Thursday, May 22, 2014

stars in the darkness (anniversary photo shoot, part two)

It's hard for me to say the things
I want to say sometimes

There's no one here but you and me
And that broken old streetlight

Lock the doors
Leave the world outside

All I've got to give to you
Are these five words and I...

Thank you
For loving me

For being my eyes
When I couldn't see

For parting my lips
When I couldn't breathe

Thank you for loving me...
Thank you for loving me

I never knew I had a dream
Until that dream was you

When I look into your eyes
The sky's a different blue

Cross my heart
I wear no disguise

And if I tried you'd make believe
That you believe my lies

Thank you
 For loving me

For being my eyes
When I couldn't see

For parting my lips
When I couldn't breathe

Thank you for loving me

You pick me up when I fall down
You ring the bell before they count me out

If I was drowning you would part the sea
And risk your life to rescue me

Thank you
For loving me

When I couldn't fly
You gave me wings

You parted my lips
When I couldn't breathe

Thank you for loving me...
Thank you for loving me

~  Thank You for Loving Me (Bon Jovi)

You know friends, life is hard.

I'm not talking about not having the newest television screen or not being able to find clothes that fit... I'm talking about gut-wrenching, heart-throbbing, screaming at the darkness hardI'm talking about broken hearts, desires unfulfilled, and scared-and-lonely feelings that take hold of your soul and threaten your joy.

These aren't the sort of words that should go with these lovely, romantic pictures.  But they do. 

It is because of the hurt and trials that these pictures are so painfully beautiful to me.

Our love is real because we have held hands as stress and worry shook us.  It is real because I have rubbed my strong man's back as he forced himself to breathe through panic attacks.  It is real because Andrew has comforted me through every month that I cried because I still wasn't pregnant.
  It is real because we have disagreed, been angry, and then kissed and made up.  It is real because we held each other through the loss of our baby and can still look at each other with tear-glossed eyes, knowing someone shares the grief.
It is real because we can pack up our lives and move across the country, confident that we will be there for each other no matter what the change brings.

Okay... on a very light note... does anyone else want to hum the soundtrack from The Princess Bride after seeing this shot?  ;-)

Once I get back into the flow of "life posts"... I will have more news to share that has, once again, turned our dreams on their heads and left us standing in need of more grace and strength from God.

Why I am I sharing this??? 
Firstly, because I have determined in my heart to share my life in a real way, whether in person or through blogging.
Secondly, because the crazy thing about the hard stuff in life is that it makes the beautiful things that much more beautiful. 

It is because of struggles in our lives that I have seen our love blossom.  I have realized what it is to be truly, deeply loved by this man.  Unconditionally.  And I am learning how to love him, others, and even myself through this.

If life was perfect, the rain wouldn't smell so sweet and the roses wouldn't make me stop and stare.  Grass wouldn't feel so soft against my bare feet and kisses wouldn't taste like bits of heaven.

After all...
You need darkness to see the stars shine.

Isn't it amazing how trials, bumps in the road, or life just not going the way we planned or wanted can make us truly see how blessed we are.

We realize that every single good thing is an undeserved blessing.

So I rejoice today in these two years of marriage that God has given to Andrew and me, though we are even now in the midst of a storm.  Because, no matter how many of my dreams are shattered, God has blessed this daughter immensely.

Not only has God blessed me with a loving, encouraging, hunky husband, He has given me the greatest gift possible:  His love...  Not just a love that feels, but a love that acts.  He acted on that love when He sent His Son to die for me and He acts on that love every day as He gives me breath, life, love, joy, and hope!



Natasha Atkerson said...

Hope your news is good news! And I so appreciate your sharing your life with me, it's encouraging and good to know other people struggle with things like loneliness.
A modest fashion blog:

Annie said...

These pictures are SO beautiful, Rachel. Simply amazing. And thanks so much for sharing your heart and struggles with us. It's so encouraging to see how you're relying on God during the hard times. Many blessings! <3

Hannah Barta said...

These pictures are absolutely gorgeous of you two, Rachel.

I'll be praying for you both as you deal with whatever this news is :)


Amelia said...

<3 These are beautiful are in my thoughts and prayers.