I sat at the table with the bride-to-be. It was the evening before her wedding and her family was kind enough to invite me over to the house. Before leaving to check into my hotel, Carol Anne’s (the bride’s) mom walked out with a surprise for her and her sweet soon-to-be-husband, Mitchell. Before looking at the gift, she had Carol Anne read a letter her mother had written. Contained inside the letter were the sweetest words, yet, they were not words you’d expect to a new married couple. The letter contained the story of old and seemingly forgotten coins. Coins that had been dropped on the ground and never picked up. How often do we walk past a penny on the side of the road and either walk away, kick it aside, or maybe even flip it over to heads to give the next passer-by some good luck… But that wasn’t what it meant to this family. This family saw coins and knew that even when dirty and forgotten, they were valuable and they each shared a common phrase…
“In God We Trust.”
And to the Matthews family, after experiencing such a loss, every time they bent down to pick up a coin, they knew it was an opportunity to say, “Yes, God, I trust in You.”
This phrase is not new to any of us and most certainly applies to all of us, however, it meant something a little more special to Carol Anne and her family. It meant more because Carol Anne had been married before, and to a wonderful man. Matthew had so much spunk about him. I remember walking past him on my way to college classes and he’d often have a guitar in his hand, strumming a song to people walking by. I love that I remember that about him. But then God chose to take Matthew home to be with Him.
Watching (from a distance), Carol Anne and her adorable son Asa walk this road has changed me. We don’t understand God’s ways but I’ve watched Carol Anne place this in God’s hands consistently. And now watching the way God has shown kindness to Carol Anne and Asa through Mitchell has been the sweetest thing!
I can’t imagine the sting of loneliness and pain of loss. But I also can’t fathom how we can serve such a kind God who restores. He doesn’t take the sting away, but He does hold us and mend us and give us more than we could ever deserve. I love watching how God is doing that in Carol Anne and Asa’s life. It’s breathtakingly beautiful.
At the end of the letter, her mother wrote that because they saw the value and needed spiritual message from these coins, she would begin to pick them up. From the day of Matthew’s passing until the wedding day, she filled the most beautiful glass jar up with these coins, each one with the reminder that we place our trust in a living and working God.
It was the most thoughtful and beautiful gift. I don’t often write multiple blog posts for the same couple, but this story was too important not to share.
We have a God we can trust. We have a God who looks at us and sees value. He picks us up off of the ground, brushes us off, and restores us. I believe it with all of my heart.
And I’ve never been more proud to be a wedding photographer because this is truly what it’s all about. What a love.