Feel free to cozy up with your favorite beverage (if you're like me, then maybe it's an espresso over ice with a splash of cream, or a warm matcha latte if it's cold outside!) and stay awhile. This is my place to share not just beautiful weddings or sessions, but to share my life. My hope is through this, you'll get to know a bit more about me and all the beautiful people that make it worth living!
I remember being a little girl, watching Anne of Green Gables over and over, wondering what it would be like to have a friendship like Anne and Diana. I remember watching it, trying to really decipher what a “bosom friend” was. Because, you see…I’d never experienced that. I say that in past tense because early this year, God knew I needed someone before I did.
We first met in April of 2013 when she walked in the door of our first official Delight retreat and I immediately just lit up when I heard her vivacious little giggle from around the corner. We washed dishes together and spent time with each other, but it was plain. Should I say maybe it just wasn’t God’s timing? I look back on that time and just laugh.
In March of 2014, we had our very first Delight Intensive retreat and Jessica flew in early with another dear friend, Ashlynne and we spent a night together fighting off cougars (not really, we were just prepared to), preparing for the intensive to begin and grocery shopping. I remember Jessica and Ashlynne landing in Wenatchee and her luggage being misplaced, which led to a spontaneous trip to Target for some retail therapy and their first experience of Dutch Bros Coffee. I mean, it was only fitting for the circumstances ;)
I remember being in a place emotionally and spiritually where I was just beginning to wrestle with so much, craving things but I didn’t know what. But I felt like in order for me to even understand, I needed to be stripped away, cleaned, vulnerable, etc. I just didn’t know what that looked like or how to get there. On one of the last days at the retreat, I remember waking up with the flu. Except…I was the only one who got sick. Looking back, the symbolism that God was in the very beginning stages of emptying me in order to fill me back up with truth. With life. With hope.
Jessica stayed by my side and proved how loyal and faithful and true of a friend she is. She did my laundry for me and my dishes, and took care of me when I was well…miserable.
Her and Ashlynne blessed me so much on that day. And every day since. They were there at 4 am when we left to go to the airport and my car had been broken into. They were there when my life started to crumble and break down and they called me to get me out of bed, texted me every day all day to just be. To encourage me, to make sure I was taking care of myself when I didn’t know how. God did a mighty work in me and has continued to since that very day in March.
Jessica has been there through all of it. I mean she would be laughing at me right now when I say that I’m like wiping tears off my keyboard as I type this. It’s kind of pathetic how much we just adore each other. In the best way possible. She’s the person that God knew I would need when I didn’t even know how to ask.
She flew in for nine days in May to photograph my brother’s wedding. She came into my little world that had completely shattered and she was the friend who got me out of bed…again. She was…she was exactly what I needed to begin healing from so much hurt in my life.
It’s incredible to me how five feet, four inches, a head of the most beautiful red curly hair, and a heart bigger than the Atlantic came into my life and has encouraged me, laughed with me, cried with me, and walked with me through so much. I’m just going to put her words here where mine are lacking:
I sobbed and ached and hurt because sometimes God asks us to do things that are gosh dang hard. And sometimes obedience is the most difficult process you will ever experience. But throughout it all, in every season, in every day, I saw the goodness of the Lord. Oh, what a sure strong promise that is! God’s word was my lifeboat this summer. I could not have navigated the waters of deep sorrow and grief without His ever hopeful word.
What a gift she has been. What a gift that God has blessed me with. I think if there’s one thing specifically that I have been flooded with over and over, is that God allows seasons in our lives. He allows the four seasons, but in our lives we are always in a season. If you were to define the word season, it means a time characterized by a specific circumstance or feature.
I think Jess and I would both nod in unison when I say that this year has been a year of defining seasons for both of us. I look back on who we were before God wrecked our hearts in the kitchen in April of 2013…and our hearts in March of 2014, to where we were in May…to two weeks ago in Georgia.
I can’t wait Jess. I can’t wait to continue to watch God unfold and bring us through more pain, more sorrow, more suffering…because that’s where the greatest joy is found. It’s an honor and privilege to be in it together. To call you my very dearest friend. I absolutely treasure you. I treasure our almost-nightly phone dates and every ripple of laughter or stream of tears that we’ve shed and shared. I am so honored to have walked through this year with you.
Today you turn eighteen. But really, age matters…not at all. Because I look at you and I see a woman with so much wisdom, so much talent, so much beauty inside and out, and so much potential to become even greater and I can’t wait to walk alongside you as you do things that are far better and far greater than you could ask or imagine because of Jesus in you. Jesus in you is so beautiful. It’s absolutely beautiful.
Jess, I think we’ve both learned that our plans are so different than God’s. There’s so much beauty in letting His will overtake our lives, and oh my gosh He has. What a beautiful place it is and what a safe haven to rest. I’m so thankful for you. I’m so thankful for your friendship, for your heart, for every little quirk and unique thing about you that makes you who you are. I love that we literally have lived the same life in two different states and walked through so much of the same struggles in different places…together.
The word in-season means, “at the right time” or “at the appointed time”. I believe so strongly that God allows things to happen in His time, because that is the right time. And He has orchestrated and cultivated our friendship from that very day in April.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says, “Two are better than one; because they have a good return for their work. If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up.”
I don’t even know what I did when you weren’t in my life. God knew the season in which we would be brought together to be as close as we are now. I’m so, so stinking thankful for you Jess. I’m so proud of the woman you are and the heart you have that passionately loves and seeks to honor Jesus. Thank you for challenging me and encouraging me to continue to seek the heart of a true Proverbs 31 woman and for being right there beside me.
I wish we could be together today more than anything in the world…but hey, I mean a few weeks away isn’t bad ;) November can’t come soon enough.
You’re my favorite curly, red headed beauty :: and you’re the most brilliant, talented, gorgeous, patient, kind, genuine, loyal, faithful person I’ve quite possibly ever known.
Looking forward to when we’re 80. <3 xoxoxo
:: many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all. proverbs 31:29
Oh these are just gorgeous, Emily!!! Can’t wait to meet you both in November!!
*casually crying over here* this is so so beautiful.
and jessica is a complete gem. <3