A Glimpse of His Love
These days I wake up to cozy snuggles and the sweetest "Good Morning"s from my sleepy and hazel-eyed husband. With his arm wrapped around me, I still wake up sometimes and think, "I can't believe we're finally married!"
On July 8th, I married my best friend and the love of my life Zachary Lee Schorken. Since that day, we can't stop reeling over how kind and generous our Lord is.
And the phrase that keeps running through my mind is "Jehovah Jireh," which is one of the many names the Old Testament gives for God. Translated it means "The Lord will provide." - our anthem phrase in the last year.
See, this last year was a bit of a wild ride for us.
We had no idea how we were going to pull off a wedding. We had just both graduated from college. I was on a support-raised salary. Zach had been through severe health struggles, so he was on a part-time job as he recovered. My parents had just finished paying off my mom's surgeries and chemo treatments from her breast cancer. And it seemed that everything in the wedding world, no matter how "economical," would end up costing way more than we had the funds for.
Zach had a job offer lined up that felt like a security blanket in the midst of all the financial uncertainty. But, just a few months before the wedding, the offer fell through, and we had no idea what God was up to. This job that had once seemed like a guarantee, unexplainably fell apart. This season was full of confusion and hurt, yet we still chose to press into the Lord- to keep hoping that He was going to open a new door.
There were so many evenings that Zach and I spent worried about what would come next for us. Every day we prayed that God would provide for us. That He would provide funds for a wedding, that He would provide jobs for us, that He would give us just a small sense of direction. We wondered for so long what city we would live in, what jobs we would have, and what home we could afford once we got married. My residency with the Austin Stone was coming to an end soon, and Zach was working a part-time job that was actually worsening his health. Countless jobs were applied to, but for months it seemed like nothing was moving along. We were scrambling.
One evening, sitting on my tiny little red couch, Zach pointed out a verse that had been hanging on my wall the entire year. My roommate (S/O to Sher) had painted this verse:
"And if God cares so wonderfully for the wildflowers...he will certainly care for you." -Matthew 6:30
And care for us, the Lord surely did. He found ways to sneak in little blessings in every stage of wedding planning.
From wedding dress shopping and alterations:
I found my dress off-the-rack, and it happened to be extremely on sale. It was one of those total "Say Yes to the Dress" moments. You know when the bride puts one dress on that just feels right? I completely felt THIS was the dress I felt the most myself in. I got to leave the store with my dress in hand the day after trying it on, and I was so excited to have found such a gorgeous dress with so many of my dream details!
Buttons all the way down the back - my Pinterest GOALS.
But as I was browsing around for alterations in Austin, I was quoted for $400 and $500 for the alterations that the dress needed.
Frustrated, I took the dress back to Dallas to a woman who has been altering my clothes since I was 12.
My mom and I arrived, a little worried that her quote would match the others, but I hoped for the best as she buttoned up the back of my dress.
A little tuck here and a little tuck there. The dress would be ready in a few weeks.
She didn't give us a quote for the alteration; she simply smiled and said, "Don't worry, it won't be too much."
When my mom returned to pick up the dress, she asked the seamstress, "How much do we owe you?"
"Nothing at all. It has been an honor to get to watch your daughter grow up and an honor to now get to work on her wedding dress," she responded.
And as much as my mom insisted, this kind woman would not take a single dime.
To so much of the decor for our wedding:
The chapel we got married in was already beyond beautiful, I knew we wouldn't need much decor, but a cross at the altar was one thing I had really hoped for.
We tried to rent one, but just about a month before the wedding, the wedding rental company stopped responding to us.
In a time crunch, worried about job applications and other wedding details, Zach and I were too cramped for time to build one. Now, there were plenty of wedding ideas we had that just didn't work out, but this was one we really didn't want to give up on.
And we didn't have to, because as it turns out, God wanted to give us the cross - free of charge.
We had a family friend gift us the beautiful cross we used during our ceremony. My parents have known him for a few years and knew he loved to do carpentry, so they offered to pay him to help build the cross. He showed up at my parents' house one morning to build it in the backyard, and when he was finished he kindly said, "No charge. Please tell Zach and Selena to take it as a gift."
And what a sweet gift it was to get to stand with my groom before the beautiful cross, beaming as a symbol of His provision for us. He provided the ultimate sacrifice for our sins on a cross. He gave us the chance for a new life on a cross. And on our wedding day, He gifted us this cross, reminding us of His precious grace and His everlasting love.
We saw the wedding details falling into place, but we still had no idea what our answer was to the big "What's next?" question.
We still had no idea where we would be living or what jobs we would have, so we kept praying. Our families kept praying. My resident friends were praying. My best high school friends were praying.
Zach and I would sit on my little red couch, night after night, wondering what God was up to.
Two weeks before the wedding, Zach got a phone call from the company he initially had the job offer for. They wanted to extend a brand new job offer in Houston!!
The door we thought was bolted shut was open once again! Over and over, we kept saying, "This is crazy! Look at God showing up (at the last second, but SHOWING UP!!!)"
Since coming to Houston, He's opened up a super exciting job opportunity here for me as well!! - but that's for another post ;)
God knew He was going to provide in just the right time all along. He proved to be our Provider SO many times through the wild ride of our past year. It was like every crazy corner we turned, God had a new blessing to pour on us. And as I walked around the venue the morning of our wedding, I couldn't believe the beauty in seeing it all come together. Looking at how it all ended up working out, all I can say is, "Jehovah Jireh!"
Our wedding day was everything Zach and I could've dreamed of and more.
The community of friends and family joining to set up and serve us in any way they could just blew my mind! Zach's dad officiated our wedding. Our wedding party set up most of our decor. Our families helped with so many details from setting up communion on the chapel stage for us, to making sure my dress train was fluffed out perfectly before I made the big walk down the aisle. We didn't have a wedding planner or a day-of event coordinator, but we definitely had the best team out there, putting in all their effort and all their love. These sweet friends and family put together an unforgettable night for us!
The gorgeous white chapel, the twinkle lights all throughout the reception barn, the LONGHORNS on site...I could not imagine a better place to get married to my best friend.
(Okay, but seriously, can we just take a second for the Longhorns??? So much hook 'em)
What a day!!!
So many friends have asked in the past few weeks, "So how is marriage?"
And let me tell ya, it is incredible.
Marriage is cozy, sweet, delicate, joyous, and thrilling. I have never experienced a deeper relationship on this earth than the one I share with Zach.
For us, marriage looks like laughing our heads off at Parks and Rec, chasing each other around and around the apartment, taking walks around our neighborhood hand in hand, trips to the Galleria just for some pretzel bites, sipping tea before bed, writing by our window on Sunday afternoons, dancing in the kitchen every chance we get, joint quiet times where Zach shines Jesus and wisdom so bright, turning to find each other for snuggles as we sleep, and falling deeper and deeper in love every day.
When I asked Zach what one of his favorite things about marriage is, he said:
"The camaraderie. Facing everything together as a team- every challenge, every defeat, every victory. Facing everything together, as one."
We've been sick, we've been down, we've disagreed, but at the end of the day, we still feel overwhelmingly blessed by this gift of marriage. We're just sad there's this thing called work keeping us from spending all day, every day together! <3
God has been so good and kind in creating marriage, but it really is just a tiny glimpse of the depth of His love for us, and I honestly can't wait for heaven!!
To my friends freaking out about the future, or worried about how things will work out, I hope this helps remind you that God is fully in control. One day you will look back and see that things really did turn out to be okay. The stress and anxiety you are feeling today doesn't have to last forever. The Lord will provide. God is our JEHOVAH JIREH. He will provide just what we need. He may not always deliver it the way we want, or when we want it, but He will care for us.