Frederick Spring Engagement Session | Shelly & Luke | Maryland Wedding Photographer
God’s Timing is Everything
Luke had just moved from VA to MD and was looking for a fresh start. While eating dinner at a local restaurant he was approached and asked if he attended CLC (their home church) by one of the members. It took him a couple weeks to visit but once he did, It felt like this was where he was meant to be. He met a plethora of people the first few months, and while getting to know everyone on a more personal level there was and still is one lady that stood out to him. “She carried herself with a subtle, yet confident glow that made me want to invest my time to get to know her more and more. She even overheard me telling a mutual friend how much I liked her, though i didn’t realize she had heard that until way later!” Needless to say, they continued to grow closer the more they talked and the rest is history! Around this time Shelly was getting ready for an extended trip overseas in just a couple of months. On his very first visit to the church, a friend of hers had walked over to greet him. After they introduced themselves to one another, that same friend came over to say hi to me and began sharing EVERY detail of his conversation with the “new guy”. A few weeks later she ran into him again at dinner with her church friends. We all laughed and talked and began to share a few updates that were happening in each of our lives. “Just when I was getting ready to share my news – the new guy chimed in-sharing he was getting ready to go on a Missions trip — I paused in awe – that was the exact same news I wanted to share with the group. The details we both shared were uncannily similar – both in purpose and passion. Little did I know how significant those tiny details would play out in our lives. Looking back, I now realized our story began unfolding from his very first visit.”
“It was a busy time after the Christmas holidays and Luke had to move out of his apartment by the end of December. We had lots to get done before the New Year started. We kept busy moving this, moving that and at 4:00PM on New Year’s Eve we turned in the keys to his apartment. After all the hustle and bustle, Luke suggested we get a bite to eat but before we ate, that we go for a walk through downtown Frederick.
We strolled along Carroll Creek admiring all the lights and decorated boats. We continued walking and approached a bridge where Luke started sharing intimate details about his childhood and his love for bridges. He told me what ‘bridges’ represented for him and what it would mean for us to grow and bridge the gap together. In that moment I felt a shift. I felt as he grasped my hand, looked me in my eyes and continued to shared how much I meant to him, the sweetest words flowed from his lips yet they began to fade into the background as I tried to wrap my mind around the moment.
I watched as Luke began to get down on one knee, pulling out a ring that was hidden in his jacket pocket – I stood there shocked and speechless – wondering how I could have missed all the clues leading up to this very moment! (He kept me busy with the move – that’s how!) I stared lovingly in his eyes (still stunned) when somewhere in the distance I heard a voice in the crowd yell out, “Well are you gonna say YES?” A small crowd had gathered around us and a random lady on the bridge had been snapping photos and capturing this priceless moment… “YES, YES OF COURSE!!!” I said yes, to the man of my dreams – yes to forever. We stood on the bridge lost in the moment.
Congratulations poured in from all those who had gathered around us. While talking to a bystander who shared how touched he was by our engagement — I heard the sound of a professional camera clicking away. Wait – what? I looked up to see a dear friend of ours, a professional photographer, capturing every detail. As it turned out, Luke had been planning this moment for months. Every step, every pause, every moment — down to the very spot we stood on the bridge cleverly orchestrated. It as one of the most beautiful and sincere moments I had ever experienced. He went above and beyond in every way. He even secretly planned an engagement party immediately after. We celebrated with all of our dear friends and family who had been waiting at my parent’s house to celebrate the special moment. He truly out did himself!”
Hearing them tell this story that very evening giggling all the while was such a wonderful moment to be apart of! This is the kind of joy I thrive around!
Those Special Sundays
Sundays are spent at the very place they met: church! “We are both very involved and dedicate a lot of our time to serving in various capacities. After church we’re usually spending time with family and friends over food of course! We are also both outdoorsy people, so you’ll more than likely find us doing something outside; hikes, walks, strolls, Luke smoking a brisket or pulled pork on his smoker. Ask him about the time he was smoking meat and a thunderstorm came down!”
Sometimes there is a defining moment, other times its a slow build, but eventually every couple can say how they knew the other was “the one.” that one person they can envision a future with.
Luke- “I remember as Shelly and I started dating seriously I was praying about taking her to PA to meet my family and asking the good Lord to give me a sign that this was the right direction for our relationship. As we traveled on the highway I noticed a car in front of us with a license plate that said “Jamerican.” (Jamaican+American, AKA her and me) I gave Shelly a nudge and exclaimed “Look at that!” and we shared a laugh while snapping a picture of the license plate. Little did she know, God was also nudging me along. I also recall talking to an elder of our church one day and Shelly came up in the discussion. With a warm smile he used the same words to describe her as I always have, “She just glows.” Another time while serving in the Sunday School ministry over the summer I remember seeing her go about her usual business and saying to myself “Man, I just want to marry her.” I don’t know if I say there was a single defining moment that let me know she was/is the one for me but rather the culmination of all these moments! And when I proposed God confirmed it all!
Shelly’s – I honestly can’t say there was a single defining moment – but the short answer – I had a dream! There were many encounters that aligned us in place to confirm He would be MY FOREVER. It’s interesting because at the start I wasn’t looking for a relationship and my interactions with him were very limited. I remember he subtly asked for my number – At the time, I didn’t think much of it but I simply told him I would email him. He was thrown off by my response – but in my mind I would have been leaving for the summer for 2-months so it only made sense.
As summer approached, he was getting ready for a missions trip to Guatemala. I was beyond excited to share this experience with someone else. I got him a Spanish translating book, candy and knickknacks for his trip. He was so appreciative (as if no one had every gotten him a ‘just-because’ gift before). Two weeks later he returned from his trip – with a care package just for me – it included detailed travel essentials for my upcoming trip, tons of goodies, a journal, and a bright and vibrant colored head-band. (He later told me it matched my personality.) It was a such a kind gesture and I was taken a back by his thoughtfulness.
A couple days later, with my journal and head-band, my bags were packed and I was heading 9000 miles to Sri Lanka super nervous about what the next chapter had in store. This was something way outside of my comfort zone but my first few days impacted me immensely; I reached for my journal to document the details. At the bottom of every page, displayed a quote that stated, “Worry Ends, when faith begins.” I immediately felt a sweet peace sweep into my heart.
I knew the next 2-months would re-define the course of my life, I just didn’t know how exactly. It was shortly after that instance, HE would meet me in my dreams, Literally! The dream revealed I had just faced a difficult time and I was ready to go home and be with my family. Except, he as my family – I was returning to him, Luke , as my husband and our children. I woke up in a daze provoked by the tiny details I could remember. I was perplexed but instantly reminded of a simple quote — ” Worry ends, when faith begins.” The minute I landed home from my summer missions experience God began to allow things to unfold in the right timing. I got to learn more of Luke’s story, his journey and see how much of our lives paralleled. The subject of ‘Missions’ has been a key element in the endless conversations that we would have. It opened the door to the heart of THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SOUL I would cross paths with. It led me to my FOREVER MATE!!! “
A June Wedding
These two are getting married in June (hopefully) at the very same church where their story began and I am so excited to see how that story unfolds!