"The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of joy instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.
They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations."
Good grief, this couple. First and foremost, the above passage was the center of their day, the center of their love story, and beautifully depicts the heartbeat of their marriage. Secondly, I cannot talk about them without sharing a bit of the backstory that brought us together.
Allie and Thomas had planned their wedding day, and due to some really difficult and unfortunate circumstances, had to postpone it. Trusting that the Lord was going to provide for them, whatever that looked like, their amazing families rallied together to make sure they had the day they had always wanted, even if it wasn't the date they had planned. I, on the other hand, had been praying for work for a few specific dates in May. I had left my spring schedule open for some family weddings, and was trusting that the Lord would fill in the gaps I needed. Amazingly, when my friend Benjamin Alfaro (one of my favorite videographers to work with) sent Allie my way, not only was I free on her wedding date (even though it was only ten weeks away), it was one of the specific dates I had been praying over to fill up. I love the way that the Lord weaves people together, orchestrating circumstances that aren't ideal to make something beautiful, and truly working all things out for our good.
This day went so smoothly, the bridal party was a blast, and I had my sweet friend Lindsay shooting alongside me, who brought so much to the day with her kindness and calm nature. Allie and Thomas decided to pour ashes into a jar, instead of sand, to represent Isaiah 61, and their pain being replaced with joy. Plus, they danced to "We Dance" by Steffany Frizzell Gretzinger of Bethel Music, so there wasn't a dry eye in the place. Allie and Thomas, thank you for allowing me to be a part of this day. Your beauty-from-ashes story will continue to impact others as you continue on your journey. Thank you for loving people so well, and for being such a beautiful picture of grace and redemption. Grateful for you!