This weekend, I had the honour of being a bridesmaid to such a beautiful and inspiring woman in my life, Emily.
Here is the speech I gave at the reception:

I first met Emily when I was this awkward grade nine and she was in grade twelve, in school choir. To me, Em was the beautiful senior who was simply waaaaaay older than me, with her life already together. She also always wore sandals, always wore sunglasses on top of her head– even inside and even in winter– and was always so simply beautiful. Like an actual naturally beautiful cover girl.
Flash forward, and Em asks me to sing in a worship band with her when she found out I was a Christian. Through and through, I got to know the sweetest soul and most angelic singer. And, most importantly, I got to know her heart for our mighty Jesus.
When high school was over, we didn’t see each other… until one day, I ran into Em at a bus stop. It was one of those “am I gonna say something?” moments, but Em came right over to me. “It’s been so long!” she said. And we took the bus together, talking all the way and just feeding off each other’s energy. I remember feeling God’s Spirit in her so tangibly.
Em was so intentional about planning a coffee date, and from there, it was like the most natural, beautiful sister-ship formed. Jesus had said quite simply, “here’s a sister for you who loves Me most. Who knows that I’m who she’s meant to live for. Who will challenge you and point you to Me.”
And, my word, who is refreshingly honest, humbly sweet, and amazingly compassionate.
Emily has amazed me from that day forward with grace, strength, and a fierce heart for Jesus. She has been such an exceptional friend and light for Jesus in my life, and has made a huge impact on me. She reminds me that His strength is made perfect in weakness.
All these past few days leading up to the wedding, I’ve been thinking about my vision of Em as a cover girl. She’s been so chill about this wedding because she just cares that Jesus is here and given glory. I know why I thought she was a cover girl: she’s “easy, breezy, and beautiful.”
Jay, nurture that goofy, strong, beautiful soul and let it soar, because she’s a powerhouse. I so trust you with Em, and I have come to so trust the kind heart you are and the Father you’ve found in Jesus. Thank you for loving her preciously, and being her second love!
I love you both, and am so honoured and privileged to know you and the love that Jesus has united you in.

I have always been a romantic person, and believed deeply that, in marriage, one should fall more in love with their husband or wife every single day, that love growing deeper, seeing new heights, and discovering new butterflies.
Obviously, by no means am I an expert on marriage. I’m not married, and you have every right to think I’m a naive 20-year-old.
But I have reason and evidence for believing this that begins with what– WHO– I believe to be the purpose of life.
Jesus Christ, who sacrificed His perfect self for a sinful people so that we might live to serve Him, also came to dwell in us. And when we ask Him for His understanding– when we ask Him for His eyes to see our spouse/significant other/friend the way HE sees and loves them– when we know that He died just as much for that person as He did for any other– when we know that His love is one that surpasses all understanding…
When HE is our first love, first priority, and go-to person, and NOT our significant other, we don’t stop loving, because He doesn’t.
Isn’t that pretty amazing?
Emily’s vows to her husband were really special. They went something like, I vow to love you second. I vow that I will screw up, but look to Jesus.
Jay vowed to be rooted in the Holy Spirit and His Scriptures.
I believe that broken marriage can be redeemed by the love and Spirit and work and life of Jesus. Jesus has already won the battle over death and the enemy, and by accepting Him, He promises that we enter into new life.
And that “love is patient” verse you always hear at weddings? That’s Truth, and it’s the LIVING Word.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

I can say that I love my amazing boyfriend more every day. That I get more butterflies every day, more grateful for him every day, more excited about doing life with him every day. And that’s meaningful only because Jesus has gone before us, called us to love each other and for Him, and for His ETERNAL purposes. What a Kingdom, and what a God! What a romance we have with Jesus alone, and Jesus first.

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