Today we celebrate!
Amanda and Webb made it "home" yesterday from their honeymoon. Well, they made it to our house which is third on the list of their extended family homes. Arizona, North Carolina and Florida - a true "interstate relationship".
Because they did a destination wedding, our church family couldn't attend. So, Webb graciously consented to come back so Amanda could don her fabulous wedding gown and allow everyone at GGC to "OOOO!" and "AHHH!" as much as they'd like. (We will comment on how handsome he is in his wedding attire too. But the reception photo ops will revolve mostly around Amanda and the people she has touched while serving here.)
Their union serves as a testimony to many. This time last year, Amanda was convinced she would be single for several more years.
"When I'm in my thirties, someone will realize that marriage is about more than a dress size and they'll see me as the real prize God has made me to be." Smart girl. Smart man (Webb) to snatch her up before another could.
In six short months, the light dawned. The question was asked. Decisions made. Plans executed. Boxes packed. Marriage performed. Honeymoon completed. After the reception at GGC this afternoon, they will climb into Webb's truck and drive toward the beginning of the next season. No longer two - now one.
I firmly believe that life is all about moments. (I'm sure you've seen the phrase: "Life isn't about the number of breaths we take. It's about the moments that take our breath away.")
My moment at their wedding will forever be etched in my memory.
We were sitting with Amanda, Webb and their parents at the reception. Music played softly in the background. A gentle breeze filtered through the wedding tent. Voices mixed with laughter around us.
I looked at Amanda as she talked with her new father-in-law. Instead of a tiara, she had chosen a perfect white feather adornment that sat beautifully in the side of her fabulous curls. It was fluttering softly. Her smile was radiant!
And just as tears began to well up, she turned and made eye contact with me. Those sharp emerald eyes saying it all, "I'm so happy! This was the right decision. Thanks for the part you played in helping us get here. Please don't cry yet." So I didn't.
But today I will.
The reception will end around 3:00. We will help them get all their gifts in the truck. We'll stand in the parking lot with big smiles and wave excitedly as they drive away. We'll all cry, most likely.
But our hearts will be joyful; because we choose to focus on the blessing! God has done a great thing in helping those two find one another. They are perfect together. Amanda will care for him and Webb will protect her. It's the way He designed it.
Alicia Chole has a devotional entitled Pure Joy. One of her entries has been such an encouragement these past few days. "During transitions we uproot and replant our sense of purpose, value, and self. Between what was and what will be, we often feel vulnerable, uncertain, and exposed. Our map on this journey is a two-word sentence: "Follow Me!" We miss many a treasure when we try to avoid or rush through these seasons."
Isn't that so powerful?
As I reread your comments from my last post, I took time to drink in the strength and encouragement being offered. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! You each brought a different element that bolstered me. I'm most appreciative.
Frank, Kristin and I got a very early start this morning - there's much to be done before Mr. and Mrs. Webb Hoggard enter the reception.
It will be a treasured moment. And then we'll journey on.
"Follow Me!" He leads us on to places of richness and growth. A loose paraphrase of Proverbs 3 says it well, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, don't lean on your own understanding. In all 'the journey' acknowledge Him and He will direct your path."
That's a road map more reliable than Google ever hoped to create!