Father for all He has done in my life and for allowing me the chance to be a part of our life-changing church here at Remnant Fellowship. I don’t know where I would be without this truth and I can confidently say I would have never met Sophia Weight if it were not for both of us being introduced to this church.
I was first introduced to Remnant Fellowship Church by my mother, Sharon Fickel, when I was 14 years old. I am in constant awe that God allowed my family, of all the people in this world, to find this life changing church. From a young age while growing up in Ohio, my family was constantly searching for a church that taught the truth and also where the members lived a life of a true Christianity. This resulted in endless church hopping that always left us empty handed. It wasn’t until my mother was introduced to Remnant Fellowship after taking a Weigh Down Ministries class, that our eyes had truly been open to how to live a life filled with the characteristics of Christ. It didn’t matter that this church was across state lines or over 6 hours away, because this was the first time that any of us felt a true connection with our God and we were given the resources to put God first in our lives.
It was evident from the beginning that Sophia loves God with all of her heart and that is what truly attracted me to her. The more and more we talked and learned about each other, the more and more I fell in love with Sophia. I am still in awe that God would allow me to be marrying the woman of my dreams, and I can not wait to be united in marriage and serve God and His Kingdom together.– Grant
I praise God for allowing me to find this message at such a young age because I feel God spared me from many hardships that I would’ve faced growing up without a true purpose. This being said, I had already developed many strongholds even in my youth including self-focus, selfishness, pride, laziness, praise of man, and many more. Unfortunately, I had to learn that simply being a member of Remnant Fellowship didn’t mean I was automatically saved or that the work had been done for me. For a majority of my teenage years I would experience the freedom and peace that I felt when living a life of purity but the strongholds I previously stated were so deeply rooted that I would always find myself falling back into old ways, which lead to anything but freedom. Whether it be trying to appease others through high school sports, making the motive of every action to make others like me, or being anti-authority to my parents, it all resulted in only a lack of peace and no true relationship with God. All of those years were a result of me not making that choice to put God first in my life, not truly seeking out His will for me, and being lazy with my relationship with God. There came a point in my life during my first year in college where I felt that I had no purpose or direction in life, I had no lead on what career to pursue, I was doing poorly in my college courses, everything seemed to be cursed, and it was all due to me being self focused and being worried about “me” and “my” future. Even though I had been choosing my own selfish agenda all these years, I praise God for the constant truth I was surrounded by because I knew exactly what I was supposed to do in order to right side my life. Remnant Fellowship is the only place that has ever taught me how to have a personal relationship with our Almighty God and I am forever grateful to our leadership and my parents for all of the spiritual guidance that has only steered me towards the truth. A major part of my spiritual breakthrough was joining an online Weigh Down Ministries class called Weigh Down Advanced between my Freshman and Sophomore year in college, which struck a deep conviction inside of me leading to less focus on myself and more focus on God and His spirit. I was no longer just going to God in times of need, but began actively praying over every detail throughout my day. This was the first time in a long time that I found my purpose to serve our God with every word and action, and I began to see the blessings for putting this message into practice immediately.
A couple of major aspects in my life that God has been able to directly show me the blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience have been my academics and career. I began my Freshman year of college with no clear direction on a career and I was attending a small branch campus of The Ohio State University due to poor grades in high school. The summer following my Freshman year, God allowed the most clear direction that I should pursue a Doctorate degree by becoming a Nurse Anesthetist, and I had never felt more at peace about anything in my life. There was complete freedom and peace knowing that this was a lead from God, as daunting and difficult this would have seemed in my old mindset of laziness and selfishness. I went from extremely poor grades my Freshman year, to then earning a 4.0 GPA in all of my undergraduate nursing prerequisite courses the following year. These grades allowed me to be accepted into the College of Nursing at Ohio State, which was the most difficult major to apply for at the time, not to mention I hadn’t been able to even be accepted into the main campus of Ohio State just a year prior. At the same time as starting nursing school God allowed me to begin working multiple jobs, one on the Burn Unit at Ohio State as a nurse aide as well as a personal aide for a nonverbal autistic young man in my local town…both while pursing my undergraduate degree, God placed the desire in my heart to move to Nashville and be closer to the Saints and the church. After much prayer, God did way more than just allowing that desire of my heart to be answered. I was offered a position upon graduating as a Registered Nurse in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at Vanderbilt University Medical Center which is a total glory to God because this is a very difficult field to be hired into straight out of college with no experience. I was able to move to Nashville, start my dream job, live with likeminded Saints, and most importantly grow even closer to God. Nearly a year after moving to Nashville came the time to start applying to Nurse Anesthesia programs which allowed me the most amazing opportunity to give up control and see what God wanted in my life. Many people end up applying all over the country and moving to wherever they are accepted because these programs are very competitive. There is no where else I would rather live than Nashville because I am in the middle of the pack here at Remnant Fellowship, which narrowed my school search down to one possible program without having to move. I decided to only apply to this one school and prayed that I would be accepted if Nurse Anesthesia was truly what God wanted me to pursue. After a long application process and intense interview process, God so graciously allowed me to be accepted into Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia in 2018 where I am currently pursuing my Doctorate of Nurse Anesthesia Practice. Anything good that has come from my life or you see in my life is a direct result of putting the message that is taught at Remnant Fellowship into practice and I am forever grateful for this life of total obedience to the One True God!
Little did I know that God would allow me to receive my most unexpected and greatest blessing this past year by allowing me to meet Sophia Weight. We were able to meet for the first time at an out of towners night at Ashlawn during Feast of Tabernacles about a year ago while she was visiting from California. That night felt as if it was straight from the heavens as we ended up talking all night and spent a majority of the weekend fellowshipping with all the Saints together. It was evident from the beginning that Sophia loves God with all of her heart and that is what truly attracted me to her. The more and more we talked and learned about each other, the more and more I fell in love with Sophia. I am still in awe that God would allow me to be marrying the woman of my dreams, and I can not wait to be united in marriage and serve God and His Kingdom together.
It did not take long before I knew I wanted to marry Sophia! Our relationship had been nothing short of blessed and peaceful from the beginning, and I felt that God had made it very clear that we were meant to be together forever. The whole process was filled with prayer and wanting only God’s will to be followed. On a trip back to Ohio for Christmas, I was able to find the perfect engagement ring while going to “window shop” with my family, and the next thing I knew I was back at the jewelry store the next day to buy the ring! I was praying that God would allow for the perfect timing to propose and He completely outdid Himself by providing the perfect weekend a few short months later without me grabbing or forcing it to happen. I wanted the proposal to be a complete surprise, which is hard to do when all of our family lives out of town. Sophia’s mother and stepfather happened to be flying into town for Mother’s Day and my parents and little sister were able to make the trip down from Ohio without Sophia finding out! I planned to take Sophia back to Ashlawn (Gwen’s home) to propose at the spot we had first met, and with help from friends and family we were able to make it happen! We were supposed to be having brunch with Sophia’s mother and stepfather, and I had Jonathan Walters call me asking for a quick favor at Ashlawn as we were driving by. Meanwhile, our family was already secretly there hiding out to watch the proposal and see Sophia say “yes”! That day was by far the happiest day of my life…until our Wedding day surpasses it when we can make this holy Covenant before our Church and our Heavenly Father.
First, I want to praise God for allowing me to find this Message of true Christianity and learning how to have a real relationship with Him. My life has since been one full of blessings, including meeting Grant Fickel!
My mother, Chrissy Walters, introduced me to Weigh Down during my freshman year of college when I was struggling with extra weight and feeling purposeless and hopeless in life. My mom had done Weigh Down in the 1990s and I remember hearing Gwen’s voice on tape cassettes as a child when we would drive around in our Volvo station wagon, but I never paid much attention, thinking it was just “my mom’s program.”
On Spring Break during my freshman year in college, I came home and was miserable. My mom sweetly asked if she could just show me something…and I agreed. It was there on my four-poster bed that I watched the introductory video for Gwen’s Exodus out of Egypt Change Series class on my laptop and I got to see people have true joy and love living their lives for God! I had grown up attending church but never truly felt I had a real personal relationship with God. I always thought I was missing something that others seemed to have. I signed up for my first Weigh Down class and loved the freedom and deliverance from diet and food rules and exercise regimens. I had so much more energy and felt so connected to God because I was being taught to pray to Him all the time. I continued to take classes such as the Legend to the Treasure Series and the Breakthrough Series… and through all of that, I have lost 20 pounds!
In 2013, my mom and I joined the Remnant Fellowship Church that grew out of Weight Down, but I quickly fell away as I wasn’t putting the teachings into practice and didn’t make much of an effort to connect with other Saints in the Church. Five years went by and my relationship with God waxed and waned. I tried to fill this emptiness with food, relationships, alcohol, anything…but always felt empty. After searching and church-hopping, and even thinking I had found what I was looking for, I knew that nothing gave me as much peace as taking a Weigh Down class. They just make SENSE!
After searching and church-hopping, and even thinking I had found what I was looking for, I knew that nothing gave me as much peace as taking a Weigh Down class. They just make SENSE!– Sophia
In January 2018, I began webcasting again and got to travel with my mom and aunt to Nashville, Tennessee for the first time for Pentecost to watch my mom be baptized. My aunt wanted to become a member, and I wanted to rejoin as well, and I am so humbled and grateful to once again be a part of this body!
During the Remnant Fellowship’s Festival called the Feast of Tabernacles, I first officially met Grant. We had our first conversation on the patio at Ashlawn (Gwen’s home) and haven’t stopped talking since!
What stands out to me the most about Grant is his humility, uprightness, and devotion to God. He always wants to do the right thing and please any of this authorities in life. I have learned so much from his example already, and I continue to do so each day. Grant is the most sincere and selfless gentleman, and I never imagined I would be able to marry such a God-fearing man who I know will always lead our family to follow God and be a part of His Kingdom.
God has done so much in my life that I am in complete awe of… including moving to Tennessee from California with a job lined up…as well as the sweetest Saints to live with! God has provided so much and has answered so many prayers, including getting engaged to Grant Fickel!
My mom and stepdad were flying out to Nashville for Mother’s Day weekend this year and the plan was to have a fancy Saturday morning brunch to celebrate. Grant picked me up that morning and Jonathan Walters called Grant… asking him to swing by Ashlawn to help put tables away from the previous evening’s Snider/Gormsen Blessing Shower. One cannot simply pass up an opportunity to visit Ashlawn. It is so very beautiful, and so I of course wanted to go there with Grant as well! Grant led me by the hand to the back patio looking for these “tables”…when he stopped in the exact spot where we first met and dropped down to one knee and asked me to marry him… to which I said “Yes!”
The Fickels from Ohio had driven down the previous evening and were hiding with my parents in the pool house watching the proposal take place. It was so sweet to celebrate all together and gather with friends at the lovely home of Harold and Julie Dragt. The entire day was so blessed and amazing and I cannot wait for our Wedding day!