Okayyyyy, soooo come in close. I am about to tell you a story & pour out a little of my heart! I met up with these two in Joshua Tree National Park to document something truly beautiful, something different than an adventurous couples session (though I loveeee those and they are so meaningful)!, or an elopement in Joshua Tree!

So…what was it? Okayyy so here’s the story:

At the beginning of the year, the Lord laid on my heart the words in Isaiah 61:3,

To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of Yahweh for the display of his splendor/glory.

As I started dwelling on those words, I started dreaming with the Lord about pressing into a passion project where I would document people in such a way that would express the essence of these words and the heart of God. I started asking the questions, “where are the people documenting the seasons of grief? The seasons of sadness where you cling to the hope that there is still joy to be had because of Jesus? The days where it truly does feel like you are still dressed in ashes, but Jesus is saying that he will give us a crown of beauty instead? The long winters that you feel distant from your loved one? The weeks of loneliness that seem to encompass us, yet our God who calls us Beloved cups our faces and whispers, “I am here. I notice you.”

Who is documenting the truth that Jesus is rewriting our stories, giving us new names, and declaring us as oaks of righteousness because of his unrelenting love shown on the cross? The times that you may feel lost and unable to be found. The moments where darkness feels like the closest friend, yet there is a Light that steps into the darkness! Who is documenting the heart of God towards his Beloved(us), and the messy yet beautiful story that it is? A story of hope, redemption, joy. ”

I want to tell that story. I want to try to document that story. So here is the first session of a project that is just beginning…

Unique Joshua Tree Elopement photographed by Liz Rudman Photography

beautiful flowers by the incredible Elizabeth Mckenzie!