Ephesians 3:20 at a Wedding

by GfG on May 24, 2010 · 10 comments

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Yesterday I attended the most moving wedding ever. In the history of time. Seriously.
My dear, dear friend Jan got married. What, that doesn’t sound seriously special? Fine. Read on.
Twenty years ago I worked at camp. I met some great people. My life was changed.
Nineteen years ago I worked at camp. I met some more amazing people and they became a permanent part of my life. I even eventually married one of them. Another one of them was Chuck Picciuti.
Eighteen years ago I worked at camp. I deepened the friendships and started one with Jan Crawford. I sat on a pile of sleeping bags one day and listened to her tell me she was in love with Chuck. We cried.
Seventeen years ago I worked at camp. I listened to Chuck say on the loud speaker several times a day, “Jan Crawford, please report to the program office.” Jan was in Thailand for the summer. I watched them get married months later. We cried.
Sixteen years ago I worked at camp. I was inspired and moved by their marriage’s example. I married My Sweetie days after camp. We cried.

Jan, Chuck, My Sweetie and I and two other camp couples forged a friendship after we all got married. We lived in or around the Big City. I’ve always affectionately called them the Big City Crew.

Chuck and Jan were there for me in so many ways. Our friendships changed and grew. As Jan and I grew in our relationships with Christ, our affection for each other deepened. She has been there for me at all the highs and lows in my life for the past sixteen years. I treasure her.

I always, always admired Chuck and Jan’s relationship. From the moment on the sleeping bags, to the night of her bridal shower, to the visits in my living room, to our cruise together… Chuck and Jan were always one of the most unique couples I knew. They were so into each other it was…. well, at times it was sorta disgusting. In a beautiful way.

Chuck’s humor and wit made people like him after spending only minutes with him. It was a coping mechanism developed at a young age. Chuck always had health problems. He was the only hunchback I’ve ever known. When he had his spine fused at a very young age, the doctors gave him only years to live. He exceeded their expectations, by decades. Jan’s love for him exceeded everyone’s expectations. She loved him fiercely. From the moment she started loving him, actually.

After thirty years of weak health though, Chuck’s body started to fail. He was in serious pain, bedridden, and awake for only hours a day for a year. He and Jan prayed about what to do and decided on a radical surgery. May of 2006 he went into the hospital. For fifteen months I watched his devoted wife, my dear friend, care for him, pray for him and hold out hope beyond hope for him. August of 2007, I was in the room with her, his family and The Crew when Chuck died. We all cried.

A part of Jan died that morning.

But, thankfully, Jan is a child of the King, and though she felt like most of her died that day, God knew better. While she grieved hard for over a year, He didn’t leave her in ashes. While she wept and mourned for over a year, He began to rebuild her in love. While she searched and stumbled for over a year, He reminded her that her feet were on The Rock.

A year after Chuck passed away, a group of Jan’s Christian friends fasted and prayed for her. She didn’t know it. They fasted and prayed for God to bring her a husband to love and cherish her. She didn’t know she would ever want that again. We wept and petitioned Our Loving God to bring dancing out of mourning and to bring a gift beyond all measure. She believed she would be single forever. We didn’t.

Exactly a year after the forty days, Jan and I talked on the phone. She sounded different. She giggled. She sighed. She hemmed and hawed. She told me a darling tale of meeting a guy at church. Of emails and phone calls. Of faith and convictions. Of … love and marriage thoughts. My jaw literally dropped and the tears sprung to my eyes. I told her of the forty days of standing in the gap for her. We cried.

This friend who had told me she was finally so stinkin‘ happy with where she was in life, was floored by God. Jan had thought she was called to singlehood and basked in it. God was her all in all and she was content. Not only that, but she really, really liked being single.

Then she met Phil.

Phil, who threw her little world into confusion. Phil who loved God with deep adoration and spoke with a calming assurance. Phil who was intrigued by Jan and asked to let him get to know her. Phil who said, “Can you just pray about seeing where God takes this?”

Their courtship is one of the most darling tales ever and I’ll post the whole thing another day (with Jan’s permission), but suffice it to say now that I’ve never seen anyone approach a relationship in such a thoughtful, godly, purposeful, and wise way.

That was last November. Yesterday, Jan and Phil joined in covenant with the God of their hearts. I cried. She giggled.

My dear, dear friend who thought her time to love was over in a hospital room almost three years ago, stood before God today with joyful love fairly leaping out of her.
And it touched everyone in the room.

Including Chuck’s family.

I couldn’t be more stinkin‘ happy for my friend.

Thank you God for proving this Scripture once again.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,” Ephesians 3:20

You never cease to amaze me, LORD.

Oh, and Jan and Phil’s first kiss was at the altar yesterday.

I told you: most moving wedding in the history of time. Seriously.

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