The Officiant


Six years after officiating the wedding of my cousin and his beautiful wife, I found myself standing on the exact same spot officiating the nuptials of another sweet couple. While I have been back to this venue many times, it was the first time I'd been back to perform another wedding. Standing in the exact same spot reminded me of how much things have changed since that first time. My cousin and his wife now have two beautiful little girls. At that time I had been out of seminary a little over a year, but now I am moving toward the completion of a doctoral degree. So many important events have taken place in my life that I hardly feel like the same person.

jamieandshawnieYet many things remain the same. The witnesses assembled still swoon when the hear the vows I use (poetically crafted by a pastor who was generous enough to share them with me). I still reflect on my own life as a married woman as I watch couples make this huge commitment. It is still an awesome responsibility to be the vessel God uses to usher couples into this new season of life. And I am still officiating weddings in four-inch stilettos.

I love being married. I can't imagine my life without my marriage. I also love being a minister and cannot conceive of what my existence would be had I not said yes to God. Of all the things I get to do as a minister, this is definitely one of my favorites. This is the one thing I get to do that allows me to stand fully at the intersection of my two biggest roles. Being a wife, while not a requirement, helps me to be more effective in my ministerial call. And being a minister definitely helps (and convicts) me to be a better wife. Many days I'm not sure I'm doing a good job at either. Yet on these special days, as I am pronouncing a man and a woman as husband and wife, I sure am thankful for the opportunity to walk in both.