Have you ever looked back on your life and thought about the people who were extremely influential in helping you become the person you are today? The ones who invested in you, believed in you, continued to give their all without a single expectation of getting anything in return?
There are some people who come into your life and no matter how much time goes by, you will forever be grateful for the life lessons they taught and the positive impact they made.
When I was in high school, LaRon was one of those people. He was my coach, and yes, he taught us a lot about basketball…and made us run more suicides that we would have liked. (No, that is not a joke. I almost died). ;) But more importantly, I remember him speaking truth and life into my life and the lives of my teammates. When you’re in high school, you’re so easily influenced by your friends, your teachers and your coaches. And I’m incredibly grateful for the strong leaders God put into my life at that time.
I later met his wife Jamie and immediately loved how perfect of a couple they were! Over the years, we would chat here and there about life and photography. She is an amazingly talented photographer in Sacramento! And I always thought it would be such an honor to photograph her and LaRon one day. So you can see why I was so excited when she shared that they would be taking a trip down to San Diego and wanted to set up an anniversary session!!
The only problem was…the week Jamie & LaRon came to visit, the weather was gloomy, muggy and there was almost no chance we would get a pretty sunset. I’ll be honest. I was bummed! But of course, I was prepared to show up, do my best and hopefully still make some type of magic happen.
I headed out to La Jolla beach for their session and was really surprised at how sunny it was! There just MIGHT be a chance we could get that gorgeous sunset we were hoping for. The closer it got to sunset, the more colorful the sky turned. The clouds transformed into what looked like cotton candy (every photographer’s dream). Jamie said, “I prayed for this sunset!”, and I’m so thankful for that because I seriously could not believe how gorgeous of a sunset we got.
As a photographer, I selfishly want amazing weather and a killer sunset at every single one of my photo sessions. Of course! But this photo shoot was different. I had been looking forward to photographing my former basketball coach and his beautiful wife for so long and I just wanted everything to be perfect.
Four years ago, I was incredibly touched and moved by their story and the battle they faced as they dealt with the loss of their precious son, Malachi. I prayed for them through this tough time, yet at the same time – I felt useless. I had no words to say to them that could make a difference. I couldn’t imagine going through something so devastating.
So four years later, I’m grateful to have been able to bless them in a very very small way. I was given the opportunity to use my art of expression through photography to bring a small dose of happiness to their lives during their trip to San Diego.
In addition to their precious angel baby, Malachi, they also have three beautiful sons now. This is the last excerpt from Jamie’s recent blog post sharing her experience through it all. I’d like to share it with you in hopes of bringing light and hope to any women who may possibly stumble across my blog who have gone through the devastating loss of a child.
You should follow along her journey as she is an amazing mother, writer and photographer.
I will say that in my darkest moments of guilt and grief, God never left my side. Through the hardest time He held us up. Through the greatest joy, He stood with us on the mountaintop.
July is odd. It’s a mix of emotions of remembering the day we said our earthly goodbye to our precious Malachi, and celebrating the day we welcomed our twin miracles into our life. With the goodness of God and sorrow all mixed together; I push through. Remembering Malachi’s legacy, celebrating two baby boys who fill our lives with so much joy and healing; and pointing to Jesus every step of the way.
“All of my life, Your love has been true.
All of my life, I will worship you.”
Thank you Jamie and LaRon for impacting my life, in ways you will never know or understand. Thank you for shining a light in my life as a young high schooler and continuing to shine that light into my adult life by sharing your story and letting God speak through your lives. You both are a beautiful example of what He is capable of doing when we surrender our lives to him and continue to have faith, through every season of life.