I attended Gustavus Adolphus College (St Peter, MN) where I graduated Cum Laude with a degree in Elementary Education, K – 8th grade.
While teaching in the public schools, I discovered I had a deeply rooted desire to better understand the issues bombarding our young people today and a passion to be an active role model for sexual purity. So after leaving the classroom due to budget cuts, I went on to work for a non-profit organization. I eventually became their Director of Education with the mission to equip families and teens with the Biblical response needed to resist the cultural shift in sexual purity.
In 2011, I joined The Navigators as an urban missionary to invest more deeply in the lives of parents and youth (ages 12-22). Using my background in teaching, I create curriculum that I deliver at universities, schools and churches around the Upper Midwest. I also conduct parent seminars to increase their confidence in navigating courageous conversations at home. In 2015 I produced a film series entitled Sex By Design that is endorsed by four national leaders, including Josh McDowell. I’m also a contributing author to Dr. Juli Slattery’s Bible study Sex and the Single Girl which will be published August 2017.
Her Love Story
At the young age of twelve, I attended a True Love Waits Conference and pledged to remain sexually pure until my wedding night. On August 16th, 2015 I handed that pledge to my husband, Greg, on our wedding night!
While waiting 23 years to meet Greg, I wondered if God would ever bring me a godly man to love and eventually marry. Again and again my parents (and other key people) would encourage me to choose hope and continue living my life to the fullest rather than letting my singleness keep me from doing great things for God. In September of 2014 my mom said, “Abby, when you are finished producing your film series and are able to get more exposure speaking, a man will see you in your element and make a bee-line for you.” She was exactly right!
I finished the film series November of 2014 and one week later was scheduled to speak at an event in Wisconsin. My event poster was canvased across the entire community and Greg saw it posted at his church. (He thought, “She’s very pretty but there’s no way she’s single.”) Two days later, he heard me featured on the radio. During the interview I shared that I was 34 years old and single. It was at that moment he decided to go to the event to meet me.
God was already preparing my heart to meet Greg!
During the first couple minutes of that event, I noticed Greg in the audience and found myself completely distracted. It was as if a spotlight fell on him and no one else was in the room. It sounds cheesy but it’s the truth! (I thought, “He’s probably married to a fabulous woman and she’s at home with their three kids. Focus, Abby. Focus!”) I regained concentration and delivered a strong message to the group in attendance. Afterwards, I was pleasantly surprised when Greg courageously made his way to the front of the room and introduced himself. It quickly became evident he wasn’t married with three kids back home. Shortly thereafter, we began dating. Five months later, we were engaged. Ten weeks after that we were married!
A lot can change in a short period of time. A season of life that feels like it will never end can change in a matter of a moment. That is what happened with Greg and I – and our lives will never be the same!
As I look back on 23 years of singleness, I can wholeheartedly say…
Greg was worth waiting for!
What helped me wait to be sexually active until my wedding night? Was it a stellar sense of self worth? Maybe self-control made out of steel? No, neither of those. Sure, some might blame it on the fact that I am a firstborn – you know…the responsible, rule following type. But it goes much deeper than that. What led me to make different choices was primarily one thing, godly adult influence – people that were Jesus with skin on.
The first place I met Jesus was in the home – through my parents. My parents have been married over 40 years and modeled a healthy marriage to me and my brothers. Not only did they model love through their marriage, they also loved me well. They listened to me, believed in me, encouraged me… they even allowed me to have a paper route at 10! I had a safe and secure family to lean on – and that made all the difference in the world.
In addition to my parents’ influence and learning from others’ mistakes, God brought quality mentors into my life. Their words of wisdom and guidance strengthened my decision to wait for marriage and stand out from the crowd.
With such a unique testimony and passion for purity, I’ve been speaking for over 15 years at church youth groups, public and private schools, universities and parenting conferences.
My mission is to help youth and families know what God says about sex, why He says it and practical strategies they can use to live it out. May my life be an example that purity is possible – even in this sex-saturated culture!
Check out this video from Abby & Greg!
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