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Garden Wedding

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BC: May the Lord Bless you and keep you...

FC: {7.11.2011} | Luke and Jessica Sadler June 11, 2011

1: Jessica, We are so very excited for this new door that's about to open for you. Here are a few memories and words of encouragement to start you on your path. Always know, that we love you very, very much...

2: As soon go kindle fire with snow. As seek to quench the fire of love with words

3: All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love

4: When I think of Jessica Cleckner, this is what comes to mind... Intentional Quirky Awesome speller Determined Has a laugh like no other Walking Companion Questionaire Extraordinaire A great teacher Still a mystery why she drives a huge ass truck Panty Flaunter Lover of life Doesn't want to miss anything Willing to be real Rocks back and forth when she sings First person to see them really love their family Loyal friend Arrow towards Jesus | Jess, all of these are true in my vision of you. When I think back to the first days of college til now I have my best memories with you. From Quest small group, going home with you, watching the O.C in your room, laying in either of our beds before we went to sleep, brushing our teeth together, turning the water on so the other can pee, motivating me to do homework, making meals, walking, crying together many many times, and laughing even more times. Thanks for being there...with me...all those times. I wish I could've appreciated it more. But now you're getting married and moving off to the corner of the world. Keep being who you are. I love you. JJ | JJ

5: June 10, 2011 Dear Sweet Jessica, I have prayed for you since the early years of Luke! You can imagine my joy to finally meet you nearly one year ago (June 15, 2010) at O’Charley’s in Murfreesboro for lunch with Nannie (her birthday lunch). Conversations with Luke about his intentions to ask you to be his life-long friend, soul mate, and wifethere was no doubt in my mind you were both providentially meant to be together. Amen! Another celebration, OH MY STARS, a daughter after so many years in a household of men! Please know Jay and I will always be there for you and Luke. All My Love, Kim | Kim

6: Jess, You mean the world to me. I am so thankful for your dear and sweet friendship to me. My life would be very different if you were not apart of it. I am thankful Drew, Robby, and Whopper wanted us to be friends. I am so thankful that we met freshmen year at QUEST. I am thankful that we were in a small group together. I am even more thankful that I got to live with you for three years. I am thankful we got to take a lot of classes together. I am thankful for all our car rides together to class. I am thankful for all your hard questions. I am thankful for the way you make me laugh. I am thankful I got to watch you do ministry and love so well. I am thankful for our walks together. I am just so thankful for you always pushing me to Jesus. I am thankful that you always hold me to a high standard and never let me settle in life. I am thankful for the way you care so deeply. I am thankful for how intentional you are. I am thankful for your heart. I am thankful that you give your all to everything you do and that you never give less. I am thankful for the way you pursue Jesus and the way that encourages other people to pursue Jesus. I am so thankful that you found Luke. I am thankful that you are going to marry him. I am thankful that you asked me to be apart of such a special day. I am really grateful for such an authentic friendship that is rooted in Jesus. As you prepare to get married and move away from all you know, I pray you would just seek Christ. I pray you would cling to him on days when you are sure of where he has you and cling to him even more on days that are hard and dark. I pray you and Luke would laugh, play, and enjoy each other in a season when it seems you only have each other. It is a true gift and life will not always be like that. I pray you would allow Luke to care for you well. I pray though more than anything that as you get married you would become more holy as a woman of Christ. Marriage is not about being happy but becoming more holy. I pray you would enjoy the slower pace of life. I pray you would know Jesus more and more each day as you and Luke journey through life together. Thanks for being a dear friend to me. I am so excited for you on this day. I love you a lot friend. Molly | Molly

7: Kelly | Jess, Thinking back to when you made me go to Panera with you for the first time I could not have imagined that six years later a sweet and dear would be formed because you did. You have loved me so well, Jess. I have never had a friend who loves and challenges me like you do. You encourage me and say stupid things like, "I'm obsessed with you.." or "I think you're so cool..." But past all that ridiculousness, you really do have such a gift for making people feel wanted and free to give nothing more or less than themselves. I have learned and benefitted so much from the way you love. At the same time, I have never had a friend who is so committed to seeing me grow like you do. I know I will never spend time with you without being asked about what Jesus is doing in my life and without being challenged in some way. You are always so consistent and honest with me, and you love me enough to speak hard truths into my life whether I ask for them or not. When I leave my walks or talks with you I leave feeling stretched, refreshed, and comforted in knowing that I have a friend who cares for me and is battling with me. I don't know what you're doing on a daily basis, it may be two or three weeks in between the times we talk, but I know you are in this with me. We are different in a lot of ways and the Lord has used you to show me parts of himself that I could not know on my own. I am so grateful for the tool you have been. As much as God has blessed me with your friendship, Luke will even more so benefit from having you as his wife. You have waited so long for this man, and to the extent that the Lord has used that waiting to shape you, I pray that He uses the joy of marriage to do the same. I can't wait to watch how God brings glory to himself through your marriage. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for wanting to know me and help make me more like Jesus. You are a relentless pursuer and I'm so glad you pursued me as a friend. I love you! Kelly

8: Jessica, I don't even know where to begin my little roomie and play buddy. You have been the best friend to me. You have made me laugh and be spontaneous. You have challenged me spiritually and asked me hard questions. You have cried with me and sat in silence with me. You have prayed for me and with me. You have encouraged me and built confidence in me. Some of my favorite memories with you have included TCBY, long conversations way after we finish eating dinner, beach trips, the lake, birthday celebrations, roller blading (not really), doing cartwheels in the yard, laying out at the pool, tailgating at football games, decaf coffee and movie nights, Jen Jen's house, walks at lakeshore and the boulevard, Nashville road trips, Pleasure Town, i could go on and on! The Lord gave you to me at the most perfect time in my life when I was figuring out which path i wanted to take in my life, and had been praying for friends that would provide me a community. I look back and wonder how I ended up wiggling my way in to getting to live with you all, but see how Jesus had my heart when he chose you as a friend for me. You have loved me unconditionally in my mess. When I screwed up too many times to count. I have loved getting to share tuesday nights with you this past year. I have loved getting to give our lives away together and pour our hearts out to college girls who see us as women that lead them in their walks with Christ. It is something i will always cherish getting to share with you, and will miss you next to me as i continue to try and love and care for those girls as much as you have for the past two years. I feel like we have walked the same road together over the past few years. We have hurt together over heartbreak, we waited patiently together as we waited on jobs and moved in with our families, we were fearful of new boys and new relationships as they came along at the same time, we laughed at the awkwardness of first dates, and we were joyful together as we fell in love with the boys who stole our hearts. I have loved getting to share the process of planning our dream days with you as well as sharing in the conversations, struggles, joy, and patience that comes with engagement. I find no greater joy than having get to watch every part of you falling in love with the boy you have waited for and prayed for ever since i have known you. It is so fun to get to see who you get to spend your life with. I remember too many times to count talking about what we thought each other's husbands would be like, and i couldn't have picked a better man for you myself. He is everything we described, and hoped for, and way more. I love the way he challenges you and chooses you first. I have loved getting to watch you grow as you figure out how to love Luke and what it looks like to be a wife. It's bittersweet that I won't get to be a part of your story as closely as i have the past few years, but I can't wait to see what The Lord has in store for you in Millington, Tennessee. I love you friend. | Hallie

9: Jessica, A pursuer. That is what I think of when I think of you Jess. Someone who just pursues will all of her heart. You have pursued me in my crap, in my shyness, in places when I am mean and not responsive, in my transitions of life, and in my relationships with others and Christ. You are so persistent and consistent. You never gave up on your pursuit towards me and honestly you have taught me how to love Chase and pursue him. Thank you for not giving up on me because the love you have shown towards me has enabled me to love my friends and has taught me how to pursue them as well. I am so excited for what is ahead for you and Luke. I am excited that we are on similar journeys. I know this is going to be a hard transition for me with you especially knowing that we probably wont be as close as we used to with the distance and with you now having a real man in your life, but I hope we will PURSUE each other as Christ pursues us and with that we will last, along with you and Luke making trips to Jacksonville. | Whatssupp! I know you are prepared and ready as you will ever be for what’s ahead for you two. You guys are going to learn so much about each other and God’s love towards you. The trust you will have to have in Christ and the strength and perseverance you will develop through the tough times he puts you through, but never forget he is the ultimate pursuer. He wants ever moment with you Jessica, and don’t allow yourself to put Luke in situations that he can’t succeed in or the places where he can’t fully love you because Christ is supposed to be the one that fills those areas. Know he is the ultimate pursuer; he wants the intimacy with you everyday. I am so thrilled that you have found the one who is going to help lead you and transform your life into becoming a better woman of Christ. I love how Luke loves you and I don’t care about his dance moves, his humor, how good of a young life leader he is, or even what kind of a husband he will be. I care if he loves Jesus with all his heart and soul, and I have been blessed to see that to be true and I hope you will remain in Christ as the focal point of your life, persistently, and consistently. | Listen to the words that dad says that love is something for someone else. I challenge you to remember these verses because is has transformed my thinking towards Jessie, God is love, what is love, Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. Is that the way you love Luke when he is not paying attention or in the middle of your arguments, do you hold things against him. If this is love and god is love and you are loving Luke in these ways because then you will be showing him God’s love and grace. This letter and these words wont be able to come close to touching the impact that you have played in my life Jessica. I can tell you anything and I can act anyway around you and I am so thankful for our relationship! Keep smiling and keep loving people the way you do and God is going to take you places. Jessie and I are praying for you and I know you guys are doing the same. And I swear if you don’t come visit me I will disown you! I love you and soak it in because for some reason life just seems to be going faster and faster. I hope these letters are able to encourage and show you how good our God is and how much he is using you and how he has used you in some many peoples lives for good. You’re the best older sister I could ever ask for so thank you again for your constant pursuit towards me! Love ya! Best Bro Ever, Paul | Paul

10: Jessica, I'm not sure where to even begin, but I'll start by saying that I'm SO EXCITED for you and the adventure you and Luke are about to have! I can't think of two people better suited for one another, and I love that both of you have had such significant roles in my life! For the last 3 years, Luke has been like a brother to me and when I found out he was dating someone, I knew she'd have to be pretty awesome for me to approve. But I knew when we met at that dance party that he better hold on to you! AND I knew immediately that I wanted to be friends! I believe it was no coincidence that things timed out the way they did- the Lord knew I'd need a friendship like yours when I moved to Knoxville! I am so SO thankful for you and your friendship means so much to me. Over the past year, you have challenged and encouraged me so much! You constantly push me closer to Jesus and I love that he is present in our friendship! I am encouraged by your intentionality and by watching you I have seen what it truly means to love others through the overflow of the Lord's love. It's been less than a year, but we've had our share of crazy adventures like 'blading the streets of your neighborhood, a couple road trips which led to a couple near death experiences (a little dramatic, but kind of true), and beating ourselves up as you learned how to snowboard. Although I'm sad to see you move to Millington, I'm so excited to see what the Lord has in store for you there! I can't wait to hear about your new role as a wife, new friendships, new relationships with highschool girls, a new job, and the new things you're going to learn through it all! Thanks again for loving me well and offering me the gift of your friendship! I am truly honored to be a tiny part of you an Luke's story! In His Grip, Jess Garner | Jess

11: Jessica, I have been so privileged to have a sister like you to look up to. You have been such a great role model to me. I have learned so much about being in a relationship watching you and Luke together and I know I will get to learn so much more watching your marriage grow. Thanks for always pursuing me so well. Can you believe you guys will be going to the beach this year as a married couple!? Second round of paddleball will be going down for sure Get ready to be dominated! I can just see how happy you are with Luke and I am so glad that you have found the man God has created for you. I hope you know that I will always be behind y’alls marriage in prayer. I wish you guys the best! I love you! Your brother, Chase | Chase

12: Jessica, If I could have hand-picked a sister growing up she would have looked like you. I always wanted a sister to look up to, a girl I could ask hard questions and go to in times of need. She would have offered help and guidance, and she would always listen to my worries, no matter how childish or silly. I would want to be just like her, following in her footsteps because it would be so clear that she was heading the same way I wanted to go. I had no idea that when I finally met the man of my dreams, I would meet the sister too. I am so incredibly blessed to get to call you family. It is so cool that the Lord has blessed me with a Godly woman who is in such similar situations as me. I’m absolutely thrilled that you are getting married first so that now in marriage I can continue to see your path and follow. I can’t wait to create all kinds of memories with you and Luke! As I planned campaigners this week I focused on the fruit of the spirit, “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Galations 5:22-23. And as I began to define each word, I just saw a picture of you “Profoundly tender affection for others” “The beneficial or nutritious part” “Loyal, constant, steadfast” “Great pleasure and happiness” “Adhering firmly and devoutedly to a person” “complete trust” “Considerate or kindly in disposition, tender” “A state of security or order” “Quiet and tranquil” “Capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble or suffering without anger” “Friendly, generous, and considerate” “Ability to control oneself, in particular one’s emotions and desires or expression of them in one’s behavior especially in difficult situations” I am so encouraged when I watch you and when I talk with you. I love how you offer advice and council, how you earnestly listen to all my fears and questions, how you seek my heart and pursue my friendship. I love how you love Paul and how it is such an example for me in my relationships with my brothers. Jessica, you are such a role model to me. Thanks for seeking Jesus daily and pouring out His love on me. I am so excited for you and Luke! (Seriously, sooo excited!) I love you, Jessie | Jessie

13: Jess, Where to start! I am so thankful for a God who knows my heart well enough to put us on the same Young Life team six years ago. From the beginning our friendship was molded by our struggles, disappointments, small successes, and love for Central high school kids. I knew immediately how glad I was that you were there to stand beside me as even food was thrown at us. No matter what our first impressions of each other were, they now just make for a good story. One of my favorite things about our friendship is our use of humor, let’s be honest we probably laughed a lot at Central just so we wouldn’t cry. Let’s not forget some of Jay’s skits-such as him wrestling a chair by himself. Another one of my favorite memories is you and I attempting to flip ourselves on Amber’s hammock at the lake. I don’t think I have ever laughed so hard. Your laughter and joy are some of my very favorite things about you. I think back on our countless car rides to Central, walks on the boulevards, trips to Nashville, conversations at the Rocky Hill house, our “kidnapping” night, 24 marathons, Spring breaks, and team overnights. Of course there was also you teaching me to hug, and accept a lot of physical touch over the years, ha! The amount of memories you and I have built over the past 6 years could fill pages. You have walked beside me in the midst of ministry that was not always easy or visibly fruitful, you have loved me unconditionally in both the dark and light times of my life, you have been a faithful partner in prayer, you stood beside me on my wedding day, and I on yours. When I think back about our times together, I realize there is never a conversation that I walk away from without having talked about Jesus, and I absolutely love that. Your relationship with Christ is so real that it is constantly overflowing into every aspect of your life. I have grown so much in my own relationship with Jesus having watched you pursue YL girls, friends, your family, and most of all Christ. I am beyond thrilled for you as you and Luke begin your lives together, and have no doubt it will be a marriage that glorifies the kingdom. I have loved seeing ya’lls relationship transform and grow-talking for hours on the phone during spring break, high fiving after your first kiss :), his sweet proposal. I could not imagine anyone else for you. I am excited, as I know ya’lls marriage will be such a sweet picture of the love of Christ, and all who are given the opportunity to be with you all will walk away knowing that your love flows from Christ, and Him alone. Gotta be honest, I am quite jealous of Millington as I will miss you dearly. I look forward to future girl trips and times we can be together as it is something I cherish greatly. Please know Jessica, as a partner in ministry and one of my best friends I can not imagine the past 6 years of my life without you in it. I will always think of you when reading Romans, in particular “our” verse, “that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” I am so so excited for what comes next for you all, and look forward to sharing in it with you. I love you dearly friend. Love, Megan (Pookey) | Megan

14: Jessica Marie, I cannot even begin to express in words how happy I am for you and Luke (aka Brad before we knew his name was actually Luke). I don't think I will ever forget being in your room that night before we went to sleep talking about our future husbands and our hopes for each other. Isn't it so awesome that the Lord was smiling and hopefully laughing because He knew it was going to be Luke. I have loved hearing about your dates, high fives, conversations and how you have grown closer to Jesus. Jess, you have no idea the impact you have had on my heart by sharing yours with me. | God had his hand in our friendship from the day we were placed on the Central team together. I had no idea why I was at Central, but now, I am pretty sure I know one of the many purposes. Thank you for being so intentional, loyal, extreme and completely opposite from me. I couldn't love this about us more. I feel like I get this double time now that Luke is here. Goodness, my life is good! I am excited to hear about married life, your new young life girls, your new job and just everything new. I am going to be praying for you and Luke. I am going to come visit you and Luke. I am going to miss you and Luke. I love you and Luke so much! Love forever, Steph | Steph

15: Jess, You are getting married sweet friend!! If we could rewind and tell our 8th grade selves that we would still be friends in 11 years and I would be standing at the front with you on your wedding day I wonder what we would say?? The funny part isthe more I think about it I don’t think my 8th grade self would have been that surprised. What a sweet friendship Jesus has blessed us with! Jess, you have become my sister. You are family. You have been with me through the really hard moments and the really sweet moments of life. | You have loved me with grace and patience. Thank you for being there. Thank you for doing life with me for so long. Thank you for putting up with my obsessive compulsive nature. Thank you for not judging me. Thank you for being patient with my tears and sensitivity. Thank you for being vulnerable. Thank you for talking about Jesus with mea lot. It seems like everything is changing at once. However, I feel like the Lord has brought me peace and comfort.He has gently reminded me, “this isn’t the last page of the book”... “I’m not done yet”Life doesn’t work like the fairytale booksthis isn’t, “and they lived happily ever after”.we are on the middle page of the book.and it says “and it was only the beginning” on it | I’m so happy for you and Luke. What a gift you’ve been given. Know that I am praying for you guys. I’m praying forfair fightinglots of loveabundant joygracelearning how to live together welllove for the Lord firstfellowshipa relationship with a mentorhigh school friends, who we don’t know all the names of yeta house that is filled with Jesusjobs that you both love doingsweet childrengrowing old together. I love you Jess. I can’t wait to watch you become a wife. I’m sitting on the edge of my seat anticipating what the Lord has for us in the pages to come! I couldn’t have picked a better man to hold your heart! Love, kenz | Mackenzie

16: Jess, My heart rejoices for you as I sit here and think about how the Lord has blessed your life. To see you from when we rst met in college to wear you are now, WOW. All I can do is praise the Lord for the great work he has done in you. You have waited for the one He meant for you to be with. You are such an encouragement to me, as I continue to wait for the Lord and his perfect timing. Thank you for the way you have encouraged me in the way you pursued after the Lord and trusted his perfect timing. I will always remember you praying for your future husband, and how awesome it is now to know exactly who it was you were praying for. I have really enjoyed getting to know Luke. I love seeing him love you well and treat you the way you deserve to be treated. I look forward to many more visits from y’all out to Colorado where you will continue to get better in your snowboarding. Friend, you are a precious jewel. I am so thankful for your friendship. I love that it never changes no matter the distance or the time between each time we speak or see each other. You are so very dear to me and I am so happy to see you enter into this next phase of the journey. I wish and pray for only the best for you two. I pray the Lord protects what you have and you both learn to love each other better with each new day. Luke has hit the jackpot. Don’t let him ever forget that! haha. But seriously, you are very special. Your intentionality amazes me. Thank you for your questions. Sometimes I would not talk if it wasn’t for your digging, but I am thankful you pull it out of me in such a pure and loving way. Never stop laughing. You have a contagious smile and wonderful laughter. I know you are going to be the most radiantly beautiful bride. I cannot wait to see you walk down the aisle to marry the man of your dreams. As you move to a new place and start a somewhat new life together remember these things. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who hears is not made perfect in love. I John 4:18 Love is patient, kind, not envious, not boastful, not proud, not rude, not self-seeking, not easily angered, it keeps not record of wrongs, rejoices in the truth. It ALWAYS protects, ALWAYS trusts, ALWAYS hopes, ALWAYS perseveres. Love never fails. I Corinthians 13:4-8 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. I Peter 5:7 I love you Jessica. Many blessings to you and your new family. All my love, Bailes | Bailes

17: Jess I am rejoicing with you as you enter marriage, it is truly one of the greatest things I have know in my life. There is nothing sweeter than taking the leap following your heart and marrying the man you have prayed & hoped for. I know you have prayed and pursued Jesus every step of the way and I am so proud of you. You and Luke have kept your relationship pure and put your desires last and Christ’s first. BRAVO. Your heart is such a picture of love and grace. I watch and listen to you and stand amazed at your maturity, your beauty your hope in Christ alone. You carry a unique beauty of no one I have ever known, a beauty that draws people in that draws me in. | I remember meeting you in presidential courtyard freshman year of college. I stood back shyly reaching out my hand to meet you and you reached out your arms and embraced me with a hug. I reflect back over the last seven years of calling you my friend and the word embrace fits best. Jess you are truly a gem you embraced me in every way loving me for me .Teaching me about loving Jesus and chasing him with all my heart. I have learned and grown in so many ways because of our friendship. I can recall moments as a younglife leader where I would ask myself “what would jess do?” You have an unbelievable gift in leading people and I’m certain God will use that in your life. I have a hard time following people and from the second I meet you I wanted to follow. I think of this scripture and feel it perfectly depicts your heart. Psalm 54:4 . Surely God is my help :The Lord is the one who sustains me . I love the way it states surely. I feel you are a woman after Gods heart who says in every joy & every trial, God is my help, my sustenance, my life. The journey ahead of you will be all you ever dreamed and more. I’m praying the Lord meets you every step of the way. That the beautiful gifts and blessings God has given you and Luke will be enhanced as you encourage them in each other. My best advice is laugh and play. The two of you should have no problem with that. I cannot wait to see what you two will do. What God joins together no man can separate. Thanks be to God for your marriage, beyond grateful to stand by your side and call you my friend. Love you big Amber Ratliff | .Amber

18: Jessica, When I look over your life Jessica, I realize God was there. When you overdosed on drugs at age two and prayer chains went all over Memphis, He was there. He had a purpose, a calling for your life. I will never forget the day you came back from camp with People’s Church and you talked about a real relationship with God for the first time. “The Lord is My Shepherd- that’s relationship!” He was running after you faithfully. He provided friends in high school like Mackenzie. “I shall not be in want- that’s supply!” He gave you a campaigners group with Kisha and off to Frontier Camp you went. He was there. You came back reading your bible and wanting to know him better. “He makes me lie down in green pastures-that’s rest!” He gave you safety at home and with a few friends. “He leads me beside quiet waters- that’s refreshment!” He always brought conviction when you took communion and forgiveness was always given. He asked you to end an unhealthy relationship in high school. “He restores my soul- that’s healing!” His love requires total surrender. Then Jessica, you went off to college with Mackenzie and both of you left the sorority and went fully towards Young Life Quest. “He guides me in the paths of righteousness- that’s guidance. He brought you roommates, friends for life,- THE ROCKY HILL HOUSE- Hallie, Molly, J.J., Jessica and Mackenzie. He formed your relationship so tight, that you propelled each other towards the gospel. “For His name’s sake-that’s purpose!” People who came in that house were nurtured, comforted, and given the gospel in word and deed. You experienced a few heartaches and watched your friends go through tough endings with relationships. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death-that’s testing!” God allows the suffering for all of us so that clichés of grace and mercy become real words of life. “I will fear no evil- that’s protection!” God knew all along that you and Luke would fall in love and get married. His protection covered both of you’ll, so that would take place. He provided numerous encounters where you’ll saw each other and then the phone call came. I remember you saying, “Do you recognize this area code?” Who would have known how that phone call would change the rest of your life. “For you are with me- that’s faithfulness!” He was faithful to keep urging Luke to follow through on his pursuit towards you. He was faithful to make you say YES to the first date. One of the gifts that God has given you is leadership and I loved watching you discipline yourself to lay down that gift, so that Luke would be the initiator. “Your rod and your staff, they comfort me- that’s discipline!” It was obvious that Luke was driving this relationship. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies- That’s hope!” Over the last two years the enemy was death- you lost two dear grandfathers and yet there is hope of seeing them in eternity. “You anoint my head with oil- that’s consecration!” God has anointed you with the gift of marriage; He has set you apart for Luke and He will show you how to love him well. “My cup overflows – that’s abundance!” We have prayed for Luke as long as I can remember and God has answered our prayers with abundance. He is like minded in ministry with you, he is not afraid to ask the deep questions with God and he adores you- ABUNDANCE. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life- that’s blessing! Whether it’s Millington or wherever, Gods goodness and love are there. I have watched the faithfulness of God in our relationship for twenty eight years and I testify God is there. “And I will dwell in the house of the Lord- that’s security!” One of the biggest struggles was longing for my security to come from Paul, but I realized that is only God’s place to fill. Move towards God when you feel insecure. “Forever, that’s eternity!” You were a gift given to us on April 5, 1986 and we give you now to Luke. I love you with all my heart and it is a priviledge to be you mother. Love, Mom (Psalm 23) | Mom

19: Dearest Jessica: It seems hard to believe, just a little more than 25 years ago, a day after you were born I sat in Baptist Hospital East and wrote you my first letter. It was a probably more a prayer than a letter. A prayer that God would touch your heart, protect and lead you. That you would become completely his and I am sure that as a father I also prayed and wrote that he would lead you to the man you were to marry and join. I am so thankful to the Lord for answering the words of that letter, that prayer, more than I ever could have imagined and hoped. Now, just a few days before your wedding, I get the great joy of writing you another kind of letter. A letter for the next 25 years of your life but not just your life but the life of you and Luke together. But first, let me tell you how proud I am of you! How thankful I am for the woman of God you have become. A woman who knows, that this life - real life - are all about knowing and making God known. Thanks for how you have lived this out at Central High School, with your brothers Paul and Chase and in your relationship with Luke. As I look ahead for you, Luke, and hopefully the kids God will give you, one of the greatest advantages you two have is being involved in the ministry together. It is giving your life away to others that brings life to a marriage. It will also be one of the great challenges as you do not want the priority of ministry to overwhelm your love for one another and time together. But God too can keep this in-balance as you passionately and jointly pursue him. | Here is what I have learned about marriage in a few short and humble words. It is the forge by which God shapes us, if we will allow him, into his image. It is the passionate relationship where we truly learn the meaning of love – something for someone else. It is the mirror that shows us all the things we need to change – for our good. It is the blessing of truly having a relationship that reflects the beauty of God’s love for the believer. It is the intimacy of a love for life – in sickness and health. It is the cross which bids us to come and die to ourselves – to all the things that would charm us most. It is the institution of service – as spouse and parent. It is the message (gospel) of very good news, lived out and made real in the lives of two people bonded together by the love of Christ. After being in Millington this past weekend, I could not think of a more perfect place for you and Luke to begin life together. Living out in this small community before the world the love you have for one another and for the peoples of that area as poured out about you two in Christ. I love you and Luke. I am so thankful that God has brought into your life a man who shares your mutual commitment to Christ. A man truly in love with you. A man who will lead. A man who would be second in his relationship with you in order that your marriage might flourish as God truly intended. With much love, your Dad! | Dad

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  • By: Mackenzie E.
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  • Title: Garden Wedding
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  • Started: almost 7 years ago
  • Updated: almost 7 years ago