This past Saturday, I married Brian and Shannon. It was a good ceremony and I am so happy for the couple. I have known Shannon ever since I moved to Morgantown. She was one of the first people I met. Becky and I have been praying for 4 years for her to meet a Christian man that she could spend her life with. We are grateful to God for answering that pray in Brian.
After the wedding, we obviously hung around for the reception. Chris and Linda Haddock were there in attendance and sat at the table with us at the reception. Brannon sat by Chris. Right before the meal was served, I looked across the table, and my oldest daughter was sitting in Chris' lap with her head on his shoulder. I was then overcome with crazy gratitude for the great friends that God has put into our lives. I am so thankful for Brian and Shannon and Chris and Linda and all the other individuals at Crossroads Church who mean so much to the Suiters. I am especially thankful for a man who I completely trust and who my daughter feels so comfortable with that she would put her head on his shoulder. This is a testimony to the character of Chris H. It has nothing to do with the Suiters. It is because of the investment that Chris has put into Brannon that she responds to him like that. I was so thrilled to see it. I am so glad that someone loves me, my wife, and my children so much to invest in us like Chris and Linda have.
Two things quickly came to my mind in this moment:
1) I am blown away with gratitude for the friends that God has put into my life and into my families life (there are more than Chris and Linda and you know who you are - the story is just about Chris and Brannon). We are so fortunate to have so many people care for us like they do.
2) You will only get out of relationships what you put into them. Some people get so upset because they don't have relationships with others or a specific other and they always find a way to blame the "other". But the fault in most relationships that never happen lies with us. Brannon would NEVER have been sitting in Chris' lap with her head on his shoulder if he had not spent some serious time and effort investing in her. If we want great friendships, we must lay our lives down for each other and be willing to give - to sacrifice. Then, and only then, will we have the kind of love and trust that exists when a 5 year old sits in your lap and puts her head on your shoulder. To have a friend, you must first be a friend. Get outside yourself and invest in someone else and you will be surrounded by friends.
Thanks Chris! I love you man!