NIKA'S ONCE UPON A TIME...

In the morning it comes, heaven sent a hurricane
Not a trace of the sun, but I don't even run from rain
Beating out of my chest, my heart is holding on to you
From the moment I knew
From the moment I knew

You were the air in my breath filling up my love-soaked lungs
Such a beautiful mess intertwined and overrun
Nothing better than this, oh, and then the storm can come
You feel just like the sun
Just like the sun

And if you say, i'll be alright
I'm gonna trust you, babe
I'm gonna look in your eyes
And if you say, i'll be alright
I'll follow you into the light

Before my fingers even hit the keyboard to write about this whirlwind of a season I am finding myself in, my heart feels like it's going to explode with a level of gratitude that can only be thrown back up to Heaven itself. Tears of joy are a new friend of mine lately. 

How do I begin to write about this healing, restoring, crazy, silly, forever, unconditional kind of love that has become the second most precious GIFT in my life besides God Himself?

Emeka Joseph Ihedigbo came into my life during the calm after what had been the most catastrophic storm. Our very first interaction was bridged by a very special verse.

"I therefore urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient; bearing with one another in love."

-Ephesians 4:1-2

From that moment and countless moments into present day, while we have had our share of stumbling and turmoil, I am in constant awe of the walking example this man is to me and those lucky enough to know him. Emeka IS humility, gentleness, patience...bearing in and through even the darkest shadows of my past with oceanlike love. Most people, even up close, cannot fathom the struggles from my past and the scars bearing witness. No one had bothered to look under the surface of my very fragile exterior... until he came along. I cannot sufficiently describe to you the healing power that diminishes all the lies when someone is bold enough, strong enough to take up those battles with you - scars and all - to find and see you for yourself and nothing more, nothing less. 

“To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.” -Tim Keller

The rest is history. I have witnessed Emeka pursue my family; melting my parents with a genuine nature and a heart of humility, and cherishing my baby sister as his own, patiently pouring out all he had to slowly gain her trust. I have witnessed Emeka serve my friends asking for nothing in return; from cooking a four course meal and insisting he also wash all the dishes, to sitting with someone in the middle of grief for as long as it takes. 

"And I will know you… because when you speak I will be reminded of Solomon’s wisdom,
Your ability to lead will remind me of Moses,
Your faith will remind me of Abraham,
Your confidence in God’s Word will remind me of Daniel,
Your inspiration will remind me of Paul,
Your heart for God will remind me of David,
Your attention to detail will remind me of Noah,
Your integrity will remind me of Joseph,
And your ability to abandon your own will, will remind me of the disciples,
But your ability to love selflessly & unconditionally will remind me of Christ.
But I won’t need to identify you by any special Matthews or any special Marks,
Cause His word will be tatted all over your heart." -Janette Mcghee

I've never had a prouder moment than saying yes to being Emeka's future wife. The honor of being his partner, strong helper, and best friend is grace beyond what I deserve in and of itself. Our engagement pictures are so incredibly precious to me because while leading up to the photoshoot we were giddy with anticipation, the moment we arrived, time stopped just for us. Just an empty, stunning Central Park and the man who blew my best dream out of the water.

He was so worth the wait.

 

"I have found the one whom my soul loves."

-Song of Solomon 3:4

 

 

 

Xoxo, Nika

 

A VERY special THANK YOU to a few artists whose talents and creative genius blow my mind!

Photography: Chester Canasa Photography / Instagram: @chestercanasa

(DREAM of a) Dress: Victoria Wong of Wear The Paint / Shop Wear The Paint on Etsy / Instagram: @wearthepaint / Facebook: Wear the Paint

Makeup: Bianca Diwa

Hair: Courtney Nejedly