Please share your story: : It’s been 22 years that Trevor and I have been together. Many of those years have been beautiful and abundant, but many of those years have been difficult and lean. In just the last ten years we have lived in three states, wrestled through a tough financial crisis that left us temporarily homeless, experienced many frustrating hours and days of disconnection with our adopted son, had countless late night conversations with each of our kids as they wrestle with life, faith, and friends. There was even a season where we thought our marriage might fall apart. There have been many moments of heartache, but we were never without hope.
Early in our marriage Trevor and I made a declaration to set the course for the legacy of our family. Our faith and our foundation were not to be shaken and we trusted God to direct our steps and align us with the right relationships and opportunities. We even created a family mission statement to help us stay the course. Our family mission anchors us and serves as a filter we run our decisions through. It sets us firm as we hold on to the values that we have chosen for our life. It gives us something to talk about at the dinner table and it’s even prompted us to start an organization dedicated to empowering families and equipping students for the future. When times are good and times are tough we are constantly reminded of the the plans that God has for our family- to live wholeheartedly by loving passionately, serving humbly and persevering courageously. As we continue to grow and move closer toward to seeing the fulfillment of our mission, we are encouraged to be here and to know we are not alone in the journey.
How has your story shaped who you are today?: As we look back on our story we can clearly see God's finger prints and as a result our faith has grown stronger as we have experienced unconditional faithfulness to our family. Our marriage has grown much deeper and more intimate as we've overcome real trials, and through that process clearly identifying what is really important to us - leaving a legacy. We've been able to understand our kids better and hopefully provide the love, encouragement, support and opportunities to thrive in this world. Our story is about the process of learning and accepting who we are, who God is, learning how to love others, and searching for truth and happiness in this mysterious life.
Why were you compelled to share your story??: We feel it's important for other families to know there is hope when it seems like the path is unclear or when everything is falling apart. Neither marriage nor raising a family is easy, and there is no instruction manual. By identifying personal values, dreams, and obstacles early in the building of a family will set in motion the actions necessary to find fulfillment, learning how to shape our future, in large part, by the values and mission we choose. Our story gets pretty messy at times, but having a clear goal in mind, we can celebrate and appreciate all the good times and the bad times, and we know we wouldn't be the people we are without each of those experiences.
What encouraging words would you give to someone who shares a similar story?: Make a decision. When all is said and done, what is really important to you in this life? What do you want to leave as a legacy? Once you determine those objectives, stay the course, persevere and do whatever it takes to see those things come to pass. Cultivating strong relationships and a strong family takes time, energy, mistakes and tears. Just remember to love passionately, serve humbly and persevere courageously and you'll be fine.
A huge thank you to Heritage for allowing us to photograph in your amazing space!