Marriage Series: The Walton`s
I love beautiful photos just as much as the next person. Long wavy hair catching the wind as she is wrapped in his arms. Beautiful romantic pictures are ‘The Notebook’ verse of images. If there is anything I have learned being a full time photographer this year it's this, beautiful pictures are not just captured they are created. Yes, timeless photos that look effortless are crafted by skill. This craft is not only a matter of changing the camera setting. Romantic images mean someone took the time to mold together personalities and movement into one. Lighting matters along with editing, location, and styling. However, the technique of photography needs heart. It needs a narrative. What makes a photo beautiful? The colors? The mood? Or the feeling? Beyond capturing a thousand words, photos tell stories. When I say, ‘story’ I am not speaking of the story you already know. I am talking about the story behind the story. Pictures tell stories in a way other forms of arts simply do not. I want this story. I have experienced the celebration of several weddings and I have seen the joy of two people loving each other well. Now I want the story behind the story. The story only people can tell through the camera. This is The Marriage Series.
Do you ever meet people you immediately feel inspired by? Have you ever wondered the journey people take or thought to yourself, “I need to know this person`s story” just after meeting someone for the first time.
Adam and Anna were leaders on my trip to Romania back in 2017. I had the privilege of knowing them for a year however, the greater privilege was being under their leadership for three weeks. With a team of close to thirteen people, everyone became family quickly. Oh, I should totally mention this couple also lead our team as a family. Their little girl, Addie, who was two years at the time joined our team.
As I asked them questions in a noisy cafeteria, I thought surely the noise of the room would distract from heart of their story. I thought wrong because twenty minutes in Anna was in tears and my eyes became watery. I easily became moved by their wisdom so let their words sink deep.
How did you meet each other?
Adam: We were all single guys looking for our wives. We had the great idea of visiting the college ministry because there were cute girls. We didn't take the search for a wife seriously, we were just young guys who liked worship, Jesus, and girls. One of my buddies would practice with his band and I went to hang out. After practice I joined in playing drums and singing along to Fix You by Coldplay. I see this tall beautiful brunette dancing in the back of the church. At this point the place is empty because the band was practicing. Instantly, I said, “Who the heck is that girl? I need to go talk to her.” I get off the drums and with miles of empty seats I find Anna and sit right beside her. After the dance party I asked Anna for her information to keep in touch and she responded “Well what do you want? My number, my email, etc.” and I said, “Can I have all of it?” So I got her AIM, number, email and everything. I texted the morning so excited. Later that day I asked if I could call her so I called Anna and she was riding in the car with her mom. In my excitement, I said, “Oh let me talk with your mom.” Because if you can't get good approval with mom then you're out. You might as well start from the beginning.
Anna: We met when we were both freshman in college and Adam visited my university on a guy`s trip over spring break. He came to my college ministry. We met in a circle and people were discussing whether pirates or ninjas were better. At this point I noticed Adam in our circle of friends and we later agreed pirates were better. I didn't know Adam was interested in me. We reconnected at this birthday dance party and all these girls noticed Adam. Anyways, we both show up to this party, I would come over to dance next to Adam and he would leave so I followed his around the whole night. He kept leaving so I thought, “Oh wow this guy doesn't like me.” At the end of night, we were leaving Adam asked for my number. After Adam and I had been talking for a few days, I said to my mom randomly, “Mom I think I might have met my husband.” It was very random because I had not dated anyone for a long time.
What has been one the most healing moments in your marriage?
Anna: When we were first married, Adam was on leadership at a church. I wasn't at a place to be fully myself yet. For me there was not a moment that changed everything instead healing became a lifestyle of process. So often I would find myself measuring up to Adam because in some ways he was further along than I was. For example, in personal healing I knew Adam had a concept of growth I did not have yet. We decide together to move to Nashville, TN to pursue a ministry school. During our time in this program we started learning together, growing together, and healing together. I walked away from our year feeling like “Anna” and being empowered in my own journey. We started walking out our marriage in sync. For the first time, I understood we were both on the same page. Experiencing a personal healing journey together was so healing for my past and my present.
Adam: We never had huge fights and we early on prioritized communication because communication was all we had in the beginning. We long distance dated for years so if our conversation felt off, we took a break and connected back a day later. There was not one big moment which rewrote our marriage. I think we became stronger when we celebrated and adapted to who we were and who we were becoming. There is a great value of truth when you believe the best of a person. I am constantly amazed by Anna and how much she does. It's just not like her to keep score. I hear and see people keeping score against their spouse but that's not who Anna is. We also love to surround ourselves with other healthy married couples whether they are five years ahead of us or twenty years ahead we want their input. We individually pursued healing. We individually pursued each other. We have continually pursued Jesus. More than one teaching or moment it's the constant pursuit.
What's one thing you want to remember in 20 years from now?
Adam: I want to remember we went for it. We risked it all. When God said, “Jump!” We jumped. We did some crazy things for Jesus. Our yes was our yes even when it was uncomfortable. I don't want to look back and wish on what we could have done. I want to believe we actually accepted the invitation because its always been to our benefit to say yes to God.
Anna: We took the risks together. Something we prioritize is making decisions together. We can`t give our full yes or no until we are both in agreement. At times this might feel uncomfortable for one of us but we go through the process of tenison. Adam typically moves quicker on decisions but I need time to think about it. There things I might move faster on but together we move forward. We want to be agreement before we move forward. I want to remember going for it and choosing to believe we did together and we went for it together. Even when it is uncomfortable for one of us we still choose go for it together. We did it together. We took risks together. We go through the process together and together we remain.