This is our niece, Callie. If you're keeping up with our life, she probably needs little introduction. She's one VERY special gal to us, and she and her new husband, James, have moved to Lynchburg and live..get this.. ONE STREET AWAY from us!!!!
(oh, I'm not excited or anything....) I haven't had any family living in the same town as me in 13 years!!
Callie has finished her two year internship with RUF at Penn State, and now she's raising money (like we do) to work as full-time staff for RUF Lynchburg with Marc! (two ENFP's on staff.... let the fun begin!)
She will not only be meeting with and ministering to girls at Liberty, but she'll have an exciting opportunity to do some groundbreaking ministry at Sweet Briar College. (a beautiful all-girls college 15 minutes north of town)
There is not even ONE evangelical ministry currently at Sweet Briar, yet the chaplain's office and the few number of Christian girls on campus have been SO welcoming to RUF over the years, so it's going to be awesome having Callie here to help develop RUF's ministry there.
Just a few weeks ago, Callie and James were married in Pittsburgh (where James is from and where Callie has lived the past seven years). Last night, they enjoyed a reception in Callie's hometown of Florence, South Carolina. Between the two big events, I didn't have my camera out much, so the images of both events in this post don't do any justice in capturing just how awesome they were-
I was too busy enjoying it!
I had prepared a speech for Callie and James' rehearsal dinner, but never got to deliver it. Callie gave me permission to share it here, as it will allow you all the opportunity to watch God's beautifully redemptive story in Callie that is unfolding before us.
It was a weekend temp job I had taken for some extra cash while in college, and the worker next to me, this guy I had just met the day before named Marc,(!!?!) approached me.
He motioned across the convention center to where the 90’s Christian female group, Point of Grace, had just finished a performance.
“I need you to sneak over there and get autographs for my two nieces,” Marc said.
“What?” I thought this guy was crazy. It would be against the rules to do that.
“Their names are Laura and Callie, C-A-L-L-I-E,” he continued. “And they LOOOOVE Point of Grace.”
You know? I don’t know what convinced me, the ESTJ, to do something so “risky” for this guy I hardly knew, but off I went to stand in line for two girls I never dreamed I’d even MEET. Who knew then that seventeen years later, this girl named Callie would be OUR bridesmaid, our niece, and one of our best friends.
I’m assuming most of you are probably familiar with the college ministry, RUF, of which Marc has been a campus minister for 13 years now. (7 years at Texas Tech University, and now 6 in Lynchburg)
Marc and I will proudly take credit for Callie’s first exposure to RUF. When Callie was an undergraduate in South Carolina, we convinced her multiple times to join up with our college students for RUF’s summer conference in Florida. I loved having Callie’s company at the conferences, and I feel it was through those times we really bonded.
This time she came to Summer Conference as a graduate student, as a scientist, and as one who the Lord had bruised, but not crushed.
It was evident to us during that time the Lord was making Callie even more beautiful, deepening her faith and dependence upon Him, and ultimately He was preparing her for a calling to ministry and marriage.
|Papa crying through the welcoming speech at the reception|
It’s been pure joy for us to watch Callie thrive and struggle through the RUF internship these last two years.
And I can’t begin to believe that in just a few short weeks, Callie and James will be our neighbors as Callie will be coming on staff with us at Lynchburg RUF! (Somebody pinch me, please!)
Callie, we can’t begin to tell you how much we love you. Next to Marc, you’re probably one of the people who know me best in the world (maybe that’s because you have become the master of all the Myer’s Briggs personalities…).
James, we are eager and excited to welcome YOU into the family. We’ve already seen how you are SO good for Callie in SO many ways. We are eager to watch the two of you grow and mature as you enter into the crazy beautiful covenant of marriage.
I know Saturday will certainly be a big day for the two of you, but I also want you to know it will be a big day for us as well.
It will be a culmination to years of praying for the precious girl I stood in line for that day.
It will be about the story that is unfolding before our eyes.
While you, James, will be taken aback with Callie’s beauty, and others will surely notice things like the flowers, and the dress, and the amazing food we’ll eat,
it won’t be about all that.
Because even more GREATLY on display will be God’s faithfulness,
His love that tenderly pursues His sheep
and doesn’t ever give up on them,
no matter where or how far they stray.
HE will get the glory for all that He has done in bringing the two of you together.
I’m just excited to get a front-row seat to see all He has in store for you guys
in the next chapter of your story together.
We love you!