I knew when I officially signed on to be a Young Life leader at Warwick High School that it would change me. I’ve said before that my experience as a Young Life leader taught me more than anything else in this life ever has. The students that I got to know and love during my years as a WHS leader shaped who I am today… these two in particular.
They were sophomores in high school the first time I met them. We were in the very beginning stages of trying to start up YL at Warwick and Matt was one of the few guys who was helping to build our first group of campaigner kids. He has been a natural leader and an incredible example for his friends from day one. I remember my teammates telling me as soon as I joined the team that I just HAD to meet Chelsea. I will never forget the day that I walked into the WHS cafeteria during their lunch break and met the sweetest girl with a bubbly personality and a big heart for others, and I knew right away she and I would become fast friends. Over the next three years I watched them both grow in every way possible. I watched them kick butt on the football, soccer, and softball fields. I watched them love and lead their friends so well, and they always seemed be the ones setting the example for their peers to follow. Anytime we needed a student leader to fill in and lead a lesson Matt was always the first to step up…
And in July of 2005 I sat with Chelsea on one of the bunks of a cabin at Rockbridge, and while we both had tears in our eyes, I had the incredible honor and privilege of praying with Chelsea as she accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. That moment getting to pray with her and a few other girls that night is in the top 3 most precious moments of my life, and I’m so thankful she allowed me to be a part of that….
This weekend, she and Matt allowed me to share in another priceless moment in their lives. After 7 years of dating, this past Saturday they officially became husband and wife! I remember first hearing about Matt and Chelsea dating when they were sophomores in high school, and knowing that there was something different about their relationship right from day one, so their wedding day has been a looong time coming :) It was an absolute honor to get to celebrate with them and their families, and to be there to witness as they promised each other forever. As a young life leader it is equal parts humbling and SO cool to get to watch your kids grow into adults and to still get to be a part of their lives long after the ‘young life days’ are over. I am so unbelievably proud of these two and what they have accomplished thus far, and I can only imagine how God is going to use them now as a team.
Matt and Chels, thanks for letting me be a part of the past 8 years… here’s to the next 8! :) So happy for you both! Hope you have a great time on your honeymoon!! :)
talk about a throw back… this was summer of 2006 (I think?!) back at Rockbridge for another year of YL summer camp :) please excuse the horrible quality of the first photo, i had to steal it out of one of my old facebook albums :) they ended up with an absolutely gorgeous evening for their wedding down in Hampton right on the water! :) it was SO much fun to see some other old familiar faces… still can’t get over how grown up they all are! love this motley crew ;) Hope your weekend was as much fun as mine! :) Happy Monday!