One balmy Saturday night last month I leaped from my comfort zone into the backyard of an engagement party; of a couple I had never met.
Armed with just my very-average-frustratingly-simple camera and my big-girl knickers, I prepared to be the "photographer".
A title I do not think fits the girl who plays with settings until she thinks it looks okay, and hopes for the best!
It was a first for me, and it. was. scary.
It has taken me until this week to get the courage to look at the 500 pictures I took, cull the ones that didn't work, and enhance the ones I think are okay.
Before then, I had told myself they were terrible, and that the poor couple would be devastated that their special night wasn't captured well enough.
I am actually captivated by the journey of this couple, and when she shared with me afterwards, I knew there was something special about this marriage-to-be.
The joining of not only the couple, but the children they each already have; the blending of families, and the testament to the grace they were so openly and honestly thankful for.
Marriage is so often like this. Maybe not the combining of already-born children, but always the union of two separate lives; upbringings, memories, ideals, experiences, and expectations. Of course it's messy, and raw, and beautiful.
It reminds me of Brooke Fraser's song Who Are We Fooling.*
Real love is hard love.
We tangle ourselves together, and there are times it's hard and we want out, but the knots are there, and we have to make it work.
So we tie more knots, and we bind ourselves to each other, and to Him, and hope that His grace is sufficient (because often our grace towards each other is far from adequate!).
So this balmy night, they shared with their family and friends the hope they have for freshness and newness, and the knowing they already have that their marriage will take work. Work they are most definitely cut out for, and I wish them all the very best.
*So so beautiful, and worth a listen if you haven't heard it before.