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NW Iowa Review Story-The Reeves’ Family Beauty for Ashes

Friends and Family have asked to read the article that Amber Vis from the Nw Iowa Review wrote about us!  I hope you are blessed by it!  All the pictures were taken by Aesthetic Essence in Hull, Iowa.



Photos by Aesthetic Essence

Couple thanks God for taking something BROKEN and MAKING IT NEW

Corbett Reeves and Bethany Raman Bousema endured painful roads before they found each other. “We both lost our marriages in ways we never saw coming or could have ever imagined to be possible,” Bethany said. Bethany became a widow six years ago when her husband died from a rare bone marrow failure. Corbett’s first marriage ended in divorce four years ago. “In the midst of it all, for both of us, there has been devastation and sorrow in loss, but also beauty and redemption from seeing God in a deeper measure,” Bethany said. “We would both testify that God joining our lives as one is part of our redemptive story in Jesus Christ, and we praise him for the blessing.” The couple often jokes that there is no manual for a widowed seminary student and a divorced pastor, but they rely on the fact that God is the giver of grace. They endure painful roads before finding each other, wedding ceremony serves as worship service to God Bethany Raman Bousema and Corbett Reeves share a prayer before their Jan. 11, 2014, wedding ceremony with his children, Katy, 12, and Will, 10.

 “It was simplistically beautiful. Our wedding was more of a worship service than anything.”  Will, 10, and Katy, 12, played an important role in the wedding of Bethany Raman Bousema to Corbett Reeves on Jan. 11, 2014, at American Reformed Church in Hull. The newlyweds live in Norwalk with the two children. Corbett and Bethany met while she was working as the Christian education director at First Reformed Church in Rock Rapids. Corbett was a worship pastor at a church in Norwalk. Corbett and Bethany were asked to partner in leading worship together at a pastors’ networking day at Prairie Ridge Reformed Church in Ankeny. While preparing for the networking day, the two exchanged a couple of e-mails while picking out worship songs. Due to a snowstorm, Bethany ended up being late to the church to lead worship. “We had about 15 minutes to run through some songs, and we literally winged it,” Bethany said. “Afterwards, all the other pastors just assumed we were married and had been singing together for years.” Bethany remembers laughing because the two had just met each other a couple hours before that. Corbett and Bethany remained friends for quite a few months before they started dating. “Our dating period was much different than I would have anticipated,” Bethany said. Corbett came into the relationship with two children, Katy, 12, and Will, 10. The first time that Corbett and his kids came to visit Bethany in Hull, they all went to church and met her family. “Most of our dating experiences were family friendly with our kiddos involved,” Bethany said. “Knowing that we wanted to be married sooner rather than later, we chose to be very purposeful in how we spent our time as a family in order to promote a healthy transition.” Although they never went to fancy restaurants or had elaborate dates, Bethany loved every minute of their time together on family outings. The couple both loves live music, so they often went to various music performances.

The couple got engaged in September 2013. Because the couple was very community and family oriented, Corbett included the children in the proposal, along with some of their good friends. He proposed at the restaurant where Bethany met his children for the first time. The group of friends helped by holding up signs for the proposal. They were the same friends who helped Corbett and his children through some tough life experiences during the last four years. “I was blessed that they were all present the day he asked me to marry him,” Bethany said. The couple was married on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, at American Reformed Church in Hull. They decided on a 1 p.m. ceremony with family and friends. The wedding colors were red, teal and champaign. They had an open house dessert buffet and coffee bar following the ceremony. “We opted to do a very low budget wedding, knowing that our primary focus was on the vows we were making to one another,” Bethany said. Instead of having a traditional wedding party, daughter Katy stood next to Bethany and son Will stood next to Corbett. “It was simplistically beautiful,” Bethany said. “Our wedding was more of a worship service than anything.” The couple had a full praise team lead the congregation in worship, and the couple both gave short testimonies of God’s redemption throughout their lives. They also wrote unique vows, which first outlined their commitment to Jesus and then secondly, to one another in His name.

Bethany was exceptionally thankful that her father, Perry Raman, was able to attend her wedding. He was diagnosed with cancer this past fall, and they were not sure if he was going to live. “It was a blessing that my father could walk me down the aisle, and the blessing that he was healthy enough to do so is a is undergoing chemo treatments,” Bethany said. During the ceremony, Ralph Bousema, the father of Bethany’s late husband, gave a blessing in memory of Justin Bousema. “In doing so, he honored both Justin and Corbett,” Bethany said. Bethany also honored her late husband by wearing a veil made out of her first wedding dress. After Justin died, she had the wedding dress cut up and made into two baptismal blankets. “I kept the lace overlay to the dress in the hopes that if God ever let me marry again someday, that part of my first wedding dress would be made into a veil to honor my late husband and to glorify God,” Bethany said. “I did just that.” Bethany’s friend, Marsha Kelderman, made the blankets and later made the veil out of what was left. Bethany thought she did an amazing job with it.

“There was incredible significance in it all,” Bethany said. “When something is broken and torn apart, it can be made new again.” Bethany said that it might not ever look like what it was originally intended to look like, but the broken pieces can make something new and beautiful — the same way that God took the broken pieces of Corbett and Bethany’s lives and made them new and beautiful. The couple lives in Norwalk, where their children attend the Norwalk schools. Corbett, 42, works full-time at Athene Insurance and is a worship pastor at Meredith Drive Reformed Church in Des Moines. He also plays live gigs around the Des Moines area on the weekends. He recently serenaded Chickfil-A customers on Valentine’s Day in West Des Moines. Bethany, 31, is an online seminary student through Sioux Falls Seminary. She continues to pursue an inspirational speaking platform. She also runs a small nonprofit organization called the Ebenezer Benevolent Fund Ministry for people with illness.

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