Monday, April 18, 2011

My Parent's Story: 19 years of {Love} |northeast, tx couple photographer| [personal]

You’re my unfathomable precious unimaginable joy
And you’re exceedingly exciting and abundantly more than I could ask for
With your hand in mine we will pass through time and space
And every second, every minute, every hour of every day I’ll say
My unfailing love for you will not be moved
| unfailing love - jimmy needham

He saw her from across the room."Wow, she's beautiful," he thought. He breathed in deep and took several steps towards her. He was brave to even attempt the scheme. She was already dating one of his best friend's brother. But this girl was too pretty not to show some charm. ;) So, boyfriend or no boyfriend, this 16 year old girl from Johntown with curly blond hair and bright blue eyes noticed the cute, funny, and bold 15 year old guy from Paris that flirted with her all afternoon.
This first meeting at a mutual friend's house was about to change their lives...forever.

Almost a year later he saw her at the head of the check out lane scanning groceries. Beep. Beep. Beep.
She was as beautiful as ever in her Kroger uniform completely unaware that he was staring at her. He swallowed hard. It was That Girl. The one that had made him flirt and crack jokes and smile even if she did have a boyfriend. He immediately went to get in her lane. He had gotten her now. The stalking began. ;D
Several days he would find himself having this conversation:
"Hey dad, why don't I go with you to Kroger?"
There she would be again. Beep. Beep. Beep. 
Man! He had to say something to her. So one day he walked up to the cash register.
"Hey, when do you get off?"
"8:00 tonight."
He proceeded to wait in the parking lot with his friend. She was worth waiting for. The automatic doors swung open and she walked quickly through. Tap. Tap. Tap.
He saw her coming, he heard her footsteps on the asphalt parking lot, and he felt his heart about to pound out of his chest. Before he had a chance to think, he jumped forward and tackled her and kissed her...half on accident and half on purpose. ;) She was startled but laughed it off. She knew this guy liked her...a lot. She, now 17, was no longer with her boyfriend and as she stood looking at the saucy 16 year old, she decided she rather liked him. 
"Do you wanna go out to lunch or something?" she asked.
"Sure!" {Success...sooo smooth, so very very smooth}
"How about Chinese food?"
"Never had it."
"You've never had Chinese food?! Oh! Then we should go to China Star. It's great!"
"Ok...sounds good."

This first date at a small Chinese buffet was about to change their lives even further...forever.

They became inseparable just like that. A few years later he proposed to her at a friend's house. He told her it was a fish fry and if she wanted, she could bring hush puppies. She had no suspicion and made enough hush puppies to feed an army. She walked into the friend's house and went straight to the kitchen prepared to help get the food ready...not even noticing the big banner that he had made that said,
"Darla, Will you Marry me?"
Suddenly she saw it. Tears followed. Happy tears. And she said,
"Yes, Ryan. I will Marry you." 

That carefully prepared banner and her tearful answer to its question was about to change their lives again...forever.

They got married on a beautiful Sunday; April 12th 1992 in a small church in Johntown. She, now 20, wore a beautiful white dress and he, now 19, wore a sa-weet white tuxedo. They were simply adorb. :) They exchanged vows. They said "I do." They kissed and became Mr. and Mrs. Ryan Brunson.  They lit their unity candle and listened to the song that they chose because they thought it would be perfect for their wedding. But with all that love, anxiety, and anticipation floating around among them all they could think was, 
"Good grief this song is never gonna end. Maybe we should have picked a shorter one!"
Even though they had not yet been given the understanding of the gravity of their union - God was bringing them together in holy matrimony as a type and shadow of Christ and His bride which is the church. Many years later they both were given this understanding when He saved them and made them both co-heirs with Christ. They became members of the same Heavenly family. :)

This moment has changed their life forever.

Now that 17 year old blue eyed curly blond that introduced a 16 year old flirtatious guy that played bass and electric guitar in a band and had long curly hair also to Chinese food is a godly wife and loving mother of two. And that witty guy that couldn't take his eyes off of the girl with a boyfriend sitting there with her year old baby girl {this being my older sister, Holly} that was playing beside her is a self-less God honoring husband of two Daddy's girls. ;) {I would be the younger of the two.}

{Photo courtesy of Rachel Leigh}

They are not who they were when they met. He assures me that if he could do it all over again, he would have found a nicer way of getting her attention instead of tackling her. But that is the beauty of God's providence. We could never plan it as well as He has. Because He's perfect. He knows what He's doing. And He knew that when they saw each other that night, they would be husband and wife. He knew they would be here 19 years after their wedding day, much wiser and 10 times more in love. 
He knew all along. :)
And He knows how many loving years they have before them.
He knows and they can't wait to find out too.

"I do" are the two most famous last words
The beginning of the end
But to lose your life for another I've heard
Is a good place to begin

'Cause the only way to find your life
Is to lay your own life down
And I believe it's an easy price
For the life that we have found
And we're dancing in the minefields
We're sailing in the storm
This is harder than we dreamed
But I believe that's what the promise is for
So when I lose my way, find me
When I loose love's chains, bind me
At the end of all my faith, till the end of all my days
When I forget my name, remind me
'Cause we bear the light of the Son of Man
So there's nothing left to fear
So I'll walk with you in the shadowlands
Till the shadows disappear

'Cause he promised not to leave us
And his promises are true
So in the face of all this chaos, baby,
I can dance with you

|dancing in the minefields - andrew peterson |

~Through Christ's Love 

P.S. The last two pictures I took on their 19th wedding anniversary last week. We were in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art!! That's right folks...we took a trip to Philly...stay tuned for those pictures. {I got lots ;)}


  1. I have NEVER heard that bit about meeting her at Kroger!! That's HILARIOUS! It's amazing what God has done for them :).

  2. Aw.....that is such an amazing story!! Love you girl!!

  3. What a beautiful story and testimony! May God give them many, many more years together!


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