Moving to Marriage

This season of life has been so incredibly sweet. I think back over the last year and I can’t even begin to describe the ways God has changed my heart, answered, prayers, and just been faithful. I sit here ready to head out for a season of traveling and transition. A major chapter of my life is closing and a new one is about to be written.

I have spent the last three years at the Female Resident Mentor at Tanalian Leadership Center. It has been the most challenging, life giving, refining, hardest, best job ever. I have loved, laughed with, cried for, and prayed over each of the lovely women God has sent into my home and I can’t imagine life without that experience.

Two and a half weeks ago I packed up all my stuff and moved out of that house for the last time. I moved in with the Wardell family and it’s been a precious time being part of their family in a different way. They have been my “Alaska family” and I am so grateful for the role they have played in my life. Our motto has been, “you laugh, you cry, you hurl” and boy has that been true. We’ve been through a ton together and I love them more dearly today than ever.

I am sitting on their couch looking at to suitcases and a backpack. It’s all the earthly possessions that will be flying out of Port Alsworth with me tomorrow. Everything else is packed up and stored in the crawl space. Tomorrow I set off on a journey that sets the stage for new beginnings. I’ll be in Palmer for a few days spending some time with my future in-laws. It’s such a strange feeling to know that I will officially be a part of their family in a few short weeks. Andrew and I will meet with the pastor who will marry us, I’ll pick up my dress from the tailor, Andrew will get his suit, and then on Wednesday I fly to Illinois to do the last few things before we’re married.

I’ll spend 4 weeks with my family and friends. I get to enjoy a shower put on by some of the people who love me most in the world. It’s been a season of receiving gifts, love, encouragement, support, prayers, and blessings from people who are excited to see what God in doing in me and Andrew. Andrew will come down and meet me on June 30. Many other family members, wedding party, and friends will come and join us.

Then. we. get. married.

Over 120 people have already said they are excited to be there on our wedding day. People are flying from all over the country and even Canada to be there with us to celebrate what God has done and will do. We are so humbled by the response.

My wonderful fiance, Andrew, has planned a surprise honeymoon. I just love surprises. I have no idea where we are going and won’t know until the morning we get to the airport. I can hardly wait! My lovely matron of honor, Heather, will help me pack 🙂

Then Andrew and I will get to say goodbye to my family, pack our truck, and drive back to Alaska. In March Andrew and I started praying very specifically that God would provide a way for us to drive back to Alaska. We didn’t care if we bought it, someone else needed us to drive something up for them, or we had to rent it, we just needed something affordable. We asked God for something 4-wheel drive, with lots of space, but that was enclosed (not an open bed truck), and about two weeks ago God provided a truck for us to buy. The title got here on Monday and we’re going to register it when we get to Anchorage. We are so excited to take a roadtrip together, camp, and just enjoy some extra time together.

We will also head up and spend some time with Andrew’s brother and sister-in-law, their two kids and new baby that will be born in July.  I am stoked to see them and keep the kiddos busy. I am pretty excited to get to be the new aunt for 3 more kids. I might have to spoil them a little.

Then we head down for Andrew’s sister’s wedding and a reception for us there. We will be in Palmer almost two weeks. Since we would be there so long we asked God to provide a place for the two of us that was a little more private.  We want to be intentional about started our marriage off right and God provided that for us. We have been blow away be His provision.

After that we get to come back to Port Alsworth for another reception and we get to move into our HOME. I am so excited to be home with Andrew. After two and a half months of living out of a suitcase it will be nice to settle for a while. God has had me in a nomadic period of life where I have moved 10 times in 3 years. I am excited to be planted in one house for a while.  And…. the house is beautiful.  It’s more than we dreamed about and prayed for.

We had another prayer request was for our support.  We are still asking God to bring us to 100% of our need by the time we get married. We asked specifically for 3 more churches to join our team. Andrew has meetings in the works and we’re only $870 short of our goal.  We know God can do huge things and we are trusting Him with that.

God has been so faithful and has lavished His love on us. My heart is so content and at peace in the midst of transition and traveling. I am so ready to be Andrew’s wife and learn (for many years) what that means. God has prepared our hearts and brought us to a place where we feel very much on the same page. We’re aware of how difficult marriage can be, but we’re excited to live in grace with each other and see what God has to teach us. We know it will be a rich time of learning and being refined. We know it will hurt at times, but the joys will outweigh those times. We would love your prayers as we move into new roles, spend time getting to know each other in a deeper way, and begin life as one. I can’t wait to see all that God has in store.

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