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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Comiskey

Kingdom Kindness: June Bride

We celebrate Pride Month by showcasing Jesus’ Kingdom kindness: how His love invites and enables sexually wounded people to become fruitful. May every testimony we feature this June persuade you that ‘the kindness of God leads us to repentance’ (Rom. 2:4).  

 

Amanda Smith insisted that her wedding kick off Pride Month. ‘I want to start my new life with Rich by declaring that Jesus really changes lives.’ Amanda lives Gospel transformation: from gender dysphoria and intense same-sex attraction to a woman of beauty and reason, now ready for the love of a good man.


Amanda and Rich

Her fiancé Rich agreed and put the pedal to the metal to ensure a well-organized wedding on June 1st. He shares Amanda’s commitment to embodying redemption as a couple; his story of a stoney heart becoming tender complements Amanda’s trek beautifully.

 

He mused: ‘When Jesus is at the center, there is always hope. He offers redemption to everyone, me included. I took Him up on it.’ Though I’ve had the privilege of mentoring Amanda for years (she came to DSM from Montana in search of a healing community), I’ve walked with Rich for the last year and love how this hard-edged dude (a veteran of some seriously bad relationships with women, made worse by some seriously crazy fundamentalism as a kid) now addresses others with moist eyes and words attuned to their needs.

 

Amanda asked me to vet Rich a year ago. As I walked with him through Living Waters, I witnessed his heart becoming infused with Divine Mercy, first for his own failures then welling up to love this woman. He invested considerable energy trying to persuade Amanda that he was worthy of her love. ‘She was hard to get, a straight shooter, but always from a place of kindness in Jesus. I’ve known many women who claimed to be Christian and lived otherwise. Amanda walks in truth like no other.’

 

His focus helped persuade Amanda: ‘He didn’t let up. I could see his love for Jesus was deep and growing. But I needed to know that we could walk and talk out real things that came up in our relationship.’

 

Finding the right words to express hard things—a challenge for both. Rich is on a crash course in constructive communication. And for Amanda, who grew up with a volatile mother, Rich’s words can provoke old wounds. ‘It’s not easy discerning his good intentions from “accusation.” We are learning to expose our vulnerabilities to each other’ (e.g. wounds, ‘vulnus’ in Latin), said Amanda. For Rich, that means emerging from the shadow of a failed marriage and the threat that he is capable of dishonoring Amanda.

 

‘Harming Amanda gives me holy fear,’ he admitted. ‘I am motivated to not repeat my past sins against women toward her.’ He stands tall for Amanda, but on trembling legs. She in turn dignifies Rich, based on the training Amanda has undertaken to dignify men. When asked how she sorted out challenges with more than a few dating relationships that preceded Rich, she replied, ‘I chose to see each man as a gift, to have compassion on him. Wasn’t too hard; God did the same for me.’     


Amanda with friends Abbey (left) and Erin (right)

Kingdom kindness. Jesus gave Himself freely to both, and both are taking Him at His Word, one day at a time. Together, Rich and Amanda are growing exponentially as Kingdom citizens.

 

‘As 40-somethings, we want people to hope for partnership,’ said Amanda. ‘We hope our marriage can bear witness to the unfailing love He shows two who entrust themselves to Him.’ ‘And we want the Body of Christ to reveal Jesus’ tenderness and power to hurting people,’ added Rich. ‘He’s perfect, we’re broken, but we can make Him known better.’


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6 comentários


Convidado:
04 de jun.

Congratulations! How wonderful! ♥️

Curtir

libbybb
01 de jun.

So good! A seed of hope in the desert. Thank you!! From Newww Zeaaaland ❣️

Curtir

Bhagya Shaju
Bhagya Shaju
01 de jun.

Congratulations Amanda & Rich.. so happy to see this marvellous work of God 😍

Curtir

treygay13
01 de jun.

Congratulations! May our both experience love, joy and peace in your marriage. I appreciate your reminder that God deemed us worthy of His perfect love and as a result, we she have that same kind of grace when we love our spouse as best we can!

Curtir

Michael Skelton
Michael Skelton
01 de jun.

Congratulations to you both. Thank you for your faith and courage to pursue one another as you pursue Jesus. I pray for blessings, health, continued healing, and great fruitfulness as you continue to make Jesus known through your faithfulness and testimony.

Curtir
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