The sun had set. The temperature had cooled, way to cool for us Phoenicians. We made the drive down off the mountain, our final location for their Flagstaff, Arizona engagement session. We pulled into a little burger joint, where the health code was certainly questionable. But when the food is that good, who cares that the workers were eating the left over milkshakes behind the counter…right?
We sat down with our plates of burgers and fries and that’s when he prayed. Not a solemn, everyone bow-your-heads-before-your-plate-of-food-prayer. But a simple prayer. He blessed the food and ended with the sweetest words, “I’m so excited to marry her. Amen”. I think I could hear their hearts leap from across the table.
I’ve loved watching these two grow. They’ve been dating, two years today and have one more year before they tie the knot. These two are disciplined and driven in relentless pursuit of their dreams.
Emily is currently student teaching (which brings back so many memories for me) and as we made the winding trip up to the peaks she shared with me her daily motto, “be the person you needed when you were little.” She wakes up every day, determined to be something to someone. Emily, I want to be like you when I grow up. Never let the weight of the world rob you of your sweet spirit.
Daniel has his sights set high in hotel and restaurant management, and no doubt he’ll achieve his goals in record time. Daniel, your leadership, determination and integrity will drive you to the top!
Emily and Daniel, whatever expectation you have of marriage and the life together after, “I do,” crumple it up and throw it away. Whatever ideas the world have standardized as normal, forget about them. The perception that has become your reality, forget it all.
Because it’s so much better.
It’s better because it’s what God has designed. It’s better because marriage is a direct reflection of how Christ loves His church.
Daniel, love her fiercely. Emily, love him unconditionally.
Emily, love him intentionally. Daniel, love her sacrificially.
Daniel love her honorably. Emily, love him patiently.
And always, always, keep Christ in the center. He will direct your steps. He will establish the work of your hands. He will bring hope. He will bring peace. He will bring joy.
Get ready for the best time of your life.