This past week has been quite the chaotic one – saying good bye to Emily, preparing the house for Michelle & Logan, finalizing details for a styled shoot I’m hosting, not to mention shooting THREE weddings and one birth. Yes, all in one week. I’ve been an emotional wreck. On top of all that, my family got sick. The super awful kind of sick with everyone throwing up and….well (Pumba! Not in front of the kids!). I was completely paranoid that I was going to catch this illness and would have to find a replacement for a wedding – which is every wedding photographer’s NIGHTMARE. I made it through Friday’s wedding, feeling great (well, my “great” these days is questionable, but at least it was normal for first trimester life). Then Saturday rolled around, and I thought I had narrowly escaped a disaster. My Saturday wedding was an LDS wedding, but I’d also be shooting their ring ceremony and reception immediately following their sealing. They had booked me for a package that did not include a second shooter, so I was completely on my own for the day. I woke up that morning feeling, again, “normal” for first trimester standards, and feeling confident that I was going to make it just fine!
I pulled out of the house with just enough time to grab something to eat on the way to the temple. However, I knew something was wrong the moment I finished eating. And not just morning sickness wrong, but …..sick wrong. I grabbed my bag from lunch, and (sorry, TMI) began to heave into it as I sped down the freeway. This was not “normal” morning sickness. This felt so much worse – my body broke out into sweats, I started to shake, and I could feel myself on the verge of a massive meltdown.
Just that night before I had heard the sounds Adam was making in the bathroom and let me just tell you – If I had indeed caught the illness that he had, then things were about to get violent, and there would be no way I was going to be able to hide my sickness, nor push through it for their wedding. I had no second shooter to fill in for me, and I was literally 20 minutes away from the time I was supposed to start shooting their exit out of the temple.
As I swung into the temple visitor center parking lot, I slammed my car door shut and raced to the doors. I didn’t know if I was going to throw up on the way, but all I could think was, “Get a blessing. Get a blessing now.”
I stopped the first pair of missionaries I saw just a few steps into the doorway and said, “I have a question. Can you help me?”
When I started to explain to them that I was desperate for a blessing, that I absolutely needed to shoot this wedding, and that I just had to make through the day without throwing up, I couldn’t stop myself from crying. I was more than a little humiliated – I had no where else to turn but to strangers. They seemed flustered, and probably thought I was a bit crazy at first, but they agreed to give me a blessing. I felt immediate relief spread through me as they began their blessing just a few minutes later – I did not feel immediate “healing” but, like I said, I felt relief. I felt as if, even if things did get a bit rocky, I was going to make it through this wedding.
The blessing this elder gave me was different, as far as I can remember, from any other blessing any one else has given me in that he told me it would be through my faith in the atonement of Christ that would heal me. He did not say it was according to my faith in the priesthood power, or my faith in his blessing, or just my faith, but my faith in the atonement. I knew then that, though these missionaries did not know how important it was to me that I shoot this wedding, my Heavenly Father did. And that, these missionaries might not know how central the atonement is to my faith and my testimony, but that my Heavenly Father did. His specific wording taught me that Heavenly Father was aware of me that day, and that He knew me on a deep, personal level. He also blessed me to carry on as a wife and mother when I returned home that day. I was overwhelmed with the spirit that filled the room as he spoke of the healing power of the atonement, and when I opened my eyes to thank them, I saw that this elder had been touched by the spirit as well, for his eyes were glistening with tears.
For the rest of the day, I did not feel “perfect” – I honestly don’t know if what I had felt in the car was the beginning of whatever flu Adam and the kids had gotten, or if it was simply a bad case of pregnancy nausea, but that’s not important. What’s important was, I knew in whom I trusted to get me through the day, and my faith was enough to carry me onward.