They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but this one holds a thousand stories.
It was pouring down rain as we all got dressed in our carefully orchestrated earth-tone outfits. Children running everywhere, fighting over toys as parents snatched away any colorful foods that might smudge or stain. We were ironing, showering, fussing with hair until everyone looked perfect.
And still the rain fell.
This was our only opportunity to get the pictures done so we pushed through, just praying the clouds would part. We loaded up the cars by pulling them into the garage – just to keep everyone dry. We brought our three utterly useless broken umbrellas and piled them in with us. We texted our dear friend and photographer. “Bring your scuba gear!” He instructed.
We drove twenty minutes. I had Jessica and her crew in my car and she checked the radar. She showed me the big splotch of bright red that we were heading into. A car driving next to us hit a large patch of water and our windshield was covered for too many seconds. I gripped the steering wheel and said another prayer.
As we drew closer to the park, the rain started to slow. The clouds began to part and a beautiful rainbow appeared in the sky. We couldn’t help but laugh – what happened to the large red thunderstorm? We met up with our photographer and made our way to the spot he’d picked out. We had to trudge through some high wet grass to get there and just a few lingering drops of rain fell.
And then the rain stopped.
We haven’t seen all the pics yet, but the one our friend sent us that night gave me goosebumps. This was a moment I’d dreamed of for years. All of us together for the first time. Our eight children – some with their loves, the beautiful grand babies, my precious mom, my dear friend Jennifer whom God grafted into our family. Oh, the stories in this picture! The storms that preceded it! The losses that created it – that somehow God used to weave us all together.
So to most folks, this is just a sweet family picture in the middle of a field. To our crew, it shouts redemption, restoration, hope, life – GOD. God’s goodness. God’s love. God’s way of bringing beauty from ashes and hope from sadness. God’s way of showing off a rainbow after the storm – shouting his love from the skies. It’s just how He rolls and I’m thrilled that I got to witness it with this crew.
Truth is, without the rain, the beauty would not be so riveting. And without the pain, this moment would have passed as just another family picture day. But because of all that preceded it, this moment was/is so much more – a moment captured in time that will forever be memorialized in this mama heart.
A taste of heaven – when all of us will be together again after the storms.