Saturday, July 28, 2007

Happy Anniversary, Todd & Carla!

Seven years ago today my only sister married my best friend. It was a Holy Ghost wedding not to be missed. It came close to being the first time a whole wedding party was collectively slain in the Spirit. Of all days for me to be sick . . . . I can honestly say it was the ugliest singing I have ever done. If I wasn't admitting it here, the videotape would easily be blackmail material.

So here's the short version of Todd & Carla's story from my perspective . . . .

Once upon a time Howie was a worship leader at a country church. His sister, Carla, sang on the worship team. Then one day a young man named Todd walked into the church because he was desperately searching for God. Todd was under conviction and actually got saved later at a great-uncle's funeral. Howie and Carla were related to Uncle Lovic on the Blount side of the family, and Todd was related to Uncle Lovic on the Porter side of the family. Although they shared the same cousins, Todd and Carla and Howie were not related to each other and did not know each other. As Howie was leaving the funeral, he passed Todd's truck. Todd said, "Hi," and Howie said, "Hi," back.

Todd started attending church regularly. He and Howie and Carla ultimately became close friends. Their lives revolved around the church. They attended lots of revivals and camp meetings together, sang together in the choir, and went out to eat a LOT! They were basically the Three Musketeers and did everything together.

Then, Carla got a secret crush on Todd, but Todd had no interest in Carla. This continued for a few years. Carla would go to the altar after church and squall a lot. Todd was oblivious. But one day it all changed. God opened Todd's eyes and his feelings changed and he ended up proposing to Carla at the end of church one Sunday morning in front of God and everybody. Everyone was so happy for them, except Howie. Howie wasn't so sure how he felt about it. Eventually, Howie grew to accept the situation and everything was cool. At the time Howie did not know how Todd and Carla getting married would bring him the best gift of his life.

Todd and Carla got married on July 28, 2000. Things were good, but they were about to get a whole lot better, because a year later on July 18, 2001, Todd and Carla made Howie . . . NATHAN'S UNCLE!

Nathan's entry into the world completely reconfigured Uncle Howie's focus. Nathan became the center of the universe, and Uncle Howie's world basically revolved around him. Everything was going just fine until Todd decided to throw a monkey wrench into the mix. One late evening, after a night of fun at the Strawberry Festival, the Three Musketeers got into the truck to head home. It was then that Todd broke the news to Uncle Howie that God had called him to be a missionary to Jamaica. Uncle Howie thought his world was going to fall apart and accused Todd of taking his precious nephew away from him.

It would be a few years before the Jamaica calling would be fulfilled, and although it was hard, Uncle Howie finally accepted that Nathan would be going away. Uncle Howie entrusted Nathan to God's care and Todd and Carla's very capable hands. Todd, Carla, and Nathan left for Jamaica on July 2, 2007, and although it has been an adjustment for everyone, they are getting used to it and looking forward to what God has in store for the next chapter of their lives.

One major event not included in the story will be told in tomorrow's post.