One of the things we like to do once a year is a family photo shoot. Thank goodness for newfound health and self confidence or that would be the furthest thing from my mind! But, also, there was a period in time where I had lots of snap shots of me and the girls or just the girls, but no photos of what I would consider “family” as we just didn’t feel complete. When Ryan and I first started dating, I was happy with myself and where I was at in life. I was working as a Registered Nurse with decent hours and pay, we had a sweet little apartment where I felt safe with the girls, we had a new car, and life was “normal” for the most part. But, I was searching for that partner who would make me better and stronger, however, I was determined to not have anymore children. After all, I was burned before and felt my “time” for all of that was over. Ryan did not have any children of his own which created a few intense conversations over the course of dating. Last year’s family photos revealed part of our story in one candid photo that I know our photographer had no clue she was capturing, but God did. It is so on His purpose that this was captured with my arm turned just right. That tattoo you see on my arm was designed by Ryan and I and is basically our love story. We put a lot of thought into it and it means a lot to both of us. When he first came into the family, he was somehow nicknamed, “Buttercup” so there are buttercup flowers in the tattoo. The letter with our initials on it represents the one and only time I’ve probably been speechless, the day I tried to tell him I loved him for the first time. I had tried to say those words on a few occasions and just could not spit them out. So, I wrote a letter to him and sat beside him while he read it. The date and clock pictured are the very first day and exact time that we met. We have been together ever since.
As I shared, there was a time when we were dating that I wasn't sure I wanted more babies. Thankfully, he stuck it out with me and as you see, here is the precious baby we DID have. Our love story is partially represented in this photo and the Lord created this moment captured right here to remind me of what leaning into Him will do in a person's life. Once I stopped seeking the ways of the world, and turned to Him, He delivered more to my life than I ever thought possible. I thank God for His love and patience, and giving Ryan that love and patience for me, as well. A different life awaits you when you lean in to God and listen for His words to guide you.