When Skip and I first started dating, I had to make sure he was a kid friendly kind of guy before I got too serious. My sister had just had her second child, so I decided to take her sweet little 2 yr. old, Stephanie, for an afternoon of fun at our city park. Skip went along and I knew right then and there that he not only loved kids, he had a way with them that won me over even more. Above is a picture of that special day which is forever etched in my mind of my fun-loving little sweet niece named Steph.
Fast forward 16 years and all of a sudden this little girl was becoming a woman. She started dating and she told me of the love she had for a certain handsome boy named Charlie. I didn't meet this boy for another year or so, but I knew that look. I had already known that look because it is the same look I had in my eyes 16 yrs. earlier when I started dating my husband Skip. You know the love bug well when you have experienced it yourself. There is no turning back.
Fast forward another two years and my beautiful niece came over to my house to hang out with me and my kids. Something was different about her and I knew it instantly, but it took her a few days to let me in on it. She called me with an anxious, yet excited heart to let me know that she was expecting a child. Steph was not married and all she was concerned about in telling me was that how would this be explained to my kids who loved her so dearly and looked up to her in every way. I immediately told her that those kids have been entrusted to me, not her, and it was my responsibility to handle that. I told her I loved her unconditionally and I would love that precious baby too. It didn't matter to me if she decided to get married or not, I was happy for this new life and I knew God would bring his glory to this whole new chapter if she trusted in Him for her good.
Now, these two young people (Steph and Charlie) had a decision to make and it was made without hesitation. They kept this precious little boy they named Deacon, and my whole family has been blessed beyond measure with his arrival. Deacon is now crawling everywhere, saying mama and melting every heart that comes in contact with him.
On Friday, March 6th Stephanie and Charlie stood in the presence of God, family and friends and became husband and wife. What God has brought together for good has blown our minds. Skip and I have been blessed to counsel with this young couple, watch their love deepen for one another, and see that a baby can truly bless a couple in ways that far exceeded anyone's expectations. Everyone in our family has been affected in some way and grown in love and compassion through watching the events unfold. God truly did an amazing work in so many lives.
I am never excusing the way God intended for marriage to come first, but I have seen firsthand that God is ready to make beauty and happiness for those who turn to Him for direction and strength. My prayer is for this relationship to be one that others will find inspiration from and assurance in the love of our Father in heaven.
May Stephanie, Charlie and Deacon have a life full of blessings and continue to place God at the center of their lives and always trust in Him and Him alone. Congratulations sweet Steph-your aunt loves you so very much!