Meet Abby Steiger, the soon-to-be Abby Denestch. We met a little over a year ago when we both moved to Colorado Springs on a whim to work at Compassion International. She’s from Texas. I’m from Texas. She didn’t know anyone. I didn’t know anyone. We became fast friends and then, roommates.
Abby is unlike anyone I have ever met and I truly believe that our meeting and living together (for the longest & shortest 8 months of my life) was divine intervention. I know that’s a big statement, so I don’t use it lightly. And as she embarks on a huge new and beautiful chapter in her life, I would like to take the opportunity to pay her a proper tribute of love and appreciation.
Abby lives out-loud a faith, fervency, and love for Christ that I haven’t heard in anyone else before. Her faith is the kind that makes you wonder if you have any at all. It’s so big, so strong, so steady, and so openly raw and transparent that you can’t help but be inspired and encouraged. She has a fearless faith. A true rarity.
Her fervency for the Word is a hunger, a desperation that doesn’t need dire circumstances in order to be initiated, and is an absolutely all-consuming necessity to her every breath. If this sounds exaggerated, I dare you to meet her and in less than 5 minutes she will undoubtedly quoted scripture to you, most likely without even knowing it. It is just a part of who she is; it is an uncontrollable overflow of her soul, which she bares unashamedly and without apology.
And as for her love for Christ, His universal church, His body of believers, and the life that He has called us to lead, Abby is on the front lines. She is the “William Wallace” of the faith crusade around the world. Spiritually, she’s nine feet tall and can shoot lightning-bolts from her “ars.” (If you haven’t seen Braveheart, you won’t appreciate that). I have never met someone who has such a living, breathing, burning desire to see the Great commission fulfilled; to see people from every tribe, nation, and tongue declare the name of the Lord. And I have never met anyone who feels such a desperate need to be among them, living with them in utter poverty, so that she may love them with the richness of Christ.
More than all of these qualities, more than all these extraordinary ways that she has challenged me, encouraged me, and showed me the life that is there to be taken hold of, she has loved me with the love of God that is more gracious, more compassionate, and more beautiful than I thought it could be. Not because I don’t believe what I read in the Bible, but because I didn’t know how to accept it. I didn’t know how to receive the Lord’s love, nor did I know how to love myself. But Abby showed me daily what that looked like, and I am truly forever changed.
So Abby, my precious friend, as you embark onto the fantastic chapter of marriage (to a really good-looking guy… way to go), know that I am so grateful to have met you and lived life with you. I owe the best year of my life to you. Because of you, I know the Lord in a way that I have been looking to find Him for so long. Because of you, I live and walk in a power and freedom that I never thought possible.
I love you Abby.