When our high school chapter ended and our college season was in full swing, I found myself in Tuscaloosa and he in Nashville, his original hometown. To be near one another was such a comfort, especially considering how far from family we were. So, one weekend, I made my very first trip to Nashville for the official tour of his hometown.
I will always and forever vividly remember that weekend. Those three days during Martin Luther King weekend my life was forever changed. Sunday morning while at his childhood church, we ran into the woman who would be my future mother-in-law where I got Brandon’s number and she said that he’d love to catch up with Philip and his family. That was eight years ago.
The seasons of life we’ve walked together in that time have been both challenging and rewarding in so many ways. Our friendship is one I treasure the most in my life. From introducing me to my husband, to the night he gave Brandon “the speech” on if he ever hurt me following our engagement, to the first time he met our son (his God-Son), to the day he told us he’d met the one and he was ready to find her a ring. I look back and couldn’t imagine my life without him.
And, while he has walked by me and Brandon through our marriage thus far, I was so honored that he’d asked our family to be part of his big day. Brandon was a groomsman and Jackson the ring bearer. Me? The one making sure the groom actually arrived when and where he was told to be.
Philip and Allyson were married at Front Porch Farms, a venue that many a famous couple have chosen as well, just additional excitement for the big day! Jackson was a piece of work the day of the wedding, and we’ll just say it was tough to keep him contained and with few grass stains before the ceremony.
While I’m fairly certain Jackson smiled for ZERO photos and did in fact dive down the aisle, he seemed to be considered a successful ring bearer. As we sat on the first row with family, my son chose that moment to loudly sing “I see the moon and the moon sees me. God bless the moon and God bless me.” So, off he and I went to observe the wedding from a few hundred feet away.
You'll see his only smiles were bribed with leftover Easter candy. Grammie came to the rescue, whisking the ring bearer off after the ceremony so that Brandon and I could celebrate the night away. And celebrate we did.
I’m a bit of a sucker for a good wedding and I knew Allyson would ensure it was one we’d not forget. While that day was so nice, I think I’m most grateful that we’ve seen each other through yet another milestone. And to top it off, Philip has found a kind, intelligent, beautiful woman to share his life with that loves on his friends just as he does - whole heartedly.
Yes, it was exhausting to keep up with the ring bearer on a farm. And yes, that seven hour drive to Nashville just about does us in every time. But the love and memories made in that weekend were worth a million times more than any of those trivial hardships.
I pray for many more years with Philip and Allyson in our family’s story, and that maybe even one day we’ll reside in the same city again. Until then, we’ll love on them from afar and be grateful for those God-planned friendships that are bigger than any plan we could make for ourselves.