Fall Retreat 2009. We’ve joked about it a lot. I mean, Brian, we barely knew you. But you were ALL ABOUT coming with us and hanging out with us the whole time and obviously just obsessing over Tani. And Tani, I remember riding around in that kayak(canoe? I’m obviously super outdoorsy) with you. We were still teenagers and we were talking like teenager girls about a teenage boy who COME ON CAN’T YOU SEE IT HE IS SOOO INTO YOU?!?! I could have told you that day that you guys would probably date. Maybe go on a few dates, do the 3-month thing, IDK but something would have come of this tall dude crushing on my roommate. That night though–that Saturday night at Fall Retreat–was when I had a feeling that you two were gonna be a thing. A big thing. Kind of a big deal. I’m sure you guys remember, but I don’t know if I’ve ever told you that I do too.
It was a Hillsong song. I’m 99.3% positive that it was “Fire Fall Down”, but it could have been “With Everything”. (Cut me some slack, I had literally become a Christian THAT morning! I didn’t have all the cool songs down yet.) And Tani, I don’t know girl. I think you just got overwhelmed with worship. Bombarded by God’s grace and love for you. Like me you were so new to this stuff–it was a lot to take in, I felt it too. And I watched you sit down during that song, during that like 20 minutes worth of worship, and just sob into your hands. I knew you well enough at this point to have known your past, known your struggles, known what you felt you were up against and where you were at with things and I felt so sad and helpless that I, as your best friend at the time, couldn’t think of what to do with you in your brokenness.
Cue your future husband.
I saw this boy that I thought just had a little thing for you– thought you were cute, loved those pictures of you in a garbage bag and maybe wanted to take you to Burger King on a date or something– put his arms around you without a moment of hesitation and pray over you. It was the most shockingly stunning display of unconditional love I had ever seen in my short life.
And I don’t know, guys. I just had a feeling about you two in that moment. That you were better together than you ever were apart. That you guys strengthened each other and encouraged each other and challenged each other in ways that meant something–something that was brought together by God. There was no stopping you two–I saw it then and I certainly see it now.
Wanna hear something cool? If my calculations are correct, that was October 10th, 2009. When you two get married on October 11th, 2013, it will have been four years and one day since the moment I knew you two belonged together.
So. When times get tough, which they inevitably do, don’t ever forget that I’m rooting for you two. I always have. And if it helps to just picture me standing like a creep(but with AWESOME looking eyebrows) behind you with a thumbs up, well.
I love you both so stinkin’ much. Let’s do this thing.