I made this blog because a photo of my husband and I has gone viral on the internet. I wanted to share the story behind the photo for the hundreds of thousands of people who found inspiration through this sweet moment we had.
The Story Behind the Photo
Moments before I was to walk down the aisle my soon to be mother in law came in the dressing room where my bridesmaids and I were all gushing with giggles and fluttering about finishing last minute details.
"Sweetheart, your groom has called for you!".
In a nervous tizzy I said, “What?! I’m not ready! I have to get my shoes and…” She had already taken my hand and led me to a corner, where my groom was waiting. I barely sat down; I was filled with so much anticipation! So much excitement! So many nerves!
"Is he going to like my dress? Does my hair look pretty? Can he see me?!"
Right around the corner sat my soon to be husband, I so was nervous he might see me yet secretly hoping to catch a glimpse of him. In my excited state I was the first to speak,
"Hi sweetie! We’re getting married today!"
"I know baby and I want to pray with you before we do."
There we sat around the corner hand in hand, and together we bowed our heads. People were rushing about; the wedding coordinator directing people here and there, the photographers snapping photos and the bridal party enjoying each others company. Yet in that moment, in the quietness of our hearts and minds, my husband and I were alone in the presence of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
My husband prayed that God would bless our marriage, that through thick or thin together we would never lose hope in one another. That instead of focusing on each others imperfections we would always rely on Christ’s perfection. That we would wake up every day and chose to love one another not through our own strength but by the power of Christ’s perfect love.
With our hands clenched tightly to one another together we said “Amen”, both with shaky voice and just like that I was whisked away to blot the tears off my face and put on my veil.
After my bridesmaids, mother, mother-in-law and every other girl in the room had finished zipping, curling, tucking and blushing me up I looked in the mirror. There I stood wearing my pure white wedding dress, ready to walk down the aisle to my Prince Charming.
See, he is not only my Prince Charming because of his incredibly handsome looks, or wonderful humor, or the fact that we have so much in common. He is my Prince Charming because he helped me protect the most precious gift that I owned, my purity.
Soon after we had started dating I nervously told my Prince that I was a virgin and planned to be until the night of my wedding; to which he replied he would have it no other way.
Throughout our dating relationship and engagement we constantly fought, what at times felt like a losing battle. We fought temptation with prayer, scripture and accountability. I had friends checking up on me if they knew we were together late at night and he regularly met with other Godly men to pray for strength. At times, especially as the wedding grew closer, we thought we were attempting to do the impossible.
“Why are we doing this?” I would ask in my weakness, and he would remind me, that it’s because God had told us too.
“I can’t do it, I can’t… this is too hard!” he would confess to me and I would pray for his strength.
When I walked down the aisle in my white dress, I looked straight into the eyes of the man that had laid himself down to protect and honor the wife that God had given him.
When his eyes first caught mine he looked into the face of the woman that had waited for him, the woman that would support him and love him for the rest of His life, through good times and bad.
I share all of this because in that prayer we prayed, which was captured here on camera we asked the Lord to use our wedding to bring Him all of the glory that He rightfully deserved. We had not gotten where we were by our own strength, but by His hand of protection on our relationship.
God has used this photo to inspire hundreds of thousands of people already and for that we are humbled and honored! I wanted to take it a step further and give God praise and thanks for how we arrived at that quiet corner, holding hands and ready to begin our lives together.
(photo by the incredible Kim Burke, www.kdburkephotography.com)
"while sitting on brighton beach (UK) back in 2005 with my new girlfriend, verity, i thought the view of our feet pointing out to sea would make a nice photo. ever since then we’ve continued to document our travels in this way, resulting in a collection of over 100 photos. in 2011 the series took a new twist with the arrival of a third set of feet – our daughter matilda. you can already see her little feet getting bigger and bigger." - text and photos by tom robinson
photos: arbol de piedra, bolivia; nahuel huapi national park, argentina; machu picchu, peru; bâlea lake, romania; blue mountains, australia; ko pha-ngan, thailand; st. georges hospital, london; cabo de são vicente, portugal; voje valley, near stara fužina, slovenia; london, england
In scripture, God had a place of provision for Elijah. He gave specific instructions, and as long as Elijah obeyed, he would walk right in to His place of blessing.
Just as God directed Elijah to his place of blessing, God is directing you, too. He’s aligning the right opportunities for you and causing the right people to come along your path to help you get ahead. He’s constantly working behind the scenes on your behalf. But you have to do your part to keep your heart in the right place by following His Word. That means living in peace and unity. The Bible says that when we live in unity with other believers, there He has commanded the blessing. And when your heart is in the place of blessing, the rest of your life will be in the place of blessing, too!
Concerns and problems flood our minds. There is always so much to do! But, God wants the very best for you but you just have to know how to recognize it and lay hold of it.
If you’ve ever said to yourself, “I don’t even have time to think,” then you know how hard it is to concentrate when you’re being bombarded from all sides. It’s even harder to focus on God when we can’t take time to renew our minds and refresh our spirits by quiet reflection. God doesn’t often shout to get our attention. Instead, He usually speaks to us in “a still small voice” (1 Kings 19:12, NKJV).
So, what can we do to put ourselves in a position to hear God’s voice? We have to make time in our daily lives to get quiet. David said of the Lord in Psalm 23:2, “He leads me beside quiet waters.” Today I want to encourage you to find those quiet waters where you can get alone with the Lord. It may be a room in your house, outside under the trees, or some other place where you can shut out the noise and distractions of the world for just a few precious minutes. The key to renewing your mind, body and spirit is to develop the habit and discipline of meditating on the Word of God every day — even if it is for just a moment.
…love is kind… 1 Corinthians 13:4, NIV.
One translation of today’s simple verse says that “love looks for a way to be constructive.” In other words, love looks for ways to improve someone else’s life. Love brings out the best in other people. Don’t just get up in the morning thinking about yourself or how you can make your own life better. Think about how you can make someone else’s life better. Ask yourself, “Who can I encourage today?” “Who can I build up?” You have something to offer those around you that no one else can give. Someone in your life needs your encouragement. Someone in your life needs to know that you believe in them. I believe God will hold us responsible for the people He’s put in our lives. He’s counting on us to bring out the best in our family and friends.
Are you improving the lives of those around you? Are you pouring confidence in them? Why don’t you ask the Lord to give you creative ways to bring out the best in others? As you sow into the lives of others, God will send people along your path that will build you up so that you can embrace every blessing He has in store for you.
When we give Jesus our absolute best—our time, talent and resources, it is truly an act of worship. We are saying with our actions, “God, You mean more to me than anything. Because You are so awesome, I want to give You everything that I am.” It pleases Him when we come to Him with this attitude. When we draw near to Him with an open and humble heart, He draws near to us. Remember to always give Him your best and watch Him open doors of blessing in every area of your life!
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He also has planted eternity in men’s hearts and minds, a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy (Ecclesiastes 3:11 AMP).
God has placed eternity in the hearts of mankind. Everything we experience not only serves a purpose here on earth, but it serves a purpose for eternity. Right now, God is working in you and putting inside of you everything you need to fulfill your eternal destiny. He is making you ready to rule and reign with Him. As long as you are moving forward and gaining strength, you are gaining eternal victory.
View what’s going on in your life with an eternal perspective. You have a higher calling; you have a greater purpose. Focus on what God is doing in your life. Don’t allow the little irritations to get you off course or distract you from what God has called you to do. Open your heart and mind and allow Him to prepare you for eternity. As you keep an eternal perspective and stay determined to be who God has called you to be you will see His hand moving in your life and you will live as an overcomer now and throughout eternity.
Praise and strength go hand in hand. When you give God praise, He gives you strength. When you thank God in advance for the answer, that’s what keeps you encouraged.
Remember, you’re not going to stay strong in faith by complaining. Complaining drains you of strength and energy. You’re not going to stay determined if you’re talking about how bad it is. No, switch over into praise. “Business may be slow, but Lord, I want to thank You that You prosper me even in a desert.” “The people coming against me may be powerful, but Lord, I want to thank You that You are all-powerful.” Praise will keep you moving forward!
So often we think, “I’ll give God praise after the problem turns around.” But if you don’t learn this principle to thank God in advance, you won’t have the strength you need to wait for the promise. Every morning when you wake up, start the day by saying, “Father, thank You that my dreams are coming to pass. Thank You that this problem is turning around. Thank You that You are bigger than this obstacle.” Keep praising Him and keep receiving His strength so you can boldly embrace the victory He has for you!