What you see here is what greeted Shari on the afternoon I proposed. Most people would say three weeks is just too short of period of time to plan a wedding.
We crammed a lot of life and so many experiences into those 21 incredible days leading up to our wedding day. Our decision to be married, despite the circumstances surrounding my cancer‘s return, was met with so many affirmations which lead us to move forward with our decision to be married in the Spring rather than later in the Fall.
Shari and I were were so grateful for the affirmation we received from family and friends who saw in us what we believed God was doing in our lives and in our courtship. We were also blessed by the God Winks which became apparent during this period and helped us to choose to become husband and wife on March 19, 2011.
The Greatest Day of My Life!
Regardless of the size wedding, planning and coordination are key when planning an event of this magnitude in one’s life . The planning should take in all the aspects which create memories which span a lifetime for you and your wife along with the special guests who attend.
Time usually is the best friend for the bride and groom in the planning as they have months to prepare for the big day. Unfortunately Shari and I didn’t have the luxury of time as circumstances dictated there were only 21 days for us to plan and celebrate our wedding day. Despite all the obstacles and the coordinating of all the logistics, somehow, everything all fell into place for us to be married.
Our God Wink Story
Shari and I met in 2008 while we attended different locations (campuses) of North Point Church. We met, but for this part of our story it started and ended with this meeting. Despite meeting then, both of us would go on our separate ways for the next two years but the meeting in 2008 would be an important footnote in our story which would come together two years later.
Random, Fate, or another God Wink
Fast-forward to the spring of 2010 where we both find ourselves in the North Point Church Singles environment called Fusion. Despite the odds Shari and I find ourselves placed same host home as opposed to the other five during this cycle. We believe the odds for us to be placed in the same host home twice in two years was astronomical and we believe this fate of our placement to be a big defining God Wink in our lives!
This time something clicked, and in our re-connection something was different; and we were different! As we came to know each other through the North Point singles ministry we also connected on another level as learned we had both battled cancer. It was through this connection we grew closer as news of my cancer spreading impacted both of our lives.
Could Cancer Be A God Wink?
Cancer, believe it or not, for us is a God Wink between Shari and I. As a 12 year breast cancer survivor, Shari reached out to me to let me know she knew what I was going through and wanted to make sure I knew she was there for me. This was huge for me as up to this point in my cancer journey I perceived myself as damaged goods, as someone unworthy of the relationship I so desperately desired. In my mind no one whose life had already been touched by cancer would knowingly open the door to the potential for more sorrow. Fortunately for me Shari’s big heart and her love for me, despite my diagnosis, led me to embrace her love and allowed me to move past my diagnosis and express the love I had for her.
People, Places, and God Winks
I would be remiss not highlighting a few of the people I feel God used to make our wedding so special and who each brought God Winks into our lives March 19, 2011.
Jan Jacobs, whose home was where we reconnected and the place we married. econnected last spring during Fusion, whose home where Shari & her sister Michelle were randomly placed in group link this winter, whose home she graciously shared with to be married in after Shari shared our story one evening during her small group. And another example of how real life happens in the circles we allow God to place us in each day, not just in a row on Sunday mornings!
Debbie Causey, with North Point Ministries which represents North Point Church (Shari) and Buckhead Church (me), who heard our story and with discernment, understanding, and compassion allowed for us to let the churches which played such a significant role in our coming together be at the heart of the covenant we made March 19. Our God Wink with Debbie came from my involvement in NPM’s care network and Shari & I meeting her last November during the Hope Mentor commissioning service which facilitated our first conversations of pre-marital counseling.
Mike Teston, pastor at North Point Church, whose guidance, direction, and counsel steered us through our pre-marital sessions and to whom we are so grateful for officiating our wedding and laid the ground work for leading us…as man & wife… into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. Mike’s God Wink came in the timing, a morning wedding, had our ceremony been scheduled at any other time that day Mike wouldn’t have been able to officiate.
Casey Darnell, who made our ceremony so special by singing Third Day‘s Your Love Oh Lord as our gathering song, Chris Tomlin‘s All The Way Our Savior Leads Me as Shari & I separately entered, and Tomlin’s Our God Is Greater as we said our vows, exchanged rings, kissed, and celebrated with friends and families. The God Wink in Casey’s participation was the sheer fact that he was available, as this was his first weekend in Atlanta since before Christmas touring with his band.
SQuire Rushnell, author of When God Winks series. Odds are we may never meet but you should know the role When God Winks played in my life and how I use those “Winks” as dots to connect the picture God is painting for my life. Shari and I felt no ordinary guest book would do for us on our wedding day. We asked all those in attendance to sign our copy of When God Winks as a memento to us and share the God Winks they saw in our lives.
Oh yeah…one more person…Whoever Broke Into My Car. A special thank you for reminding me I’m not in control of my life and things are better that way. Had I been in control, my wife’s engagement ring along with her two diamond wedding bands would have been in the Subaru backpack you stole from my Forester after smashing the passenger window. Thankfully a final adjustment had to be made and had the jeweler not been delayed coming back for lunch those rings would have been in my backpack. This fact is something Shari and I believe to be a God Wink. One thing I hope you found in my backpack was my Bible and all my medical records which outline my 2 year cancer battle. I hope you spent a moment or two glancing through those records because they illustrate how in life we all face challenges and trials from time to time. I’m sure the shear fact you stole from me indicates you too are in the midst of trial and were left with very few other choices. I can only hope that at some point, despite whatever it is you’re facing leads you to open my Bible, and I pray what you read leads you to a new path to a new life in Christ.
My prayer is for you or whoever comes across my Bible is that in some way you recognize this good fortune is part of God’s plan for you to embrace God’s grace and the salvation He promises to all who come to believe. And if the loss of my Bible allowed for that to happen in someone’s life…well I think that would be the greatest God Wink of them all!!
Would anyone like to join me in that prayer?
trusting God period!
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