Become a Licensed Wedding Officiant
My name is Melanie, and I’m married to a wonderful man. We live in West Michigan, USA. I’m a mother to two incredible young adults and pug mama to Gracie and Gus. The youngest of four children, I grew up in northern Michigan. My mom was an excellent homemaker, and I’m actually “the mailman’s daughter.” My dad was a mail carrier for over 30 years until he retired. He was also a Navy veteran. Unfortunately, both of my parents have left for Heaven. I want to share what led me to become a licensed wedding officiant through the Christian Leaders Institute (Learn more about online Bible classes, Click Here).
My parents raised me to know and love Jesus. Every Sunday, we were in church, something I’ve continued to do and instill in my own family. Unfortunately, I was married for nearly 16 years to a man who became my abuser. On the final day of our marriage, he attacked me at gunpoint in our home and took his own life in front of me. That was, of course, terribly traumatic for my children and me, even though they weren’t home at the time. They were at school, and for that, I am thankful. Although this has greatly affected them, they didn’t witness any of it firsthand.
We forged ahead after that. We had no choice. In the months after, we had to move from our beloved home and find the proverbial “new normal.” At ages 9 and 13, they struggled to make sense of any part of what happened. I was 40 and had the same struggle. There were no answers, and we had so many questions. However, our family and church family were the hands and feet of Jesus. They supported us, helped us move, showed up to my children’s games and activities, and loved us through this.
Through those most challenging times, my children and I clung tightly to Jesus. He was our refuge, our father, provider, supporter, and shield. Friends would ask me how I didn’t just collapse. My answer consisted of only two words: “Only God.” Only God can get us through the hard things. Though I had to walk through some very dark days and nights, He was with me. When I begged Him to stop the pain, God comforted me with the knowledge that it wouldn’t last forever. After a while, I knew that He was molding me. He was forming the broken pieces of my heart and life back together in a beautiful new shape that would be stronger than ever before. He was creating something new in me, and there was purpose in that pain.
Jesus brought new people, new opportunities, biblical therapists, friends, hope, and laughter. Gradually, we started to heal. And, eventually, God brought a new man into our lives, a man who loved the Lord, me, and my children as his own. This fall, 2021, we will be married for nine happy years. Although my children are now adults, they asked my husband to adopt them. As of this June, the adoption was finalized, and he is their father.
Beauty From Ashes
Through all of those years of pain and healing and new things, I started writing again. God used that as a tool of catharsis and healing for me. Eventually, I started a blog and attended a writers conference, which opened many new doors. I’ve contributed to many blogs, a print newspaper, was an editor and writer for an online Christian women’s magazine, and am writing my first book.
Beauty from ashes came true for me. God took a challenging story that spanned the years and brought beauty, healing, and writing endeavors. I aim to encourage others through my blog and social media. I share about Jesus, abuse survival, and chronic illness (because I have several). God is good. I am so grateful for His mercy and enveloping love, both for myself and my sweet children. They are both fantastic, responsible adults who love the Lord, and I am so grateful.
Finding CLI to Become a Licensed Wedding Officiant
My daughter is getting married this year, and she and her fiance asked me to officiate their wedding. I immediately set about researching how I could achieve this credential. I knew I could go online and probably pay some money and be ordained with little effort. But I wanted more. I wanted to have some Christian education behind my licensure and guidance on making my daughter’s wedding biblical and as meaningful as possible.
I found Christian Leaders Institute online, and I knew it was a God thing. Their physical office was just a few miles from my home! I was so excited and started my education right away. It wasn’t difficult, but it was highly informative and mapped out a path for biblical marriage and a biblical marriage ceremony. I am so thankful I found CLI and can’t wait to share more about the wedding.