My Best Friend’s Wedding Day

Today, my friend Anna Shelnutt (now Hall) asked me what I thought of her wedding day. I wish I could’ve expressed the torrent of thoughts that cascaded through the corridors of my mind, but I couldn’t possibly have covered it well. So Anna, here is your wedding day.

 

Dear Sister-Friend,

You were light, sunshine, laughter and kiddie giggles wrapped in human flesh. I observed you quite carefully all weekend, and I felt like a student. Through every action, every facial expression, every word that escaped your lips, you taught me a new lesson.

You were selfless. With numerous people calling for your attention – bridesmaids, sisters, parents, guests, husband-to-be – you were a portrait of Jesus. I imagine that during the weekend of May 10th, the Lord allowed me to observe you so that I could see just how seamlessly He is able to split Himself up in a way that materializes as no division at all. Somehow, every guest and every craving for your ear was met equally; I wouldn’t be surprised if it took nothing from you. Only Abba could provide such grace to a human being. Only He could grant a gift that would multiply endlessly.

You were joy. I believe that this quality will possibly always be my greatest memory of your wedding day. Burned on my mind is the image of your face, shining – glowing – not just with love for your spouse, but with kindness, gentleness and appreciation for the many guests and individuals who contributed to your nuptials. Somehow, you made me feel as if I was important that day; as if each of the people you encountered were the reason we had all gathered. My goodness, if I learned nothing else, it was that I can be a better person. Despite the selfishness and anxiety that exists in my heart, I can – with the help of the Holy Spirit – overcome that and live in a way that others would see only Jesus in me. Because on your special day, your most magnificent adornment wasn’t your lace-bodiced gown or your bare feet… it was the light shining through you that made you virtually transparent, allowing God to pervade that space.

How was your wedding day? It felt like we weren’t in Georgia anymore; like we weren’t anywhere. Your wedding day was a slice of stolen time wherein which a select few were transported to a practice run-through of the Glorious Wedding Day to come. If I may say so, Jesus presided over your wedding. It was marvelous.

I am proud of you. I don’t know why I feel that’s weird to say, but I’ll say it anyway. I’m proud of what you have accomplished, what you have set out to do, and who you have set out to do it with. I’m proud that you’ve chosen to walk through life with a spouse who glorifies and adores your First Love as much as you do. I’m proud that, together, you two will accomplish miracles and shake mountains and bring healing to those who are confused or doubting…

And you will, of course, do none of this on your own. But our God is mysterious and wonderful. Everything about our first meeting, Anna, was on-time and impacting. You, me, and Jesus, sitting there at that creek and saying nothing (but also saying everything). If you’ve decided (which you have) to begin this new chapter of your life with Him, I can only imagine the awesomeness of your journey to come.

And to your new husband: thank you for loving my friend. Thank you for loving this child of God who will do everything in her power – and with strength given from Christ – to love you unconditionally and relentlessly. You’re a swell guy!

This might all be a bit much, Anna, but I mean every word. God knows your heart, dear one, and I know that He will always take care of you. He has been your beacon, your path, your strength, your comfort…and now a new kind of sweetness will be added to your relationship, because the pronoun “your” will apply to your new unit of two. Your threefold cord – Anna, Alec and Abba – joined to face triumphs and disappointments and peaks and valleys together. And one timeless day, we’ll all get to sit together and feast again at the Ultimate Wedding. And the glimpses of His character I’ve seen in you throughout our friendship (and on your special day) will be exposed clearly and plainly before us in purest form.

God used your wedding day to draw my attentions back to Him. I hope I’ll be able to keep learning from you through our lifetime friendship. So yeah…that’s how I saw your wedding day 🙂

 

Love,

Sade

Red, Beige, and Cream

The floor was carpeted with murky brown and creaked as you stepped on them – which I loved. The walls were dark beige, adorned with the occasional wrought-iron artistic whim. The doors were thin and white, with barely-functionable antique knobs. There were three main rooms, each cluttered with non-matching wooden desks, cushioned chairs, and tables for studying.

But the gem I found was in the room with the beige-ish loveseat, black leather armchair, and secluded nook…

(From “Day of Rest”)

Even though I decided to settle with my study materials at a desk in another room, I felt drawn by the couple softly chatting on the couch in the next room. I rose, grabbed my laptop, and sheepishly peered inside.

“Do y’all mind if I sit in here?” I didn’t want to invade their privacy if they were sharing a truly intimate moment. The room is too small for any seclusion.

The man, college-aged with straight, jet-black hair, almond-shaped eyes and cream-colored skin answers immediately, his tone easy-going and welcoming.

“You can sit anywhere.”

“Yeah, anywhere,” the girl’s voice overlaps with his.

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Day of Rest

Today I decided to study outside of my room, my attempt at finding the peace and solace that usually accompanies isolated time of observation and absorption of my surroundings Last year, Abba often found me in these settings whenever I’d wander to sit and think beside the North Campus fountain or ride the buses for hours, just gazing out the window. I missed that state of mind; I needed it. So when I woke today, I decided that this would be my day of rest.

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TFD

December 13, 2013. 7am.

I woke to the familiar three-tone “ding” of my cell phone; I’d received a text. Rolling over and blinking the heaviness of sleep away from my eyes and chest, I unlocked the phone to reveal a message from my dear, distant friend. My heart pounded with fear, my feet were damp with sweat, and my mind raced at a million miles a minute as it adjusted to the new reality of the present world. I wasn’t in my dream anymore; that story wasn’t real. It wasn’t happening.

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Meet My Friends: Matt Reeves

I mentioned in the first post of this series, “Meet My Friends,” that I wanted to give you a glimpse into the lives of the men and women who have impacted my life over the past year or so.  Today, I want you to meet Matt Reeves. 

And if you’re wondering about the Sweet Tea in the featured photo, it serves no symbolic purpose. He just really likes sweet tea 🙂

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Matt Reeves is one of the most shockingly uncomplicated people on this earth.

Why? Because he makes it that way.

But for some reason, I’ve spent my life learning new ways to make the present time a blended smoothie of the past, the future, and the highly improbable. It has been exceedingly difficult for me to slow down, take a breath, and enjoy the moment at hand without planning what my next step will be.

However, on the second day of classes in January, I met Matt for the first time and didn’t realize that my point of view was about to change.

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Meet My Friends: Anna Shelnutt

I realized today that y’all don’t know anything about my friends. I’m sure I’ve mentioned them once or twice, but that’s not fair! You need more! I want to give you a glimpse into these amazing people by telling you the stories of how we met. It’s quite remarkable, actually. And please note that the majority of these stories will revolve around Jesus, because He began each and every one of them.

Today we’ll start by meeting the lovely Anna Shelnutt.

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