I was young when my parents both began the journey to look for something that they felt was missing in their lives…having a connection to God. That started the “church shopping” for a couple years. During that time I remember my brother, Conner, and I never feeling a connection or any fellowship with the youth at the church we were attending. They were all exclusive and rude and always made Conner and I feel like we were on the outskirts. When I was 13, I remember thinking that when I got older I would never go to a church again. My parents wanted a community for the two of us that would give us youth and friends that would point us to God. I am forever grateful beyond words that they continued to dig and search for true religion and a genuine community. If it weren’t for their selflessness and concern for the next generation, we would not have the amazing life or friends that we now have at Remnant Fellowship.
My parents actually did Weigh Down, the faith-based weight loss ministry that Remnant sponsors, back in the 90’s but they didn’t stick with it. A handful of years later, my mom ended up stumbling back upon the old Weigh Down materials that they still had. She began to put the teachings into practice and not only did she start losing weight, she started to find a connection with God.
They visited Remnant Fellowship Church for Weigh Down’s “Desert Oasis” conference in 2005 and were so impacted by what they learned and the genuine fellowship they experienced that they never looked back! Our family joined Remnant Fellowship in 2006, while still living in Ohio, and then we moved to Brentwood in 2008, which was my sophomore year of high school.
Even though I attended church here for eight years, I feel as though I have only been here just a few…since it’s been in just the past few years that made the choice to go “all in” with my relationship with God. From what I have learned and put into practice at Remnant, this is no longer just the religion of my parents… I now have a genuine connection with God too!
Erik and I have been friends for a very long time. His family is actually whom we stayed with when we would come to visit the church years ago…and Erik was one of the main youth that won over my parents to the church and wanting us to move here! He was and has always had a selfless heart…he’s joyful and gentle spirited, which is what made me fall in love with him!
There has been so much change in me from when we joined Remnant Fellowship back in 2000. I was only 8 years old at the time, so I have gotten the opportunity to “grow up” physically and spiritually in this Church. Even though I was young when we joined, I had a deep root of anger and self-focus which I didn’t even realize. I am extremely grateful to my parents for moving us down to Tennessee in 2005, as that decision surrounded me with people that would not let me get away with any of the self-focus or anything else that wasn’t a fruit of the spirit. Briana and I have been friends for many years and we have God as the focus of our relationship now more than ever. I have seen a lot of people choose the world over living for God and it is easy to see the pain and misery in their lives. It just solidifies the fact that this Church, which has taught me how to have a relationship with God, is the place I have chosen to stay forever.
Our first date was at the Frothy Monkey, a coffee shop in Franklin…and now, every Wednesday morning we go there for coffee and to read the Gwen Shamblin’s book, “History of the Love of God.” Erik wanted to have a “date day” to celebrate our “dating anniversary” and also going back to school. As we walked to Frothy Monkey, unbeknownst to me our friend, Kailee Connors and Erik’s sister, Natalie, were hiding and taking pictures of us. Other friends, Andy and Hope Tedder, were also at Frothy “filming a commercial” for but were actually secretly filming Erik’s proposal. After a little bit of reading, Erik looked up and asked if I would like to marry him…and I, of course said YES! As we walked back to our car, our dearest friends and family were in the square holding up a huge “Congratulations” sign. Later that night we celebrated the engagement at Mountview, the beautiful home of Rob and Tiffani Day…and there to celebrate and share our joy were our church family, who have helped raise and guide us over the years to be the couple that we are today. It was perfect! It was ONLY through dying to self, trusting in the timing and leading of God for our lives and having total peace through it all, did He pour out this amazing blessing. Nothing good seen is from us, only from putting this message of wholehearted Christianity into practice joyfully.
God had orchestrated every part of the proposal. I was hesitant at first with moving forward with marriage because of all we had going on, from school to living situations and such. But we were able to get godly counsel from our Church leaders and talk these concerns out. After that I put all my trust in God and felt confident to go for it from that day on. He blessed every interaction from the ring purchase to setting up photo/videographers. The day was absolutely perfect…It had been raining in the morning (Briana’s favorite) but the rain ended giving us enough time to be able to walk through downtown Franklin and have friends and family waiting in the square right after the proposal. After the proposal, even more blessings as the Day family opened Mountview for a completely blessed night of fellowship and celebration. I am still kind of in awe of what God has done after trusting Him and letting go of being overly concerned about future plans. I am honored to be able to marry Briana Holmes, and extremely thankful to first God and secondly the godly leaders, family and friends at Remnant who have helped guide us into finding His will for our lives.