The couple who extended much grace
Last week was a whirlwind of emotions and all I wanted to do was move on to the next week. Some of you know that I am a photographer and last week I faced the one thing that I never wanted to face, telling a bride a few days prior to her wedding day that I might not make it. The amount of tears I shed was unreal. I cried all day as I built up to calling her to tell her the news. I wanted to crawl in a hole and never come out, EVER.
So you all know that my husband has been in a level of pain makes the ability to walk near to impossible. His pain has gotten so bad that when standing he threw up because the pain is unbearable, which this stops him from being able to travel. I found myself stuck in hard position. Telling my bride that I couldn't come because I needed to care for my sick husband or leaving him in pain to photograph. THIS WAS ONE OF THE HARDEST DECISIONS I'VE HAD TO MAKE. A brides wedding happens ONCE but my husband HURTS... I just cried and cried.
Talking to Lindsey, the bride, about what was happening was the HARDEST. She cried. She also graciously related to Matt, as she struggles with pain from her autoimmune disease but she also expressed her desire to have ME there. She said she wanted no one else. She expressed how she chose me. My plan was to hire someone I trusted to photograph the day for me but she expressed how much she didn't love that idea, and I didn't blame her. Lindsey and I had bonded over the last several months and she trusted me with one of the biggest days of life. I got off the phone, my face fell into my hands and more tears strolled down. I began to desperately reach out to people to go with me. Matt said GO GO GO, you need to be there! So low and behold I found myself booking tickets for another photographer to fly to Tulum and photograph with me. Another photographer friend connected us and to my surprise Alfonso was available to join me. I quickly called Lindsey and told her "I AM COMING"!!! Her tone of voice was overwhelmed with relief. My heart was full and though I was struggling with leaving Matt behind, as well as some of my own fears, I left early Friday morning.
I had shared some of my fears with Matt and he told me how much he believed in me and said that this is going to empower you to see how capable you are to do even more in this life. I cried... I am so grateful to have a husband who believes in me and takes time to push me beyond what I think I am capable of.
So off I went. I had my bags in hand, passport and camera. I left the country. I DID IT. I was gone and I had to face whatever came my way. First hiccup, my passport and plane ticket had my name written differently. One had my middle name and the other didn't. The man helping me told me he would change my name on my plane ticket but the concern would be getting back into the country on the way home. I was thinking, great I might be stuck longer in Mexico alone.. oh well, I got to get on my plane. So first stop in Denver and then the next plane off to Cancun. I arrived in Cancun at 4:30, found Alfonso and his lady waiting for me. I had never met them before and so there I was standing with two people I didn't know. Everyone that knows me knows that it takes me time to feel comfortable around new people. I was thankful for welcoming spirit that each of them had and instantly I felt good. We drank a beer in the airport together and talked for a bit, then we went to pick up the rental car and off we were to Tulum.
Saturday we had the wedding. I was so nervous about seeing the bride, groom and their people. I knew I had added a whirlwind of emotion and stress to them and I just wanted to make to make sure I gave the best after what I did. My heart was racing as I opened the door to the bride and all her girls. I was filled with so many thoughts of what could be thought or said... but I just walked right to Lindsey and what did she do, she gave me the BIGGEST HUG! She told me how grateful she was that I was there and then she said "hows Matt?" She followed with ideas of how to help Matt and what helps her and she expressed how much she wanted him to better!! WHAT IN THE WORLD... I couldn't have asked for a better bride to have gone through the whirlwind of emotions with. So much GRACE, so much love, so much kindness, so much understanding, I am forever grateful for her. I was able to breath again knowing she was happy. I was able to pick my camera up with confidence knowing that I was entrusted with her day and I wanted to photograph the best I ever had.
The day ended up being everything dreamy and more. Lindsey and Kyle will forever hold a special place in my heart. I am feeling so honored they chose me and that they extended so much grace. I am looking forward to sharing their day on Matt and Tish so you all can see how beautiful the day was!
My time was short in Tulum and I am sad that I didn't get to explore has much I had hoped but that just means another trip will be in the near future! Most of my time was seeing all of the beautiful restaurants, shops, ocean and more through a car window as we drove and the other time was spent with a camera in hand capturing a gorgeous day. I look forward to exploring and experiencing Tulum fully.
Though there was a couple days of devastating news and then good news and all the emotion that was experienced, I learned a lot about the good in people, about myself, about my husband and I am forever grateful. When I got off the plane back in Albuquerque (yes I made it home with no issues), I had my headphones in and I was reminiscing about the last five days and all I felt was thankful and empowered. I learned more of what I am capable of and at the same time so humbled by the whole experience. I can say I NEVER EVER EVER EVER want to put a bride through that rollercoaster of emotion again. This was the first time I ever did this and I sure don't want to do it again.
Life throws curve balls at us and sometimes they are devastating but Jesus is faithful, people are good and we always learn something new to make us stronger and better people.