Ross met Ann when she transferred to Bethel. She was in his very first Intro to Bible class he ever taught. They bonded over great discussions about life, family and God's Word. They continued to get to know each other as she became one of the leaders of "RIOT"/"Shift". Ross was always talking about this great girl and her friends and I could tell he really respected her a lot.
Josh met Ann when they both went on a trip to Greece and Turkey Jan 2009. For a few reasons, it was the prayer of my heart during the month of January that Josh would make some quality Bethel girl friends. I was excited that Josh was going on a trip with a couple of Bethel kids I knew and respected and some of Ross' favorite people. It was only a few days after the trip when Josh, Ann and Caroline were standing in our kitchen joking back and forth, that I told Ross something was up. Within a few months, Josh and Ann began dating.
Josh and Ann have handled so many things about their relationship in wise ways. I enjoy them as a couple very much. Ann is an oldest child (so we relate on that level in many ways - oldest daughters marrying/married to youngest sons). She's driven and type A and a very good student. She works hard and plays hard and loves people well. She cares about healing people medically but I know she'll also be a great nurse for the way she interacts and shares God's love with people, administering this love in it's various forms. She has cute spunk and great style. Ann is quick to smile and laugh. Ann is great with kids and has been so loving to E-man. Ann is a great balance to my brother in so many ways - as he is to her, too. I'm very excited to gain a sister when they get married on August 28th!
Today we celebrated Ann by attending her Nursing Pinning ceremony at Bethel. I almost got teary a few times during the ceremony as it was so clear to me how God has been preparing these Bethel graduates to go out and serve and heal and comfort people in His name. I don't think you can beat an education from Bethel's nursing program and I'm so proud of Ann for finishing and not just finishing so-so - but finishing extremely well. I got teary thinking about how amazing it is that Ann will be joining our family in just a few short months. What a gift she is and will continue to be ...
Ann - I love you! You are a huge blessing in my life, Ross's life, E-man's life - the life of the Ridder family and in Josh's life. He laughs deeper and smiles brighter because of you. I have watched you encourage Josh to do his best work as a graduate student. I appreciate the way you gently come along side of him and nudge him to be his best self. I admire your deep love for Jesus and God's kingdom. I will always be cheering for you as you go into the nursing world and as you enter into the wonderful adventure of marriage with Josh. I know you might think it's weird, but I'd have you for my nurse ANY day! :) I can't wait to celebrate your wedding day with you ... you are an answer to prayer on so many different levels. We celebrate all you have accomplished and all God has accomplished through you in the past few years this weekend. YOU GO GIRL! :)