My sister and her husband solidified how cool they really are this weekend. They have been together for over 4 years now and were talking about marriage early on in their dating adventures. When they were deciding to get married and what that would look like – they had something pretty low-key in mind. They weren’t interested in all the hype that’s been created around the wedding industry. They didn’t care if everything was “Pinterest perfect.”
They really just wanted a day to celebrate their love together. But the twist they added was a blessing for everyone they had invited. The invitations went out to friends and family letting them know that they had planned a small wedding for themselves at the court house on August 6 – to commemorate their first date, celebrate 4 years of being together, and start a new chapter in their life as husband and wife. September 12 was set out as the date to be the celebration with friends and family. This was endearing to me. A simple ceremony for the two of them to treasure together on their own special day where it all began; with of course, the big party to happen afterwards.
My sister and her love showed up at the picnic dressed to the nine’s yesterday, ready to celebrate with all their friends and family and share stories of their private wedding held the month previously. But when they were thanking everyone for coming, they had one special announcement that people weren’t expecting.
Here’s what I love about this. Besides EVERYTHING. I’ll break it down for you.
The stories that we tell with our lives have immense power. We can choose to do life alone, by our own power and will – or we can invite others into our story. Which to me, is the gospel. That’s what Jesus did when he started his ministry. He asked some fisherman, some regular folk – to come join him as he served others. He said, “come and see.” He invited 12 men to share in his life; whether it be the good or the bad. He didn’t say, “Come with me just for the day.” He invited them to learn what he was teaching, to follow Him in his ministry, and to live life alongside him.
Marriage is doing the same thing. It’s inviting someone else to come alongside you, join in the story you are telling, and venture through this life together. There are so many parallels God shows us in the bible about how Jesus loving the church is the same as the love and sacrifice shared in a marriage. I could write blogs for the next year just unpacking all of that. I’ll spare you, and keep it focused for now.
Besides my sister and brother-in-law making the commitment to love each other through their best and their worst – they invited all those they love so much, to share in the experience of their wedding day – as one of the coolest surprises ever. We aren’t meant to live this life alone. Whether it be with a spouse, your family, your friends, or your neighborhood – I believe we are better together, in community.
Donald Miller wrote in his book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, “He said to me I was a tree in a story about a forest, and that it was arrogant of me to believe any differently. And he told me the story of the forest is better than the story of the tree.”
This is it. Why would we think our lives are just about us? And why would we think that that would be the best story? God is always calling us into some new adventure with Him. When he made Adam, he decided we weren’t meant to live this life alone; hence Eve.
I’m so very thankful to serve a God who created us to share our experiences, or joys, our pain, our hurt, our love, and our lives. He invites us to share all of this with Him and with each other. Even when Jesus left us in the flesh, he sent us the Holy Spirit. Jesus was saying to his disciples in John 14:16, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth.”
So let’s invite others into our story, share in the joys and lighten the sorrows. We are much better when we do this thing together.