In 2013, years after some disappointments pursuing a career in the world of dancing and acting, Josey Chapman was once more auditioning to be in a show. Despite nerves and the potential to be rejected, she knew she had to do it. “Something inside of me was saying, This is the most important audition of your life,” Josey says. What she didn’t know was that getting a part in Gateway’s Christmas production was only the beginning of a season of God saying yes to more than just the stage. A year later, she was part of the Gateway Performing Arts team, and preparing for the 2014 Christmas show auditions.
For Chase Edwards, signing up to audition for Gateway’s 2014 Truthical, was no easy decision. While he’d had some experience acting in high school and was active in Gateway Choir, it had been a while since he’d graced the stage. “I hadn’t done it in so long and wasn’t sure if I would be good enough,” Chase says. “It was the last night to sign up, and I kept going back and forth. But something inside of me said, You have to do it. I knew it was the Lord, but fear was trying to keep me from doing the show.”
At this point in Chase’s life, many of his friends had already gotten married or were in serious relationships, but he hadn’t met anyone. “So I said, ‘Fine, God, I’m going to do the show, but I better have a wife after this,’” Chase says with a laugh.
When Chase showed up for his audition, it turned out that Josey was part of the choreography team demonstrating the audition routine. He definitely noticed she didn’t have a ring on her finger. Soon after, he was cast in the show, and the work of rehearsals started, but unfortunately, he and Josey didn’t get a chance to talk much.
It wasn’t until much closer to the show premiere that Chase and Josey had their first real conversation. One night after rehearsal Chase, Josey, and two other cast members went out for dinner at Torchy’s Tacos. The group stayed at Torchy’s until closing time, then went outside to keep talking. Eventually only Chase and Josey were left. “It was freezing cold, but neither of us wanted to leave,” Josey says. “We were outside talking for quite a while until we were just frozen.”
After that night, Josey felt like Chase might be the man she’d marry one day, but Chase was still seeking God’s wisdom on pursuing her. For the time being, he focused on building a solid friendship with Josey. “I had thoughts that Josey was a girl I could potentially marry, but I wanted to wait and see where things went,” Chase says.
For Josey, the waiting was tough, and she really liked Chase. “At that point I wanted so badly to get married,” Josey says. “I had been asking the Lord to bring me a husband.” Then, right before the Truthical production, a friend’s mother gave Josey a prophetic word. “In the middle of a worship service, she leaned over and said, ‘I have a word from God for you: He’s going to bring you your husband soon,’” Josey says.
Yet in the midst of this encouraging word, she still found herself getting frustrated while she thought about when exactly that word would come to pass. She remembers crying out to the Lord one day backstage. “The Lord said to me, ‘If you will focus on Me and serve Me with all your heart, I will give you the desires of your heart,’” Josey says. From that moment forward, Josey’s focus began to shift, and by the time show week came, both she and Chase were putting all their attention into each performance.
That didn’t stop Josey’s friends from trying to play matchmakers. “They were a lot bolder than I was,” Josey says. “I was pretty shy, and Chase was pretty shy, so they were always instigating things, making little comments, and nudging us along.”
Just days after the show ended in December 2014, Chase asked Josey out, and God began confirming that she would eventually be his wife. “God started revealing a lot of the qualities that I should look for in a spouse were qualities Josey had,” he says.
By the spring of 2015, Chase was sure Josey was the woman God wanted him to marry. And by the end of summer, he was prepared to propose. “She didn’t know it yet, but I had been saving up to buy a house and a ring,” Chase says. “I went to work one day and decided, ‘I’m proposing tonight. There’s no need to wait; we love each other, and we want to get married. Let’s do this.’”
Chase decided that the perfect spot for the proposal was the West Texas farm that had been in his family for generations. When they got there, it was pitch black outside. There was one flood light shining, so Chase parked under the light, and the couple sat on the tailgate and talked for a while. “Then I winged a little speech and proposed right there,” Chase says.
Their wedding took place two weeks later, in September 2015, in Chase’s parents’ backyard. And just in time to audition for the next production of Truthical! The newlyweds performed in the ensemble again for the 2015 show stealing glances across the stage whenever possible. And the story of their unexpected show-mance has continued to encourage single friends and their Gateway Performing Arts family ever since.
Through all this, both Chase and Josey have learned that God really does give you the desires of your heart. And that He often moves in unexpected places and unexpected ways, even taco places and Christmas musicals.
Josey and Chase Edwards attend the North Fort Worth Campus.