...nope, not the movie. this was way better! it was the real life event of jamie & zachary steven's marriage celebration! and what a privilege it was to have a front row seat. it is quite the occasion to see your childhood friend of 25 years marry the man God designed for her.
jamie and i were in first grade together, though we joke that i don't remember her & that she only remembers me from my most public humiliating life experience. we carpooled to & from school together from 6th grade until the first day i drove my 86 volvo to BHS. we lived only 2 blocks away for most of our childhood. i often walked barefoot in the rain to her house, an umbrella in one hand & hair spray in the other (in the form of mace). weird, paranoid, child, i know. we'd spend summer days doing laps or sun bathing at evergreen pool. we wore out countless of running shoes from jogging the sidewalks of our neighborhood. and from then until now we have always laughed until we cried. she is also the person i most prefer to cry until i laugh with.
she has seen me through bad perms, family dysfunction, and teenage heartaches. together we questioned the purpose of life: who is God & what do i believe about Him? we eventually discovered the answer one november night in 1993, both trusting Jesus and His free gift of grace. we bought our first Bibles together (although, truth be told, we still owe money to cheryl, our young life leader!) from that moment on, jamie grew in her faith and was an example of what it meant to live it out. she would never admit it, but she more or less discipled me. she prayed for me. she encouraged me. she loved me where i was. and she still does.
more life questions followed: what is God's will for my life? what should dating really look like? do i believe that God is good & will i trust Him? will i obey His call on my life, forsaking my personal rights and desires?
we have experienced God's faithfulness through the years, in both suffering and celebration. she has always been in my corner. i will always be in hers. she witnessed my baptism (profession of faith) in college, cheered me on as i ran a marathon, stood with me as my maid of honor and was there for the birth of my babies.
i have always believed that family transcends biology. jamie is the friend "who sticks closer than a brother" (proverbs 18:24). her friendship is one of the greatest acts of grace in my life.
thanks for letting me reflect & celebrate the sweet gift of friendship! and thanks for joining me in prayer for zach & jamie stevens. to God be the glory!!