Sunday, September 24, 2023
Wedding begins at 6:00pm Central Time
Emerald Green, black, and gold
I want to start off by saying thank you to Gwen Shamblin Lara, Elizabeth Hannah, and the amazing church leadership at Remnant Fellowship for living out this beautiful Biblical teaching and leading by example. What I learned through my church has changed my life for the better, in ways that I could not have even imagined. My father, Jeff Garcia, became a member of Remnant in 2003 when I was four years old. We were still living in California at the time, so we would travel to Cliff and Lisa Peters’ house every Saturday and get together with the rest of the members in California and listen to services via conference call. In 2006, we moved to Tennessee to be closer to the church and the rest of the congregation.
With me being as young as I was when we joined Remnant, I had the mindset of “this is my dad’s religion,” and while I enjoyed the activities and friends at church, I never truly took any of the sermons to heart personally. During the summer of 2015, however, that changed. That summer was a really big turning point for me and my spiritual life. At the time, I was beginning to question a lot of things in life mentally and spiritually, but during that summer, I had the opportunity to attend many youth gatherings and hear Elizabeth share with all the teenagers. She always spent so much time talking with all of us and giving such encouragement. I was surrounded by all my peers who were living out what we were learning at church and putting it into practice, and it was then that I made the decision to do the same. Since that summer, I’ve truly learned how to rely on God in every situation and how to constantly look for His lead. It was the best choice I ever could have made!
Our relationship has been built on the foundations of what we learn at Remnant, and every day we are helping each other through any situation God puts in our path. God could not have orchestrated this match any better. I thank Him every day for putting Zoe into my life at the exact time I needed her, and I cannot wait to see what He has in store for the both of us as we enter this new and exciting phase of our lives! - Tristan
I met Zoe in the summer of 2020. We were both working at the same restaurant, and we became friends. Incredibly, it turns out she grew up 20 minutes away from where my mother’s side of the family lives in Southern California. The more we talked as time passed, the more I could see her heart for others—her willingness to help anyone around her and her immense loyalty. I invited her to the Fourth of July concert at Remnant Fellowship later in the summer, and she loved the church, the Biblical teachings, and all the other members. She decided to become a member of Remnant in November that year, and since then she has continued to grow into an amazing woman of God. She took this teaching and ran with it from the start, which was very convicting for me, having been in this church for as long as I have.
We have been together for three years now, and every day has been an amazing learning experience. Our relationship has been built on the foundations of what we learn at Remnant, and every day we are helping each other through any situation God puts in our path. God could not have orchestrated this match any better. I thank Him every day for putting Zoe into my life at the exact time I needed her, and I cannot wait to see what He has in store for the both of us as we enter this new and exciting phase of our lives!
In 2020, much like the rest of the world, I was going stir crazy sitting at home with nothing to do and nowhere to be. I was in desperate need of a change, any kind of change. A friend of mine from college was living in Tennessee at the time, and her very sweet parents offered to let me visit them for the summer. In Tennessee, I was able to get a job and maintain a life in such crazy times. My friend was working at a local restaurant, and I spent my summer working there with her. That was where I met another employee, Alexandria Molina, and her kindness, gentleness, and light shone brightly during a time when the world seemed completely opposite. I had never heard of Remnant Fellowship Church, but I now know that God was showing me what a true Christ-like friend looks like.
I’ve gotten to learn how discerning Tristan is and how God works through his decision making and all the blessings that have come from it. I have never felt so peaceful. I have no doubt that Tristan will always point me back to God with his patience and convict me with his steadfastness and discernment. I can’t wait to see what this next chapter brings for us as we serve God together in the years to come.- Zoe
Ali helped me complete my training, and on my first day being a hostess, I noticed another employee, a gentleman with his head bowed, getting ready to start the day. Having never been to church before, I found his openness to pray in public and openly express his faith very intriguing. It seemed extremely admirable, and it made me want to get to know him more. This gentleman was Tristan Garcia. He would later introduce himself to me, and the more I got to know him, the more I found myself liking him. However, I had just come out of a difficult relationship, and so I kept myself distant. Then one day, I arrived at work and became sad when I realized his name wasn’t on that day’s schedule, and I realized how much I enjoyed being around Tristan, and I allowed myself to accept the fact that I had feelings for him.
After weeks of me waiting for him to be done with his shift or him waiting for me to be done with my shift so we would walk out to our cars together, he finally asked me to go on a date with him. I was happy to say “yes,” but I knew how important church was to him. I wanted to make sure that it was something that I believed and something that I could back up before I committed to anything with him. I was raised to be open minded about all things, and I wanted to see what Tristan’s church was all about for myself. So when he invited me to attend a concert at church, I readily agreed to go!
When I got there, I was blown away by the joyful sprits, smiles, and love that I was met with. All evening, people I didn’t even know were coming up to meet me, sharing genuine smiles, and talking to me to make sure that I felt welcome. There were so many people including me in conversations and fun that I didn’t even really see Tristan most of the evening. I tried to play all this off like it was nothing and this was just normal until Gwen shared some comments from the stage after the concert. I instantly got chills. Gwen was pouring out gratitude to God and to all of the church members who had selflessly served to make this concert happen, never taking credit for anything herself. I had never experienced that in any church that I had visited before—where they were always focused on the people and not actually on God—that when she was so openly grateful to God and pointing us all back to Him, I was completely blown away.
After that, I was all in. I wanted to know more and learn more about God, about church, about Remnant Fellowship. Unfortunately, I had to return to school out-of-state, where I found myself almost depressed that I couldn’t be with all the genuine people that I had met, and of course I missed being with Tristan. Eventually I decided I missed being with him so much and missed being able to go to church that I surprised him one day by just showing up back in Tennessee!
I have now had the chance to move here permanently, and I feel like my whole personality has changed for the better. I used to be a control freak—things had to be done my way—and with that came very high expectations for everyone around me. I have now been entirely set free from that; my stress is gone, I feel so much lighter and carefree because I get to experience this life in a whole new way. I’ve loved getting to learn about what the Bible teaches about God’s line of authority and trusting Tristan to make decisions without me getting in the way by trying to control everything. I’ve gotten to learn how discerning Tristan is and how God works through his decision making and all the blessings that have come from it. I have never felt so peaceful.
I have no doubt that Tristan will always point me back to God with his patience and convict me with his steadfastness and discernment. I can always count on him to remind me that God will never give me more than I can handle. He’s the first to point me back to scripture when I’m struggling, and he encourages me to lean on my closest friends and examples at church who are also quick to point me to God. One of my favorite things about Tristan is that I can see when he is praying to God for the perfect words before speaking, and then is very slow to move or speak until he knows exactly what God’s will is. Tristan selflessly gives his time at church serving the membership, and that alone gives me confidence that our family will always be taken care of. I can’t wait to see what this next chapter brings for us as we serve God together in the years to come.