G>^V = God is Greater Than My Highs and Lows
It's taken me over 10 months to decide whether or not I want to share this story. I spend hours and hours behind this computer, writing beautiful facts and truths about my brides, grooms and wonderful clients after learning about their love stories.
I have three major loves in my life:
1.My love for my Great Danes
2. My love for Love
3. And most importantly, my love for Jesus Christ
If you've been tuned it at all for the last 10 months on my personal social media accounts, you've probably noticed a lot of scripture posts to give me strength and hope, and then moments of reality that set in at my fingertips, typing deep pain that will be with me for the rest of my life.
I remember being a little girl, never dreaming about the perfect wedding, or the perfect dress, nor the perfect shoes or accessories. I only dreaming about the perfect husband for me. The husband that would have flaws, as myself, but together we both would learn to adapt and grow old until death do us part.
I never thought the death of our marriage, would come two years after we said "I do" in front of all of our loved ones, in the beautiful chapel where both my father's mother and grandmother got married, on the date my mother's mother was married, March 23, 2018, and most importantly, in the presence of God.
Before I begin my story, I realize there are many people who may read this. Those who may feel empathy, those who may take and learn something out of my story, or those who may wonder why I have decided to share something so personal about my journey. And whether or not your are one of these, I pray that you read this with a soft heart, knowing that every person in my story has been affected and is grieving in some type of way, and to have compassion for all parties who were involved. Because this one incident will forever be part of our lives.
But the truth to all of this is, I want to share my story because I want you to know who is behind the camera when it comes to saying your vows to your future bride or groom. I want you to know how important those vows mean, not just to capture a photo for your album, but as scripture writing on your hearts.
I was never popular, not in elementary school, middle school, high school, and college wasn't any easier. In high school, I had eggs thrown at me in the middle of the hallway before the bell rang for first period; after school, boys would be screaming at me out of their cars windows while I was driving pass them, calling me names that I wish not to repeat. I was known as "Christian Kristie" which I came to love after growing my faith in Christ, and college where bets were made and privacy was invaded, only for prideful moments to be proven.
But I had my faith, every step of the way. I have never been the perfect Christian, but today, I strive to be one every morning I wake up.
Since 2013, before I had purchased my first house, I had the dream to move to Colorado where my sister and brother-in-law lived. Having the desire to move there, I would have the luxury of being closer with family, and also having the mountains winning my heart over every morning; until two months later, when I had met THAT husband I had been dreaming of since I was a little girl.
The story before we met, isn't a pretty one. We were both lost in our faith when we found each other, but only to get it right with God, fall in love, get married, and on April 24, 2019, we both decided to give our lives to Jesus Christ in front of hundreds of people. We were both baptized in the same water. one right after another.
It was such a beautiful day and still is!
The first year of marriage is exactly what I was told it was going to be, hard. We had a lot of stressors that most couples deal with many years into marriage, but we were faced with them our first year of marrige while adjusting to being one, and learning to be a spouse and make ourselves a better person for our marriage, ourselves, and God. Neither one of us was perfect. We were both learning to adapt to living as "one" and we did not do a great job with it. I am guilty of my own personal flaws which I strive to fix everyday. But we kept fighting, and fighting to save our marriage, one counselor after another, because of the love we shared for each other, and our commitment to God.
But I never expected our love story to take a drastic turn, for the worst.
October 4, 2019
That was the date. If any man or woman has experienced the pain of broken vows, they will forever remember the date, or season in which it was exposed.
That was also the date before a beautiful wedding I was about to capture when I had received, that evening, what I had thought was a Facebook message from a husband wanting beautiful professional photos for him, his wife and family, but instead, it was a man sharing with me the true end of my love story, even though my husband and I had already decided on a path for our future.
The one vow we promised together that would never be broken, and it had been broken between my husband and this man's fiancee, who were clients of mine, who I was also about to take photos of them celebrating their engagement.
I'm sharing this photo below, for every one of my couples, for them to take marriage as seriously as I took it, to anyone that is thinking about stepping out on their marriage before any counseling has been fully invested in for months, and before the divorce has been decided and finalized, to think deeply about the long term consequences and effects, with or without known issues already in the marriage, the pain you‘re about to cause not only to your spouse, but to yourself. But before I reveal this photo, I want to show you how social media can hide our pain with the photo on the right which was posted on April 29, 2020.
And today, I'm sharing with you my pain, my healing and forgiveness that I want to extend to everyone involved. Forgiveness to my husband, forgiveness to his mistress, and forgiveness to myself. Because there is no such thing, as a perfect Christian and we are all susceptible to sin, and worthy of forgiveness.
This photo was taken 7 months after D-day.
But before you continue reading, the photo you are about to see is embarrassing, painful, real, heart-wrenching and deep.
This was taken right after my one on one therapy session with my Christan counselor. I am in no way looking for empathy or sympathy, but only to show the pain caused when vows are broken and reality of what broken vows can do to a marriage, and spouse when social media is put to the side, and the truth sinks in when you're in your moment of grief, surrounded physically by only 4 walls, and gratefully two beautiful Great Danes who have felt my pain when no one was around.
This type of pain doesn't just disappear, like a boyfriend breaking up with you, or a scrap on the knee after falling off your bike, or the loss of a championship game. And I don't want to dismiss the fact that the examples listed above are painful. They are! They are part of growing and becoming stronger, just as this type of pain I'm experiencing, will make be a stronger and wiser Christian.
On this day, I had decided to do my make up to feel beautiful again, and to also lift my spirits up while going through a divorce during a pandemic, having little family and friends close by, but also completely forgetting I had a virtual session with my counselor on this day. I did not expect our session to bring out this amount of emotion from inside of me that I was pushing deep down so I didn't have to feel it. I thought I was healed.
This pain is deep. It's not just a broken relationship, it's a broken future, a broken promise, a broken covenant, broken hope for a future of having children, one that held so much hope, and foundation to your life.
This photo is completely unedited. But I wanted to capture this photo to show the deep pain our decisions can cause even after months of healing, and thinking it's all over.
This isn't just pain you see, this is grief. Completely unedited.
My Sincere Messages To You
To my husbands mistress, I want you to know that as badly as this has caused so much turmoil in my life, I still pray for your heart and your marriage. I want you to be happy. I want you to be at peace, and I want you to forgive yourself.
To the mistresses fiance, now husband, thank you for reaching out and exposing the truth to me along with your kind words. I pray your marriage is beautiful and you both can grow from this experience, giving your baby girls the strong foundation they need to strive in this world we live in.
To my husband, you will always be my diamond in a rough, the miracle I got to witness, but most importantly and from the bottom of my heart, I forgive you. I will always hold a special place for you deep in my heart. I pray for you everyday. I will always have a love for you that can never be explained to another person, and only for God to know and understand.
And to the most important person(s) reading this, whether that is in 7 weeks, 7 months or 7 years; my husband’s future wife and to my future husband. I am praying for us and our new marriages, that God can give us the life that I always knew my husband could provide, and the life that I always knew I could provide to my husband. The life we wanted, but if it wasn't in our plan for us to have that life together, even though God hates divorce, then I hope God uses our pain and decisions for our future marriages, to bless them and have beautiful families while shining your light.
So if you’re still reading this, and you're thinking about marriage, and the commitment to your upcoming marriage, please know, that marriage is so real. And so is the pain if you choose certain paths.
1 Peter 5:8
Be alert and of sober mind.
Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
If you’re a bride or groom reading this, look at the photo above, and make sure you’re in this 100% without any doubts and you’re spiritually and emotionally mature and also happy with where you are in your career, because when you say “I do” I want you to mean it, placing God first, then your marriage, then everything else, and to walk out those words faithfully, for the rest of your life. And if you're reading this thinking you want to be married, but maybe you need a little more time to grow into the husband or wife you want to be, take that pause, and don't rush this. Because when you examine yourself, and come to realize "Yes! I'm 100% ready" or "I'm so in love, and because I'm so in love with this person, I need more time to grow into the perfect spouse for them while remaining together" then you will be at peace with your decision and I'll be there to capture your day!
And when you do make that decision, I want you both to know that while you're exchanging your vows, not only am I capturing your moments, but I'm praying for you every step of the way, so you may experience a lifetime filled with true joy and happiness, placing God in the center of your hardships and blessings.
And for my love story, well....
......that’s still being written by God, and in meantime, He is making my paths straight and keeping His promises.
Today I am healthy, healing and excited for the next season God has planned for me.
Until then, I will shine His light and my story to anyone who may be struggling with pain of betrayal, or pain of causing betrayal. Whatever position you are in, you are forgiven in the name of Jesus Christ! Read that again.
Thank you for allowing me to share my story, of falling in love with Trusting Jesus through my trials and most importantly with the Faith and Hope Jesus Christ provides to me (and you) everyday and who got me through it ALL because "God Is Greater Than Our Highs and Lows."
If you read this and find just one sentence that helps you in anyway, then I've done my job. I am blessed. And please know, to this day, I praying for all parties who were affected; for healing, for strength, for comfort, but mostly, for growth in our faith.
Together, we have all gained something from this situation, even with something as painful as this experience. God uses our pain and mistakes, for His glory.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose"
I can't wait to see how He will use me for His future purposes. And maybe it starts by sharing my story, on this platform I've used for two years, to share yours.
I love you all and please let me know how I can pray for you. And everyday, with Jesus Christ in our hearts, we are forgiven.
Thank you for taking time out of your day, to read my story of love. Forgiveness is Love. And I am deeply in love, with Love!
In Jesus's Name.