When Shannon first approached me about doing a photo shoot for her and her girls I was ecstatic! I loved the idea of it being “just the girls”. All week long I waited for this shoot. I had a good feeling about this one. None of my shoots are “just” shoots. I realized in the beginning – and have been reminded over again – that every shoot is important. They become someones’ memory. I ask detailed questions to try to understand the family better. I try to imagine how that parent feels about their little girl’s or little boy’s photos, or even how they will feel about the photos 10 years from now…
This shoot was different. You see, I have known Shannon for about eight years. She was one of my bridesmaids. When I met her I felt this immediate connection to her. I just knew she was special. I grabbed onto that friendship with all my might. To tell you the truth, when I look back I laugh! I think, “I ‘hijacked’ you as a friend!” I just decided, “I’m going to be friends with this girl!” She was by my side at my wedding and made me feel so special. Later we both got pregnant around the same time and I felt her pain through loss and rejoiced with her in good times. If I ever felt down I knew a cup of coffee with this girl would be the ticket. We both moved away, but never lost touch so I was so excited to do this shoot.
Shannon is one of the most positive, joyous people I know. As I sat editing her shoot I kept thinking about what I wanted to say when I blogged her session. I literally kept tearing up. Shannon was a youth pastor here in Vancouver for many years. She mentored many young women, and was (and still is) a huge encouragement to her friends and those around her. You can’t help but smile when you are around her. As you can imagine she devotes that same strength to motherhood. If there is one thing I know, it is that those little girls are going to grow up to be mighty women because they are going to know what grace is, what joy is, what purity is, and they will absolutely know what love is, because their Mommy taught them all of those things. Not only did she teach it, she lives it.
I have heard numerous stories from teenage girls and young adult women that have been around Shannon, of the grace that is on her life. You see, they would tell her something they did that they considered to be shameful and she would give them nothing but grace, nothing but love, nothing but forgiveness. There is an innocence about Shannon, and a purity that is undeniable. Not because she is perfect, but because she is forgiven. She has an unwavering confidence in the forgiveness she has found in Jesus, and when you hang out with her it is contagious.
When I think about the Williams’ girls, I think about a rich heritage, and a bright future.
10 Who can find a virtuous wife?
For her worth is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
So he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
I know that is Shannon’s heart. If I could stand and applaud you, Shannon, for being an amazing mother I would, because this role is not honored like it should be in our society, and you were truly made for this job. So, consider this your standing ovation…
I love you friend.