Hi my loves! I hope you have been having an excellent APRIL! Speaking of which… I cannot believe it is nearing the end of April, We are nearly through a quarter of 2017 + that is WILD to me!
Last weekend I attended the most beautiful wedding of my dearest friend Jessica Hoffman. Jessica is a 36 year old celebrity hair + makeup artist who loves the Lord fervently with all her heart, mind, soul + spirit. She has also completed multiple public speaking engagement + has been a featured beauty expert on various talk shows. She has even spoken about + written articles regarding dating + waiting for the right God ordained man to enter your life.
See more on her most recent love story + the difference between “god ordained + good enough” here [wooooieeee I am telling you it is good!]. All that being said, Jessica is one of the dearest, most fervently in love with Jesus, lovely women I have EVER sincerely met in my entire life. From her radiant energy, to her life giving encouragement + infectious love…she is truly the epitome of a living fairy tale princess [+ amazingly, she even WAS a princess at Disneyland!].
When Jessica + Vincent met last February 2016, we all knew there was something so significantly different between them. Jess explains meeting Vincent as though upon that first interaction God allowed her spirit to recognize his spirit. I mean, HOW BEAUTIFUL IS THAT?! She recognized his inner most joy within their first interaction, + she knew something was different about him [hmmm, maybe it was Jesus in him that she was seeing… cha-cha-cha-chinggg!]. As a 36 year old woman, she had been through the ringer of hard relationships + heart break but still held onto God’s faithful promises + His ultimate deep love above all else.
As we watched Vincent pursue Jessica so beautifully, we also watched their relationship grow + blossom as they rightfully placed God as the centerfold of every decision, action, + step that they took. It was a union that was clearly God ordained. The day I found out Vincent proposed to Jessica I quite literally SQUEALED with joy + excitement. I had to step out of my office to screech + immediately call her to rejoice in the beauty of this precious moment. When she then proceeded to ask me later that night to stand by her side + be in her “bride tribe”, I felt an overwhelming sense of honor + joy! Oh what a moment!! I knew it would be such a true treasure to stand beside + support the joining of a man + woman who had so beautiful impacted my life + so many others with their faith-filled union.
As their wedding approached, it was SO evident that God was in the fabric of every detail of this marriage…. + what’s more, it was evident that this marriage was being used to UNITE + encourage others in Christ.
Exhibit A: For Jessica’s Bachorette weekend we threw her a surprise trip at the Bacarat Resort in Santa Barbara. Immediately when you hear the word Bachelorette you think: strippers, crazy amounts of alcohol, + XYZ other things….BUT let me tell you, this specific Bachelorette weekend was UNLIKE any other Bachelorette experience I have ever had. That’r right! Let me redefine Bachelorette for you: A time to uplift, encourage, celebrate, worship, speak affirmation + strengthen. The night of the Bachelorette, we straight up WORSHIPPED at dinner + instead of going out on the town, we skipped bar hopping + traded it in for PRAYER + AFFIRMATION + SINGING PRAISES [at a restaurant filled with people I might add]. There were tears shed, + an overwhelming sense of love + joy + community. My heart was stunned that a group of women could ever celebrate with such praise + joy + passion at a Bachelorette weekend.
Exhibit B: During Jessica + Vincent’s wedding ceremony, we took a 6 minute break to full on sing praise + worship to the worship song “Ever Be”. Oh how I loveeee that song + all it’s meaning. In that exact moment at the wedding ceremony more than half of the wedding party raised their hands in worship as the wedding attendees sang + praised alongside the bride + groom…. it was truly a moment that took my breath away! We all took our eyes off of just the bride + groom + placed them fully on JESUS for allowing this union to even be possible. I love how selfless + beautifully perfect that moment was.
“Your love is devoted like a ring of solid gold
Like a vow that is tested like a covenant of old
Your love is enduring through the winter rain
And beyond the horizon with mercy for today”
All that to say, the union of Jessica + Vincent caused a waterfall of worship, love + joy to crash over each + every person involved. Our spirits were re-awokened to God’s goodness as well as His everlasting love above all. Indeed, I left this entire weekend singing “Your Praise will EVER BE on my lips”, over + over + over.
Whether you are single, in an unhealthy relationship, or going through an extremely difficult season, we all need a reminder that God has chosen us as His precious children. We are a chosen people, a ROYAL priesthood. We are precious + lovely + so treasured. How romantic is that when you truly think about the weight of those words? Lastly, above all else He is our very first love. Our cups overflow even in low seasons because we are FILLED with the love of our creator that is more satisfying than any earthy love we could ever obtain……Now that is something worth praising!
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9
“and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Mark 12:30
In conclusion: YOU ARE LOVED. YOU ARE CHERISHED. YOU ARE WORTHY. YOU ARE DESERVING OF A GOD ORDAINED RELATIONSHIP.
Sending so much love to you all.
Photos by Kat Hennessey