Awaiting a Revelation 21 Heaven

I write today with a heavy heart. It's Father's Day, which is typically a very joyful day. This year, however, Father's Day is concluding one of the most difficult weeks I've ever experienced. About two weeks ago Landon and I found out that we were pregnant. This is something we've been praying over for a long time, and we've been asking the Lord for the blessing of a child more intentionally and persistently over for the last six months. When we found out we were pregnant we were overjoyed to say the least. I woke up every morning and went to bed every night for about a week praising the Lord for this incredible gift. We prayed for the baby's salvation and health. We thanked God for answering our prayers. We could not wait to share the news with our friends and family. Unfortunately, we never got that chance. On Tuesday afternoon, at only about 6 weeks along, I found out that I lost the baby. The little life that God had blessed us with was unable to continue growing, and my heart was shattered. For a moment my world completely stopped. I cannot conjure an eloquent way to write about this experience. The depth of the sadness I felt, and still feel, is unlike anything I've walked through before. Landon and I are both heartbroken. We are tired, physically and emotionally, and I'm finding it difficult to refrain from replaying the events of the last week over and over in my mind. 

JordanBaby

Though we do not understand why this happened, there are two things I do understand, and I want to share these two things with you. I am not writing this post for sympathy or attention. I am writing this post to process and heal, and I am writing this post with the hopes of possibly encouraging another. I don't know what you are going through, but I am hoping the things I do know will be able to encourage you wherever you are:

  1. Every piece of our world is marred by sin. There is so much hurt all around us...war, violence, poverty, injustice, death...miscarriages. This week I've been tempted so many times to believe that darkness reigns. In these moments my soul is downcast, and I'm left without hope. But then, by the Spirit of God, the Word of God, and the community of God, I am reminded of the second thing that I know...
  2. There is hope. This morning at church we prayed over the events that happened this past week in Orlando. Our pastor said that "we live in a Genesis 3 world and await a Revelation 21 heaven." Though we live in a world completely marred by sin, we can have hope because we have a God that sent His Son to die for our sin. He traded His perfect life for our broken one, and through His sacrifice we are given eternal life. I was astonished when our pastor referenced Revelation 21 this morning, as I've been clinging to this passage all week: "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away'" (Revelation 21:1-4). 

The picture above shows all I have of the little girl or boy we lost. A nurse at the hospital gave a yellow, woven heart to us because our baby was not far enough along to be seen in an ultrasound. I do not know how to cope with the sadness and grief that I feel, but I do know that one day He will wipe away every tear from my eye. I do not know why our baby could not live, but I do know that one day death will be no more. I do not know if there will ever be a day on this earth where I do not mourn, cry, or feel pain over this loss, but I do know that one day this will all be gone. The former things will pass away. Today I am hurting because we lost a child. I am hurting because my husband is not experiencing his first Father's Day. I am hurting because of the depths of brokenness in this world. In this sadness I am clinging to the truth of His word and awaiting a Revelation 21 heaven. I grieve, but I grieve with hope. I pray He will comfort you and empower you to do the same.

Miller Family | Winston-Salem, NC

Happy Friday, everyone! I don't know about you, but the summer is starting off quite speedily for me. I can't believe it's already June! May was my first month designing part-time at Mercy Hill Church and devoting more time to my own little business. I am so grateful for these two jobs and the immense blessing of getting to wake up every day and do things that I am so passionate about. Time most definitely flies when you're having fun. :) Early last month I got to spend time with the Miller family for a portrait session at the Old Salem Historic District in Winston-Salem. Bryan is the Connections and Missions Pastor at Mercy Hill, and he and his wife Lindsey have the most precious little boys, Drew and Landon. Whenever my husband, Landon, and I are around the Millers, we call the youngest Miller "Little Landon", since the two gentlemen share a name! I really look up to the Miller family. I admire the way they love others, devote themselves to our church and our community, and raise their family to seek, know and love Christ. Needless to say, I was extremely honored to photograph them together. Even though "Little Landon" was pretty insistent on keeping his thumb in his mouth most the time, we were still able to capture some really sweet and special moments. Miller family, thank you so much for the joy of working together! 

Bethany | Custom Greeting Cards

Happy Wednesday, everyone. I'm writing this blog post outside under a bit of shade with the most lovely early-summer, North Carolina breeze. I'm so thankful for time today to sit and enjoy a few quiet moments, and I'm also really pumped to share one of my latest projects with you all. I created these custom greeting cards for one of my very best friends, Bethany Fletcher. Bethany and I met in 2011 when we lived together for an 8-week summer project with Athletes in Action. We became quick friends through AIA's X-Project, and I am so thankful to have her now as a lifelong friend and sister in Christ (I am also thankful that she understands my introverted-tendencies, my love for sushi/Mexican food/monster mix, and the absolute necessity of a good Netflix binge or movie night marathon) . I am always honored when close friends ask me to create for them. Bethany is on staff with the Athletes in Action ministry, and she lives and works in Boston. This project was extra special to me because Bethany will use these cards to send out notes to her support team. I love creating custom paper goods, but I was truly overjoyed and humbled not just to design a few pretty flowers but to create an item that will be the conduit of many stories, prayers and praises of all God is doing through Bethany's life. He is using her mightily in Boston and all over the globe, and I am both honored and encouraged to learn from Bethany's life and her unyielding devotion to the Lord. If you're like Bethany and in need of any paper items with a personal touch, please let me know. I would love to work with you! 

Lindsay + Brian | Greensboro Engagement

One of my favorite things so far about being a photographer is the opportunity to meet new people and make new friends. When Lindsay reached out to me for an engagement shoot with her fiancé Brian, I was extremely excited to get to know them both. We got together last month at the Arboretum in Greensboro, and the evening couldn't have been more beautiful. I was thankful for both the perfect weather and time to walk and talk with the future Vervynckts. Lindsay and Brian's love for one another was evident as soon as I met them. They were both so easy to work with, and Brian's lighthearted personality definitely made the session fun. When I showed them a sneak peak from our time together, Lindsay posted the picture on her Facebook with the caption:

"I choose you. And I'll choose you over and over and over. Without pause, without a doubt, in a heartbeat. I'll keep choosing you."

I found great encouragement through the reminder that love is a more than a feeling or fleeting emotion. Love is a choice that, by grace, can endure through the ages. I feel very blessed to have played a small part in Lindsay and Brian's choosing of one another. Some of my favorite photos from our session are below. Thank you guys for encouraging me, and I'm so excited for your upcoming wedding!

Salem | Business Card

Happy Friday, friends! I hope you all have had a great week. I am really excited to share this project with you all for a few reasons:

  1. For those of you who don't know me personally, I was running Jenna Jordan Design on top of a full time job. At the end of last month I was able to transition from my full time job to a part time position at Mercy Hill Church, and I really could not be more excited or thankful! I've been a communications associate at Mercy Hill for two weeks now, and I am blown away by how encouraging the experience has already been. I'm getting to work on design projects, social media (follow our Instagram!), and I'm even assisting our videographer soon, which I'm really excited about. I've learned a great deal in the past two weeks, and I'm thrilled to continue to learn and grow with such an incredible team to further the gospel in this city, the triad and throughout the nations. Working for Mercy Hill part time is also enabling me to devote more time to Jenna Jordan Design, which means I will get to do a lot more fun projects like the one you'll see below! In addition to wedding stationery, I'd love to design business cards, logos or anything else you may need for your business or just for fun, so please let me know if you'd like to collaborate!
  2. I'm also excited to share this project with you because of how much I love this client. I created this business card for my good friend Salem Carney, who is a design student at UNCG. I met Salem through our community group at church, and she is an incredibly talented woman who loves the Lord. God is already using Salem mightily while she is in school. I am constantly encouraged by her genuineness and her desire to share the gospel. She is an extremely caring person, and she has an uncanny ability to make everyone around her feel heard, special and loved. I also truly believe God is going to do great things through her when she graduates next spring, so I was super excited when she asked me to design these business cards for her.
  3. Lastly, I really enjoyed this project because it was my first time working with a letterpress printer. I love letterpress, but I'd never had the chance to try it out. So Salem, thank you for this chance! I ended up meeting an awesome girl through Mercy Hill that runs her own letterpress business called Printology Press (you should all go check it out and use Printology for all your cool projects!). Working with Printology was an awesome experience, and I will definitely be working with them again on future projects (including new business cards for myself, which should be coming soon!). 

I love how these cards turned out for Salem. We used a super subtle watercolor wash on the front and then kept it classy and simple with the text. I think these business cards are a striking example of the "less is more" mantra. I hope this post can inspire you today to go out and try something new. I'm certainly so thankful I was able to dip my toes into the waters of the letterpress world...it's always refreshing to get a little wet :) TGIF!