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  • Writer's picturemelindafox

Madison and Joshua

"He's just money," Brian, Madison's father said about Joshua as we sat in the foyer of the Palmyra New York Temple.

couple getting married in bright flower field at Palmyra New York Temple; Wedding photographer in Athens PA; elopement photographer in Palmyra ny;

Madison and Josh had just made eternal promises, vowing before the people in the room, the Heavens above, and God that they would remain faithful to one another, hold to their personal covenants, and strive to be the best that they could be.

These are big promises.

These are promises that span eternity.

And you feel it. Even if it's not you making the vows, you feel the gravity and the love that's required to say 'yes' to promises so lasting.

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Tears of joy and hope slipped down my cheeks as I watched my friend get married to the man she'd chosen to spend eternity with.

I squeezed my husband's hand, remembering the same vows we'd also taken.

The room was full of joy. So much happiness that these two people, people who'd been strangers a year before, would find each other and choose to do the hardest thing in this life- to make it work. To make a marriage last with love and fidelity despite their own personal weaknesses and worldly temptations.

In was world full of endless options and gold-plated promises, we all sat and watched two people choose each other and acknowledge that they would be the one for each other.

family pictures on a wedding day with mother and father and bride at the Palmyra New York temple; LDS photographer in Palmyra New York; Family photographer in Sayre PA;

A few minutes later, there I sat next to Brian, the tears dried from my face, as we waited for Madison to finish touchups before we began pictures.

Brian's smile was permanent. The twinkle in his eye like a lighthouse beaming at everyone he looked at. Here was a father honored and joyful to have a son-in-law as great as Josh and I was lucky enough to be an eager listening ear to Brian's enthusiasm.

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"Madison was getting ready and was worried her hair didn't look right and her dress was a little off. And she was frustrated because she couldn't see everything in the mirror in her room. So what does Josh do?" Brian smiles at the young man who'd just married his oldest daughter. "He searches through the house, finds her a full-length mirror, and brings it up to her so she can fully see herself."

"What a guy!" I said, my own smile filling my face.

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"That's not even half of it," Brian continues. "He would gently touch her and tell her she looked beautiful and that everything was gonna be great. Madison was really feeling it and Josh just stepped in saying everything was gonna be fine. The whole time he's been here that's how he's been. He's been so calm and reassuring. He's just money. He's just such a good guy!"

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"He's the one who's convinced her to get the knee surgery," Madison's mom told me quietly. "She wouldn't do it otherwise. Volleyball is her life and taking time off the court is something she's not willing to do. But Josh has convinced her that this needs to happen. So thankfully, it's happening."

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. . .

What's my goal with all this?

It's clear this post is a little here and a little there. So what's the point?

First, I want you to see what a great guy my friend is marrying. I've been photographing Madison for years and I've wondered what kind of a guy could ever be good enough for her. Thankfully, she found Josh. Women, mothers of young daughters, there are good and wonderful men out there.

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Secondly, and most importantly, I want you to know that loving someone is a real choice. It feels like fate, it feels like some unchangeable force that none of us can control but it's not. It's a choice.

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Madison and Josh didn't get married because there were no other options. There were plenty of choices. Here are two remarkable people. Their options are endless.

Madison chose Josh because he was good. She chose him because he treated her with care and love. Josh showed Madison over and over again that he was a man who could be trusted with her future. Madison chose Josh because he has this way of looking at her that makes her feel whole and seen.

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And Josh chose Madison because Madison is steady and dependable. He chose her because she's driven and determined and humble. Josh sees that Madison could be anything and she chooses to be kind and forgiving. Josh chose Madison because of the way her face squeezes up when she smiles and he wants to be the man in her life that makes her smile the most.

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It's a choice.

A choice to love, to be loving, to be lovable.

It's a choice to see these things in people.

And it's a choice to stay in it and fight for it and grow with it.

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Choose the person you're with.

Choose them so hard that everyone around you can feel it. Choose them with so much enthusiasm you'll talk loudly about how incredible they are and your families will brag about your love.

Choose now and choose eternity because in a world full of endless options choosing is what holds the greatest power.

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P.S. Are you interested in an incredible photoshoot experience all your own with Melinda? Whether it be an elopement or engagement photoshoot, birthday photoshoot, mother and daughter pictures, headshots and branding, or contemporary portraits and boudoir we will create something show-stopping that celebrates you!

Private Photography Studio in Athens PA.

If you have tips or concerns about human trafficking happening in your area call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) at 1-888-373-7888. NHTRC is a national, toll-free hotline, with specialists available to answer calls from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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