Friendship, Answered Prayers, and S+K=Love
Our dear friends Steve and Kari got married a few months ago. It was such a fun weekend of celebrating these two individuals, reuniting with people we don't get to see often, and dancing the night away.
The happy couple: we have been friends with Steve for years now...(doesn't it sound strange when you think about your friends from college and you're able to say that you have known them for almost a decade? Maybe it doesn't sound strange, maybe it just makes me OLD). There's much to love about Steve as a person and a friend. He’s always the life of the party. He digs in and holds loyal ground in the best way. He cares deeply for other people and has a killer laugh when he finds something funny. He's a firefighter in a tough area of Chicago, which just highlights his steadfast nature and concern for others. He is such a loving support/cheerleader for Doug and I...we’re both lucky to share a friendship with this wonderful individual. I have always called him one of my 'blessed jewels' because it seems so fitting to his character.
I adored Kari from the first time I met her. She has a gift for making you feel like you have known her your whole life. She's a teacher in practice and at heart, which is something you can feel integrated into the way she communicates and approaches people. She is a measured balance of creative, adventurous, and sweet...and a killer athlete. Ironically, Kari's dad used to be the athletic director at Doug's high school. Before I even knew who she was, I had heard about her dad from Doug who was the president of his fan club. Doug had shared memories of what a genuine, good man he was and you could see that truth in the caliber of his daughter. It was so clear when we met Kari that God had chosen her kind spirit specifically for Steve; like she was the missing piece of a puzzle he had been trying to solve. There's such beauty in that.
Kari was an answer to prayers we had prayed for Steve: a woman who would love him well and fill his life with joy. Doug and I try to stay diligent about praying for our friends who are dating or wanting to date...for their hearts, their future spouse...even their restlessness.
I am humbled at specific instances of Doug praying for some of our friends who are single but hoping to be in a relationship. He always prays that they would find value and meaning in themselves first...that they would feel whole in who God had created them to be before getting into a relationship. My eyes always fill with tears as he lists them by name asking God to make them feel loved, worthy, and 'enough'.
It brings joy to your soul to see answered prayers walking and talking and getting married. It was a reminder to me of the power of divine plans for us (even when we get impatient waiting for them to unfold).
The wedding y'all. I like when you attend weddings where you can actually feel the love in the room. Both Steve and Kari looked at peace and so happy. Dougie was a groomsmen and looked so proud standing there.
Towards the end of their ceremony, we sang Great Is Thy Faithfulness. As this familiar tune filled the air, I felt overwhelmed with a sense of blessing: the newlyweds and their love. My husband beaming as one of his best buds made this sacred commitment. The opportunity to spend time with Steve's family (who have always been so loving and supportive of Doug and I). Heard and answered prayers. Friends from all over the country being together; reminiscing about past adventures and chatting about the future. With all that in mind and on my heart, it felt so meaningful to sing together...
"Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide...strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!"