Celeste and Stanford had the most incredible forest wedding in the Redwoods of Northern California! Their wedding day was completely magical, and just full of love. Surrounded by so many friends and family, you could tell these two were very special to so many people. Their love story is one for the books!
Stanford and I are from opposite ends of this country. He is from the East and I from the West. God brought us to Arizona within three months from each other. God brought me to Chandler after He blessed me with the beginning of my career at Intel. Stanford was brought here after his Costa Rica GAP Year when his parents moved from Buffalo, NY to Chandler.
We met at a young adult group called Camber. The group usually goes out to eat after the sermon and I really wanted to go to a restaurant called Culinary Dropout. I had seen Stanford before a few times but never spoke to him. This time he was around my group of friends so I asked him if he wanted to join us to eat. He seemed new and I was the new girl briefly before and did not want him to feel left out!
Once we got to the restaurant, Stanford spent the whole time getting to know me. It was great! We found out we had a lot in common and then he asked for my number.
We talked here and there. My friends and I were hanging out a day later at my apartment and I sent him a text to come over to hang out. He did, and we all decided to take a trip to Sedona the next morning. Everyone bailed except my friend Alexis and Colin. Stanford still wanted to come and so we went on our first adventure.
We hung out from then on frequently and our friendship grew. We were the best of friends and we grew very close and so did our feelings. Stanford was convinced that in order to be a missionary that God was calling him to be single and so our friendship hit many bumps as we both grew extremely fond of each other. At some point it became to much that we stopped being friends, that did not last very long though. Stanford kept somehow trickling back into my life, and then one night God had put on my heart to ask him about his walk with Christ. I refused to talk to Stanford, I did not want to as I was trying very hard to push away all feelings and just focus on my walk with Christ. An old teacher from High School had told me to read a book called Passion and Purity by Elizabeth Elliot, my teacher did not have many details about my life and so when I began to read the book, it was a bit scary.
The book chapter by chapter came along my life. Elizabeth, every chapter I read was experiencing exactly what I was going through. Every chapter, Elizabeth and I pursued our Lord together.
Finally after Stanford had somehow successfully invited himself over a few times with our friends, I decided to talk to him. This was only after, I had promised God I would if He gave me a sign. That summer night, God did and I had to obey. I asked him about his walk and we began to talk about the hardships he was going through, this went on until the early morning the next day.
A few days later Stanford asked me for help getting his father a gift for his birthday. He picked me up, and oh boy was I nervous. When we got to the mall, he asked me if I know why we were there and I answered him that it was to get a gift for his father. He smiled and said, “Not exactly.” He exclaimed to me that on that one night I talked to him, God had previously revealed me to him, as the woman he needed to pursue for marriage. He asked if he could pursue me and I of course, said yes. He told me that was good because he was going to pursue me anyway because God told him too.
The rest is pretty much history. It has been such a fulfilling and character growing relationship. God used Stanford incredibly as a means to grow me as a woman of God. He has been with us as we have gone through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, leading us to quiet waters and green pastures. He countless times restores our soul and teaches us about His great love for us through each other and through His faithfulness. He has been beyond faithful in both of our lives and continues to be faithful. We owe everything to our GOD, including our relationship. It is only by His grace that we are together and have experienced so many wonderful and hard things and I would never trade it for anything!