Saturday, October 10, 2020
6:00pm Central Time
Hampton Inn & Suites Nashville/Franklin
I was blessed to have been born into the Remnant Fellowship Church. My parents had joined the message about 3 years earlier, and I believe that being born into a message like this gives you a prime advantage on a relationship with God and a clear path to following in Jesus Christ’s footsteps. My relationship with God has been the main driving point of my life, and I continue to strive to live for Him each and every moment.
When I entered into my teenage years, God opened my eyes to many things in my heart that were impeding on my relationship with Him—realizing that I was taking this message of truth for granted and not truly appreciating the authority line as a direct line of communication with God Almighty were a couple of the main factors. Obeying half-heartedly was not going to cut it anymore, and after truly crying out to God and putting the Truth into practice in my everyday life, immediate blessings followed. The closer I got to God and to my parents, the more favor I received from my bosses at work. I also started to notice the blessings in my relationship with Kendal as we got closer.
My love and respect for Kendal grows with every passing year that I see her continue in constant faithfulness to God through any storm or trial that comes her way. Her steadfastness is what made me want to commit my life to her as a husband and ask her to stand by my side for the rest of our lives. – Aubrey
I cannot go further without mentioning that both sets of our parents played huge roles in our growing relationship. Taking heed of their instruction—which we knew came from God through Gwen Lara’s teachings—always bore fruit, and Kendal and I would not be getting married on October 10, 2020 were it not for this amazing direction. I could not be more thankful for my amazing parents and the wonderful relationship I have with them, as they put God and this Church first in every action. Their examples of serving God and this Church before themselves continually convicts me and improves my life daily.
Kendal has been in my life for as long as I can remember, and one day I began to realize that this sweet, red-headed girl might be more than just a girl I knew. In fact, I began to get butterflies in my stomach every time I would see her at the Church building during Daycamp or church services, and I knew that this was the girl I wanted to marry.
Kendal is—and always has been—radiant, and just as she is beautiful on the outside, her heart for God is steadfast. All I have ever wanted is someone with the same ideals of mine to uphold this Church and these teachings, and Kendal has proven time and time again through testing and trials that her heart for God is unwavering, and her relationship with Him never fails to convict me. It was so easy for me to fall in love with this person when I was young. I could see the beauty of Christ shine through her and knew I could not imagine myself with anyone else. Kendal is my person.
As we got to know each other over the years, God continued to bless our relationship with peace and purity. Many times it seemed that we knew the other person better than we knew ourselves. As our relationships with God grew stronger, so did our relationship with one another, and as we grew closer, we were able to keep each other accountable to our convictions of doing right by Jesus Christ and his true Church. My love and respect for Kendal grows with every passing year that I see her continue in constant faithfulness to God through any storm or trial that comes her way. Her steadfastness is what made me want to commit my life to her as a husband and ask her to stand by my side for the rest of our lives.
As I mentioned above, I’ve known for many years that I wanted to marry Kendal, and very early on, I had a vision of the way I wanted to propose. Gwen Lara has always been so generous to open up her home, Ashlawn Estate, for the church, and at an early age, my family and I fellowshipped there with the rest of the body of Saints. I had a vision of proposing to Kendal at that beautiful estate, underneath the arbor that is in full bloom during the spring season. Early in 2020, this vision started to become a reality when after seven years of being with Kendal, her father gave me permission to ask her hand in marriage. I decided upon a ring and started officially hatching my plan and praying for God’s lead through everything, not expecting at all to actually get the privilege of proposing at the location I had dreamed of. I created a booklet full of memories and notes to Kendal that dated back to our first picture at a Remnant Fellowship wedding, up through the years and memories stating the many reason why I loved her. It was at the very end of this book of pictures and notes that the words read out across two pages: “Will you marry me?”
Upon completing this book, the rest of the plan quickly came together. It was incredibly smooth and peaceful, and I am still in awe that God blessed the whole process. Before I knew it, the exact vision I had in mind came together. On May 24th of 2020, family and friends gathered together at Ashlawn, hiding behind closed doors, as Kendal pulled into the driveway with the ruse of assisting with a project at the arbor. As she walked up to the arbor and noticed the stand with the book, I had a good friend, Aidan Snider, hiding behind the bushes with a camera, along with Andrew Fischer with a video camera to capture the whole moment while hidden away. Kendal read the whole book and as she read those last few words, “Will you marry me?”, I came out of my own hiding place and approached her with the ring, got down on one knee, and to my extreme delight, she answered with a resounding “YES!” This moment will always be my biggest blessing and longest dream come true!
Kendal and I have often spoken of what our lives would be like if we had not grown up with the Truth of how to follow in Jesus Christ’s footsteps and lay our lives down for God. We have both come to the conclusion that without this church’s teaching of putting God first in our lives, getting married would definitely be terrifying as we would not have answers about how to have a peaceful relationship. However, through the fruit of putting the message taught at Remnant Fellowship Church into practice, Kendal and I are entering into this marriage with no worries or doubts, and I go into this with complete confidence as I know that I will always have the wisdom of God through those above me on how to be a husband of noble character. I know that Kendal will also seek out God’s will forever and will be there to hold my arms up and continually help me run to God.
We have taken this time of engagement to prepare our hearts and minds for this amazing commitment. For not only is it a commitment to one another, but a commitment and marriage before God, devoting our lives in service to Him. With reliance upon God, we know that together we can withstand trials and tribulations, and face the future without fear, but instead with excitement, love, peace, and joy. We are beyond thankful for Gwen Lara founding this amazing community without which we probably never would have found each other, and for the hope and peace that comes with this life. I cannot wait to marry the beautiful Kendal Hayden!
I am so grateful for this opportunity to testify about what God has done in my life and the blessings that come from putting Him first and putting the teachings from Remnant Fellowship Church into practice. I have been a member of Remnant Fellowship since I was four years old. I am forever indebted to my parents for moving us here to be surrounded by like-minded Saints who have one thing in common—their love for God above all else. This Godly foundation has changed my life for the better. My mother, Deah Hayden, started participating in Weigh Down in 1999. Falling in love with God instead of the food is the first thing my family learned, and it truly started a beautiful ripple effect of change for the better and the start of the best life ever.
From a very young age, I have always wanted to be in the middle of the pack, surrounded by all the Godly friends and women who are now in my wedding party. I admire their humility, selflessness, joy, and most importantly, their connection with God. Growing up hearing Gwen Lara talk about how much she loved God day and night made me want exactly what she had! I truly felt like a child who wanted to make God and my parents smile. However, when I entered my teenage years I became more self-focused, less joyful, and lost my personal connection with God. I can remember vividly always hearing from my parents how good I was doing as a little girl…and then around the age of 15, I remember crying at night because I had not heard those encouraging words in a while. I remember crying out to God, wanting my connection back with Him. I can truly testify that a life without God is empty and has no purpose.
The more I fall in love with God, the more I fall more in love with Aubrey, and the more I realize how perfect God made Aubrey for me. I have never, not once, in all of our years together, left Aubrey’s presence without feeling loved and closer to God. He never fails to convict me with his righteousness. I am filled with peace knowing that I am marrying a man who loves God more than anything else! – Kendal
Since then, one of my favorite things to do is when God wakes me up in the night and I have a Bible study with Him by the window in my room. It moves me to tears as I am writing this, because it’s true—I could have a personal relationship with God just like Gwen, my mother, my sister, and all of my friends had. I would not trade my relationship with God for anything. The feeling I get when He answers a prayer or shows me a personal sign is a joy that I cannot compare to anything else. God has done so much in my life, and I owe Him everything. He takes away all worries and fears and is always there to hold my hand in a hard situation. He is my best Friend and the best Provider. I want to give credit where credit is due and that is to Remnant Fellowship Church and Gwen Lara for showing me how to have a true and personal relationship with God. After putting loving guidance from my parents, authorities, and leadership into practice, I have seen nothing but fruit and it brings nothing but peace. It is impossible to write out every single blessing God gives when you truly seek Him first, just as the Bible says.
Speaking of blessings… Aubrey Mendl is without a doubt the biggest blessing in my life. Growing up together in this message with the Godliest friends and youth group is something I will always thank God for. I get emotional thinking about how much our friends have impacted and encouraged us. We have the best memories and enjoyed the best childhood. I have known I loved Aubrey since the third grade! I loved when we ran into each other at summer daycamp and hung out together as little kids with our friends. He was truly my best friend then, and he still is now. He makes me laugh harder than anyone else. My cheeks would actually hurt after being with him. I remember falling absolutely in love with him after we were paired together for learning a dance at summer camp. I would gush about him to all of my friends.
After officially admitting that we liked one another, the following years of our friendship and our dating relationship have been nothing short of a dream. We took our first picture together at a Remnant Fellowship Wedding and are getting married here ourselves seven years later! We realized very early on how staying under authority and having patience was essential for a pure relationship. I am forever thankful that Aubrey Mendl has stuck with me through every up and down, every stumble and every victory. He makes life so much fun. The more I fall in love with God, the more I fall more in love with Aubrey, and the more I realize how perfect God made Aubrey for me. He is the most under-authority man. He is constantly checking in and has so much favor, trust, and respect from his authorities. I truly admire how Aubrey and his parents are best friends. He is the most loyal friend and employee. He has the biggest child-like heart and has the gift of making people laugh. So many people have told me how selfless Aubrey is. My parents are specifically impressed with how he jumps to serve others around him. I have never, not once, in all of our years together, left Aubrey’s presence without feeling loved and closer to God. He never fails to convict me with his righteousness. Aubrey and I know one another better than we know ourselves, which has helped us grow our relationship with God together. He is my soulmate! I do not deserve one minute with this man and this life that we have. I am filled with peace knowing that I am marrying a man who loves God more than anything else!
Aubrey and I talk daily about how incredible it is that we have so much hope for the future. We feel completely at peace knowing that if we love and put God first above everything in every situation, we will be taken care of. We do not have any worries for what is to come. We have so many examples of a Godly, fun, and pure marriages to look to and to seek guidance from. We know without a doubt we could go to any righteous Saint in this Church and get any help we need. I have no fear for our future children, as I know from the teachings of Remnant Fellowship that they can also have a relationship with God and a peaceful life. There are not enough words to express our gratitude to Remnant Fellowship Church for changing our lives for the better. We owe everything to God Almighty, and we love Him more than anything!