July 14th

Well, I was incredibly honored to be able to be a part of Phil& Jessie’s wedding on Saturday. I literally cried from the beginning the music started until very late into the night. On Monday I made the mistakes of looking at the pictures on Facebook, and started tearing up while an attorney walked by. Awkward, “Wow, you look very….tired”” Haha.

It’s an amazing gift to “do life” with two people for over three years and then get to see the crescendo of their relationship before God with all of your dear friends. I loved seeing my church in action, displaying God’s crazy love in such a tangible way for everyone to see. I loved seeing God radically honor Phil & Jessie’s  faithfulness and commitment to Him. I loved seeing Jessie’s purity shine as an example of God’s promises, and I loved thinking back on the Phil I got know over three years ago who was a very different man. I teared up every time I saw Jessie dance in her beauty and  confidence as who she is as a bride, especially when it was time for her to leave the reception:). I loved knowing how sincerely devoted she was to God throughout her entire life in quiet obedience. I loved thinking back on the “hard times” and how so much of their story wasn’t beautiful or easy. I loved thinking back to when Judge called me in Mozambique to tell me that Phil had decided that Jessie was his wife, or remembering when Jessica and I challenged Phil on the way to Kroger by saying Jessie might not want to take him back after everything, and he said he wouldn’t stop pursuing her until she did.

I loved watching Mike sing the worship songs, and Judge drive the golf-cart. Their is nothing better than family.

” For as a young man marries a young woman,
    so shall your sons marry you,
and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
    so shall your God rejoice over you.
On your walls, O Jerusalem,
    I have set watchmen;
all the day and all the night
    they shall never be silent.”

Isaiah 62 

I felt the spirit of God so heavily in that ampitheatre on UGA’s campus. I felt like I was feeling the effect of thousands of prayers that Jessie, Phil and others poured into each other and that day. Ten minutes before the ceremony was about to begin, a torrential downpour let loose. This “early rain” only set in motion an easy-going atmosphere where  no one cared what they looked like anymore. As I cringed  watching Jesse drag her train through the puddles, it was a teaching experience for me to know that neither of them cared. It didn’t matter, they were getting married no matter what.

When the rain cleared and cooled down that July evening,  the Love of God was reflected so strongly in their relationship that I wasn’t able to go to the reception after the service. I went to Sloan’s car and sat, thought and journaled out some deep-cries to God. I’m not one much for Christian buzz words, but there is no other way to explain what the Lord did in me that day, but to say I was “wrecked.” The Lord’s spirit did a good work  humbling even prideful me and setting me in a new direction.

Some things He gently showed  me that day were difficult to receive… how selfishlessly I’ve been living and how I haven’t been loving but using. He showed me where he wants me before I am a bride, and that I still have a ways to go. I am not at the place where I could love someone more than I love my own flesh, or to be willing to give up my life to another out of  selfless devotion. The Lord called me to love Him first above eveyrthing else this weekend. He asked me to chose these six months in Atlanta with joy, because He was going to prepare meto love like He does. He asked me to intentionally chose the Awakening every weekend, even when it’s hard. He asked me to lay down my control. I couldn’t have explained that to you on Saturday though, it just felt like a holy wrecking, a breaking down and surrender.

What a beautiful thing holy union can be. God knew what he was doing when he created romance.  So often I don’t have the trust or patience to believe that, or to wait on God for His perfect timing. At Jessie’s lingerie party, I saw next to Christa Childs and was filled with such excitement for Jessie.  More then once, I said outloud as Christa laughed, “Gosh, I just love sex.” Its so refreshing to see it done the right way. It’s so great to see people love in a way that the Lord blesses with his Spirit,  joy and life.

It’s even cooler to see a once-broken person chosen and redeemed like Phil through God’s radical grace. It’s such a miracle to see such different lives brought together as one flesh.

It was such a tremendous blessing to see two people who trusted in Him despite everything, and for them to have such an elegant wedding on such a tight budget!

Thank you God, for my church.

                                                             So happy for you, Mr. & Mrs Goodwin.

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