Chosen Says YES to the Dress

Whoa!  What a whirlwind the last few days have been!  I have to share with you one of those once in a lifetime moments that I experienced today.

First of all, in my last post I talked about how precious friendships are and that sometimes I wish I could bring both of my worlds (longtime childhood friends and special friends made later in life) together.  Today would have been one of those times, but since I can't physically do that, I want to introduce you - via my blog - to a few of my closest friends.

This is quite a love story of a beautiful couple to which I am honored and blessed to call friends.  Since their story will more than likely be shared on national television for the whole world to see, I'm sure she won't mind if I tell a few of you.  ;)

Let me introduce you to Chrissy.  Chrissy is an extraordinary woman who is beautiful both inside and out.  She is a caring, dedicated mother to 3 wonderful kids, one of which is Audrey's BFF.  For 16 years Chrissy was a faithful, loving wife to quite the comedian and guitar player, Hank.  The last five years of their marriage Chrissy sacrificed everything to care for Hank as he battled cancer.  He lived an honorable life that ended as perfectly as it possibly could - surrounded by family and friends praying with him as he left this earth.  In his final days, he made sure that his family was taken care of and gave his blessing to Chrissy to move on when she was ready.  He did not want her to live the rest of her life alone.  They were merely 39 years old when Hank passed away.

I can tell you that Chrissy has been one of the strongest, most amazing examples of faith I have ever seen.  She has kept her family going every step of the way.  She sings weekly with Chosen, helping lead worship and giving God the Glory in all things.  Chrissy is stunning and full of grace.

Now, let's fast forward a couple of years.  Chrissy meets a man named Joe.  Their stories and similarities are a bit on the eery side.  Joe's wife battled cancer for five years, passing away at almost the same time as Hank.  She also left behind 3 children.

Long story short, Chrissy and Joe fell in love.  Her friends (known as the director and lead singer for Chosen) put him through the ringer to make sure he was fit for our queen.  He passed the test.  He asked Chrissy to marry him. She said yes.  Now the wedding planning begins.....

Not only do we, Chosen, sing together every week, but we are very best friends.  We love each other, help one another, and just enjoy hanging out.  What an honor it was when Chrissy asked us to go wedding dress shopping with her -- Ms. Shabby Chic Fashionista herself!  (Did she really have a
choice?!). We went last week to a local bridal shop and had a blast.  Unfortunately she did not find the perfect dress.  So, she applied on a whim to "Say Yes to the Dress - Atlanta" from TLC.  They contacted her the next day (Thursday), approved her Friday, and we taped today (Tuesday)!  Everything happened so fast!

The experience today was awesome!  We have been praying through the whole process that our testimonies would be upheld and that God would be glorified through it all.  We had a few opportunities to sing while we were there.  (Seriously, how cool would it be to sing on national television?!)  We openly spoke of our faith.  And, we had a great time helping Chrissy find the perfect dress!
Chosen with Lori & Monte and Chrissy's daughter, Ansley.
I've never laughed so hard at times.  And, of course, we shed some serious tears at times.  It was an emotional day.  If drama and backstabbing is what they wanted, that is not what they got.  But, they did get a real life, heartfelt story of an amazing couple.  We had our share of silly moments, too.  Who knows how some of our craziness might be misconstrued for tv.  Of course, the hosts of the show really played on the whole church music gig with "Can I  get an 'Amen' from the choir?" and "Can the choir say 'Hallelujah'?" My prayer is that our words come across as genuine as they were in our hearts.
All of us with Chrissy's dress consultant, Flo.

Will they choose Chrissy and her Chosen posse to air on Season 7?  That, nobody knows for sure, but I will tell you that I have truly seen the hand of God working through this whole experience. Whether we are televised or not, we made some serious memories today!  And, I pray that we touched some lives in the process.
Mic'd up and ready to go!

Forever Friends - Part 1

This time last week I was sitting in a restaurant with friends I haven't seen in a few years.  We had just celebrated the life of an amazing woman.  She lived a beautiful life and I am beyond blessed to have known her for 23+ years of my 37.  It's so hard to say goodbye, even when we don't see each other often.  She was like a second mom to me.

It was great seeing childhood friends with their families. For some, I was meeting their children for the first time, which is always exciting.  It's fun to see how kids grow from visit to visit. Sadly, time does not stand still between those visits so I miss a lot of the growing steps.

This trip really got me to thinking about the value of friendship.  I consider myself a fortunate soul to have so many lifelong friends such as these.  I've known these guys since I was 14.  We were pretty much united by marching band (Go, Band!) and stuck together through the years.  Many miles now separate us, but thanks to outlets such as Facebook, we can communicate easily.  And, although we may seriously disagree on issues such as politics and religion, we're still friends.  No matter how many years we're apart physically, we can pick right up where we left off.

I've spent holidays with these friends.  We've been through many birthdays & celebrations, marriages & divorces, births & deaths.  I know at any given moment if I needed anything, I could pick up the phone and call one of these guys.  My prayer is that everyone has a friend like that!

Life has changed a lot over the last ten years.   I've remarried, had two babies, and live in another state.  I don't get to see these precious friends very often, but I'm still very thankful for them.  I love each and every one of them.  If I could hand pick my family, I'd give the 19 Kids and Counting crew a run for their money on the number of siblings I would have.  :-)  I am a little sad that my husband and kids haven't had the chance to get to know them all as well as I have.

Don't get me wrong.  I am incredibly happy where life has taken me.  Again, God has richly blessed me with fantastic friends in my adult life.  Sometimes I wish I could just selfishly bundle everyone up and keep in one place together forever.  :)  Oh, wait!  That's what Heaven's gonna be like!  Well, until that day comes, I know Mama Joyce is getting a great feel for the place and anxiously awaiting having all her "kids" back for a Thanksgiving feast.  RIP, sweet lady!
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