Saturday, April 14, 2018
The wedding begins with prelude music at 5:20 pm CST.
In the summer of 1998, my parents took me to my first Desert Oasis event in Nashville, TN. I was not yet born (that happened a couple months later in September), but even then my father’s goal was to pass down righteousness to me (and my future siblings). This goal compelled my family to join Remnant Fellowship in February of 2001, and we moved to Nashville in July of that year. God allowed me the perfect circumstances to absorb the teachings of Remnant Fellowship over the last sixteen years. Even through the toughest of testing and difficult circumstances, I was surrounded by the most supportive and loving people who never failed to encourage me back to righteousness. There were a few years when I was in Middle and High School where I started to veer from what I knew was the Truth. I was consumed by praise of man, pride, lust and anti-authority. God was merciful enough to reveal all of this to me in my junior year of high school, and I knew I had to make a change. As soon as I set my mind to living for God, the blessings were immediately abundant. I got to start helping with the music at church; I got to start being a good friend to the Godly friends who constantly did the same for me; and I got to build relationships with my siblings that I wouldn’t trade for the world. However, the best was yet to come.
Fall of 2014 was when I first started making a conscious decision to strive to live like Christ. Almost two and a half years later, I started dating Avery Martin. My family has known the Martins since we moved here in 2001, and my sister has been good friends with Avery pretty much ever since. Over these sixteen years, no one saw this ending coming. God is definitely the most genius story-teller. As in most relationships, Avery and I spent the first few months getting to know each other’s personalities. I soon saw that she embodies every trait described in Proverbs 31 and more. She is joyful, introspective, attentive, and most of all, loving. It only took about three months before I knew… I knew that I loved her more than I could ever love any other human being. At about the same time, God allowed me to start a steady job with a great company and great benefits. Now all I needed was a ring.
“There is no one else on Earth with whom I’d rather live out the rest of my days. Avery has constantly brought me nothing but joy and encouragement. I am also incredibly honored to marry into one of the first families to grab onto this message of active Christianity that is taught at Remnant Fellowship.” – Andrew
Avery’s birthday is on September 9th, and a birthday is one of the most perfect set-ups for a proposal. On September 8th, I gave Avery a fake gift card as a decoy and took her to a movie as her “birthday present”. Her favorite song is “Redbirds Fly”, which is a cover that Michael Shamblin did of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. God orchestrated an opportunity for me to record a cover of that song and to make a music video. The music video was set up to be “the real birthday present,” but the facade was three layers deep. At the end of the music video, the final shot is “Marry Me” mowed into the back lawn of the church and captured by drone footage so that as the drone gets higher, the words begin to make sense. On September 9th at 3:00 in the afternoon, I played this video for Avery in the Sanctuary at Remnant Fellowship. When she realized what the words said in the grass I knelt down, picked up the ring, and asked her if she would spend the rest of her life by my side. I am ecstatic that she said yes! There is no one else on Earth with whom I’d rather live out the rest of my days. Avery has constantly brought me nothing but joy and encouragement. I am also incredibly honored to marry into one of the first families to grab onto this message of active Christianity that is taught at Remnant Fellowship. I know that we will be infinitely stronger together than we are apart, and I cannot wait to see what God has in store for our family!
I had the honor of growing up in this Church after being born into it in 1999. My parents, David and Jennifer Martin, are one of the first families who heard the teachings that Mrs. Gwen Shamblin has been inspired by God to share, and they have done nothing but uphold, follow, and live out a righteous, God-fearing life since then. I’ve grown up going to every single Festival, Summer Day Camp, getting to participate in Viewsicals, our Church Choir, and also the Wedding Cakes, Desserts, and Decorating Teams—and everything that goes on inside this place. I’ve never wanted anything else that the world has to offer.
Growing up, I went to a public school in Brentwood, Tennessee – Scales Elementary – and then on into Brentwood Middle School. I was a cheerleader there and always had a smile on my face. How could I not smile? I had an incredible life! I had always gone to every Church event and would say that I “lived for God,” but…slowly but surely, there were what the world would call “little things” from this incredible Message, the Biblically-based teachings here, that I stopped putting into practice daily, and so I began to slip into worldly things. I began to love praise of man and often thought I was better than others. But with that, I also became very self–focused (which I didn’t think was or was ever going to be an issue for me).
I hit a very low point in middle school where I had my first crossroad of “Do I love God more than I love anything in this world?” and I fell on my face because of how much pain that I had put God, my family, friends, and the Church through. I immediately put into practice the correction I was mercifully given and I felt like I had Spirit-day after Spirit-day. I looked to God for every leading, double-checked what I said or texted, and made sure that if I was to do anything in my life, that it glorified God and represented the Church the way that it should and deserves to be. For a while, I felt like I was “all in” in following God, but a huge test for me has been this: I will be highly convicted of something, and then do great for a certain amount of time…and then start to slowly slack off and return to my old ways.
After middle school, I got the blessing of getting to be homeschooled and get to attend the Remnant Academy Homeschool Cooperative, which was one of the most fun and enjoyable things about school. I loved getting to be surrounded constantly by kids who love God and obey the authorities with a happy and cheerful heart and attitude.
“Andrew embodies every fruit of the Spirit and so much more. Getting to marry him and into one of the most respected and steadfast families is the biggest honor and answered prayer of my life.” – Avery
Toward my last semester of high school, even though I attended each Wednesday and Saturday Church service message, youth gatherings, fellowship gatherings throughout the week, I gradually began to become more and more numb to conviction. It’s so hard to put it into words but you’ll definitely know whether or not you hear a Message, put it into practice and change for the better or ignore conviction, don’t feel the need to look inward and just go for the “fellowship” of friends instead.
So, I had let that pattern of missing God’s lead grow inside of my heart without even being aware for a while. Over time, I slipped back into what I got into before in middle school. I began the lying, sneakiness, working my way around situations to make me look blameless, and I had let anti-authority grow so therefore, I stopped getting the answered prayers and blessings that come with total love for and obedience to God.
I had been exposed to ALL of this Truth my entire life, but it’s so true that satan really can get in there and make you think that you deserve more than what God has already generously blessed you with. One night, my parents asked me a simple question: “Why would you keep doing this to God, the Creator of everything?” and I didn’t have an answer. I told them that I DID want to make God smile instead of causing Him pain. They then said “then you’ll stop what you’re doing right now.” And from then on, I’ve done nothing but look to God for everything, dig into His Word daily, constantly check in, and stay in the middle of the pack with my godly friends. I love these two Scriptures. They mean so much to me and they are steady reminders to me of the mercy of GOD and what my opportunity and responsibilities are to Him…
“Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and He relents from sending calamity. Who knows? He may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing.” – Joel 2:13-14
“In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.” – Luke 14:33
It was right around that time…after that convicting conversation with my parents…that I had my first date with my beloved Andrew Fischer, who is an answered prayer in my life in so many more ways than I can count! In addition to all of that, I’ve had the blessing of working for Dr. Helen Boerman of Brentwood Eye Care, one of our members here at the Remnant Fellowship Church. She is an amazing boss and an incredibly talented Optometric Physician. I also get to spend every weekday there with my precious sister Ashton Jost, who works on the staff as well. Dr. Boerman and her husband Chris are two of the most Godly people I’ve ever known and they are selfless Shepherds and tireless workers for this Church! I feel so showered with love and blessings! In addition to this incredible job and career path, I’ve also had the honor of being a part of so many amazing groups, committees, and beautiful experiences at our Church including the Youth Choir, Adult Choir, and Recording Choir. I’ve had so much fun being a Junior Counselor at our Summer Day Camp for the past three years. I get to serve as a part of the Dessert and Cake Committee for our Remnant Weddings, which has given me even MORE gratitude for ALL of the selfless hours that the Church members volunteer to make our Weddings the most beautiful that anyone could possibly imagine!
My life is so blessed now, and I know for a fact that if I hadn’t gone completely “All In” with my WHOLE heart in this relationship with God, He wouldn’t have allowed this honor and blessing of getting to marry such a Godly, pure, and righteous man who only wants the will of God. It’s so comforting to know that I can go to Andrew and the entire Fischer family and talk with them about God and the amazing things He does. God definitely does reward us for obeying Him and loving Him with everything we’ve got!
I truly feel humbled to get to be a part of such a place where we have a purpose in life – to make God our everything. And it’s so true…He really does give back ten-fold! There will never be enough words to describe my gratitude for my merciful and loving parents, Mrs. Gwen Shamblin, Brandon and Elizabeth Hannah, Michael and Elle Shamblin, and the entire Remnant Fellowship Church body for their support in living a life solely for finding and doing the will of God no matter what the circumstance or what persecution may come. May God get all the praise and glory for this answered prayer and blessing. I long for the day where we get to answer to our Almighty God and see that every knee will bow!
Along with countless blessings and answered prayers, I had the honor of getting to be engaged on the most perfect day. It was on Saturday September 9th, 2017. We got to attend the most incredible service at Church that morning which introduced a ton of what we had in store for the Greed Exposure class. Afterwards, I got to spend the whole day with my family and Andrew, getting to talk about God and all the things He’s done and continues to do. This day also happened to fall during the Days of Awe, which couldn’t have been more perfect, so we all headed to the Church to pray as a family.
When we got to the Church Building, I noticed my family wasn’t there, but Andrew and I went ahead and prayed together. Once we finished, we got up and he told me he had another birthday present for me. Immediately, the huge screen turned on and started playing a music video that Andrew, Joseph Langsdon, B.B. Barcus, and so many others had made of Michael Shamblin’s version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” (which happens to be my favorite song). I instantly began to cry because of how much that song means to me and the fact that Andrew took the time to make this video and even sing it. I was totally blown away.
Towards the end of the video, they had used a flying drone to film a shot of the grass in the backfield of the Church grounds saying “Marry Me,” and I turned to see Andrew on his knee asking if I would spend the rest of my life with him. I instantly said YES and we were greeted with our families shortly after that with nothing but joy, hugs, and love! Only God could’ve orchestrated such a day and such a blessing from the Heavens.
Andrew embodies every fruit of the Spirit and so much more. Getting to marry him and into one of the most respected and steadfast families is the biggest honor and answered prayer of my life. I’m still in awe of God and the blessings for obedience that He so generously gives. I am truly humbled and so undeserving of such a life!