If you are wondering why the title starts out with Africa, let me explain….I met Barbie in Africa. If you are wondering how in the world does a Mississippi girl and a Tennessee girl meet in Africa, the answer is missions. Barbie and her family were close to my dear friends Paul and Jean (who were leading the trip) but we had never met each other. Our group was waiting to get on the airplane and Barbie said something about her bother Arron. At that moment I put the last names together and realized I knew her bother from him working at Whitestone. From that moment we were instantly bff’s! Within a few moments Barbie had asked me to be her roommate and the rest is history.
Little did I know that this first meeting would create a lifelong friendship of what I’d defiantly call a Godsend friendship. We’ve walked through some pretty crazy things in life together and even though we don’t get to see each other as often as we’d like, we know we are just a text or phone call away. She is kind, she is loving and I have a few extra laugh lines because of her! Who wouldn’t want a friend like that!
Lets fast forward 4 years to Tuesday night at our mission trip fundraiser dinner at Whitestone Country Inn. I arrived early to do some work on the property and then I ran into Barbie…guess what?….I didn’t get any work done because we talked and that’s perfectly ok! She introduced me to Ethan and my first question or should I say statement was “So when am I shooting your alls wedding?” Little did I know that later that night Pam (Barbie’s mom) would walk me outside and say so….and I’d finish her sentence with “oh goodness he’s going to propose isn’t he?’
That night Ethan and I sat up for hours talking about life and Barbie. Ya’ll…I could not be more thankful for Ethan and his heart for Jesus, because with that comes a heart to love Barbie the way she deserves. Barbie is such a wonderful person, she deserves the best and I think she has him!
Tuesday came, they had a whole day of breakfast, exercise, prayer, music and dinner planned. Watching my sweet friend walk through the day with NO CLUE that she was getting ready to walk in a new season of life with Ethan was so exciting. There is nothing better than seeing a friend in love, than seeing a friend in love with a Godly man who loves her!
Ethan told Barbie I was going to come by the chapel where they had been doing some music to snap a few photos of them. The kicker was I didn’t even have my camera, so I used Barbie’s camera. (yes its true, this Knoxville photographer doesn’t always carry her camera with her) I stopped in, snapped a few photos and to catch up on things. The rain finally stopped and we were about to go outside to one of Barbies favorite spots at Whitestone. I said lets go over here to take a photo and she was like “oh goodness I love that spot!” LOL I know Barbies (Ethan told me so yesterday).
He proposed, she said yes! We finished a few more photos and then Ethan took Barbie in the chapel to pray with her. Ya’ll…my heart!!
I can not wait until the wedding, but most of all I can not wait to see these two walk in ministry together. The reality is the purpose of a Godly marriage is to serve the Kingdom and I know they will be a strong force together!
Congratulations sweet sweet friend! You have been such a blessing in my life, I’m so thankful Jesus crossed our paths! My life is forever changed by our friendship and now I also get a new friend in Ethan because of you!
Until our next wild adventures around the world doing missions or another conversation over a gallon of Whitestone coffee…I love you!