Jan and Heather’s wedding was the first wedding we got to officiate. They asked us to co-officiate, so we had the joint privilege and honor of uniting them as man and wife.

This was a particularly special event for us. First of all, both Jan and Heather hold a very special place in our hearts. Heather joined our church when it was an early church plant. She’d had many experiences with other Christians who had betrayed, rejected, or mistreated her, so when we met her, she had a hard time trusting people. We shared our lives with her, and we trusted her with things that made us vulnerable. And she soon came to trust us and others. She became a faithful and powerful leader in our church family, as well as a licensed pastor!

Heather brought Jan to church and he was so funny, bright, and charming. We really enjoyed him, and we were ecstatic when he chose to put his faith in Jesus Christ. One of the highlights of our ministry was baptizing him into the family.

We love them both, and they are so dear to us. So it was a real honor to be asked to officiate their wedding.

But the other amazing, rewarding part of officiating their wedding was seeing all the relationships they had with people from our church community. Once Heather came to trust others, she became a community generator–she created safe relationships for others who came to trust her deeply.

So as I look around the room, I don’t just sees Jan and Heather. I see the faces of many people we love deeply who have been part of our church over the past 5 years. And they’ve traveled a great distance to celebrate with this beautiful, generous, thoughtful couple.

And I remember their stories. The first time they visited our church. The awkward small groups we once had before they knew each other well. How much they have grown in love and faith. The obstacles they’ve overcome. The victories we have shared. And the strength of their friendships, independent of us.

It was like beholding precious gems of God, a satchel of treasure for us to enjoy. Just realizing in that moment that He had given us the gift of knowing all these people, loving them, watching them grow, seeing them become family to each other. And knowing that this is one of the good things He had planned for us and for them from before time.

The gift of each other. The gift of memories. The gift of wedding celebrations and the beginning of forever covenants. Even more reasons why getting to do ministry is so fantastic!