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Coming out of the ruins | Jenny & Esther’s story of loss and healing through Christ | South Bay, San Pedro, Redondo Beach Photographer

Today, I want to share a wonderful story of two girls who’s lives were left in ruins and their stories of how they were saved and healed. I met Jenny last September with her fiancé in a consultation to be their wedding photographer. When I first met them, I immediately was drawn to Jenny. She was a great girl with a beautiful smile and a huge heart. I could tell that she truly loved her fiancé and lived life to the fullest. As their wedding date approached, I hadn’t heard from either of them regarding using Sun & Sparrow. Just about 2 months before their wedding date in March, Jenny contacted me and wanted to book us. I was very surprised because most people book their photographers so far in advance. So, I met with her and we booked her date. In the midst of her joy, I saw sorrow behind her eyes. As the month passed, she and I began to text and talk about her life and relationship. One month before her wedding date, she called me to cancel the wedding. I was shocked! What could have happened?

Jenny shared her story and her tears.I could hear that her heart had been broken into a million pieces.  After a while, Jenny and I decided that it would be a great idea to share this story with others. We wanted to help people find their hope in the right places and in truth.

Jenny & Esther have a similar story. They built their friendship through loss and grew in their faith together. I am so excited to have been part of their story and their growth. I know that the two girls are still healing from heartache, but I pray for them often and know that Christ is working in their hearts to heal them and help others who are in the same situation.

~ Love Tiffani

Jenny’s Story: 

In order to gain wisdom we go through things that are both positive and negative in our lives. I know that I’ve have had enough life experiences to truly change my whole perspective on love and relationships. Recently, I went through the most awful heartache. My fiancé and I were engaged to be married and had planned a wonderful life together. He and I had been together for a few years and wanted to take the next step that we thought God would want us to take. As we had planned and prepared, booked and placed large deposits on wedding items, our relationship began to unravel.

Up until 1 month before my wedding, I was still ready to marry this man. I thought he was the man of my dreams, my soul mate.  Now that I look back on my life, I should have seen the signs of a flawed relationship. First, I have to tell that before our engagement we had gone through a lot of reparation, because he had lied an cheated on me. All through our first year he had another woman in his life. Everything had come to light for me after that first year. Of course I was devastated, but I loved him. I couldn’t leave someone I loved. So we continued to date… for six years I loved him. Secondly, I have to tell you how much his mother hated me. She never approved of our relationship, even after he had proposed to me. Her hatred for me grew and grew over the months of our dating, but after we were engaged, she became influential over my fiancé. She began to poison his mind and his opinion about me. The closer that we came to the wedding date, the more and more cancellations and declined wedding invitations from his side of the family. What a heartbreak that was for me. But I still loved him. I was going to marry him anyways. Something was wrong though. Something beyond his mother’s dislike and his family’s disapproval.  As our wedding date hastened, my fiancé began to become more and more elusive of my phone calls and visits. So, I decided to confront him. Even though I wanted to cover it all up and pretend everything was OK, I knew that it wasn’t. So, he had asked me to meet him at a park. I wondered why he wanted to meet me at a park, since we hadn’t seen each other in over two weeks.  He had sat me down and with a low voice told me that he didn’t want to marry me, not only that, but his mother and family had convinced him not to marry me. My heart was completely shattered.  

After all this heartache and hatred from his mother, after all of the cheating, I thought we could work through it. In the wake of all this destruction, he had left me with the burden of paying the remainder of the deposits on the venue, my wedding dress, and other wedding details. I still shiver when I think about all the horrible things he did to me. I felt like my heart had been so broken and my self-esteem was low that I had secluded myself from all of my family and friends. How could I have given up all my hopes and dreams, everything for my fiancé?!? I thought he respected me, I thought he loved me and wanted to be my husband. With all of the lies and the cheating, you would think that I should have been screaming “THIS GUY ISN’T FOR ME.” I had asked God to show me a sign if this marriage wasn’t the right thing to do. I didn’t want to feel so hurt and in the dark, but I was so stubborn!! Boy did God have to shout so loud at me! I didn’t know that he would put all the signs in front of my face!

It was at that point that I took initiative and realized what a horrible thing I had put my hope in. The ring came off my finger, back into his hand and without a word I walked away. I deleted his phone number, removed him from my facebook profile, and completely washed my hands of him. What a heartache and what a heart break. How could I heal from something like this? Not on my own, let me tell you. I spend the rest of the month up until my ‘wedding’ date feeling so alone, but still leaning on my family. I completely fell off the map; but they were there to carry me. I have to say that I never cried, not one tear. I had to be strong and I  couldn’t let him have any more of my heart.

Now that I look back, I know that I’m worth so much more than what my fiancé had given to me. I had put my fiancé first, not knowing that I needed to put Jesus first. Because Jesus is the giver of life and he teaches us how to love and how to recognize love. The worst part about all of this, is that I know other women are in the same boat that I’m in. There are people out there that love and love and love without question, letting people abuse them and hurt them. My mission and my prayer is to help other women realize that God is bigger than their situation. We need to first take care of ourselves, let God heal us from all of our heartache, and see that God is in control. If we don’t want to be alone, then we need truly need to be alone. Being alone will help us face our demons, help us realize the truth. I know that I will never live in my lies or the lies of anyone else again. God’s mercy and God’s grace is the best thing that ever happened to me. He showed me that I can come out of the ruins, one step at a time. If you are in this situation, please lean on your friends and your family, lean on Jesus because we need to have healthy hearts and love ourselves before we can truly understand how to have healthy relationships.

~ Love Jenny

 Esther’s Story….

Enduring a broken heart is possibly one of the most difficult things I’ve had do to.  The worst part of my experience is that I didn’t know where to begin to pick up the pieces.

I specifically remember the morning that completely broke my life apart. I remember waking up one morning, this particular morning feeling so free and wonderful. It was a beautiful day, birds singing and the sun shining through my window. But little did I know, that with just one phone call my life would turn a complete 180. That morning my boyfriend had called. He had always made it appoint to call me in the mornings after we both had woken up. But this one particular morning, his voice was somber and vulnerable. “What is wrong?!?” I thought. As he spoke the room began to close in. He had cheated with another woman?!? What was he thinking? He went on to tell me how sorry he was and that he loved me, blah, blah, blah…. But how could I go on like that?

I loved him, he was my first love and I thought I would marry him, BUT I couldn’t live with the fact that he didn’t love me enough to stay faithful. After I hanging up the phone I remember bursting into tears, thinking “is this really happening to me?!?!”  The whole phone call felt like a dream, like it was so unreal.  I didn’t know what to do, where to go, or who to run to. I was crushed and never felt such a deep pain in my heart. I felt lost, like my life was really in ruins, and I was destroyed.  

I spent many weeks wallowing and mourning my loss. The fact that he couldn’t love me enough to be faithful; or that I wasn’t good enough to love completely. But in the ruins, I ran into the loving and open arms of my friend Jenny. She and I grew up together in the same church and have been friends for years. Jenny had been with me through thick and thin, through past boyfriends and through the tears. We both had experienced awful men who had broken our hearts. With that, Jenny and I became so much closer and together we threw our hearts into the arms of Jesus. We realized that we had put our hope in men. Men, who were broken and heartless… and selfish. How could we have chosen such destruction?

The amazing thing is that after such a horrible experience Jenny and I were able to see light at the end of the tunnel. The most difficult part was finding strength and love in Christ. I was so scared to take my first steps in letting my heart heal,  letting go of what I loved the most.  The best part about this whole experience was that I learned that life experiences aren’t always about loss and morning.  This whole experience has been a gain and a blessing. I gained personal strength and confidence within myself, as well as the knowledge of what I want in a future husband.  Most importantly, my faith in Christ was strengthened and stretched. He has been able to lead me and teach me to come out of the ruins and learn how to heal.  I have learned not to feel alone anymore, but to seek HIS love and kindness, fellowship, and friendship.  Sometimes we go through experiences that we don’t understand, so that little by little God can place the perfect people to help us start to mend again. I am still healing and have much work to do, but know that Christ is with me and will give me wisdom, love, and friendship along the way.

I am so blessed to have Jenny in my life. We have suffered our share of heartache together. I am so glad that we were able to share this photo session. It is not just because we’re best friends, it is a celebration of our strength, of our independence, our total and complete awesomeness!!! We are a new creation, the old has gone and the new is to come!

~ Love Esther


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1 comment
  • Randall WeelerJuly 27, 2013 - 11:52 am

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