David inquired of the LORD: “Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?” The LORD told David, “Pursue them! You will definitely overtake them and rescue the captives.” 1 Samuel 30:8
Starting a marriage is like starting a business. They’re both packed with learning curves and often require large startup costs. You enter each with passions and positivity in full view. They both require intense amounts of effort, and as children of God, each requires security in Him.
Erik and Emily had just returned to Oklahoma from an incredible honeymoon in the Dominican Republic. Stepping into their new home together as Mr. and Mrs. Richison, excitement filled their minds as they anticipated the thrill of what lay ahead. Experimenting in the kitchen, paying utility bills, and brightening mundane Mondays together.
The first weekday brought with it an opportunity for weakness as Emily received a call from a potential employer informing her that the role she thought was a perfect fit was offered to another candidate. Though disappointment felt natural, Emily shrugged it off in confidence, “Well, God must have something else.”
The next day, Erik was laid off from his job.
He told his wife that night and she reminded him of the lyrics to their first dance song:
“Life could get hard
I could lose my job
Safety isn’t promised to me.”
They laughed at how words from a song they danced to ten days earlier could reflect reality so clearly. In their hearts, they knew God was orchestrating a piece of their lives in detail designed to glorify Him, and they found comfort in that.
Although the search for a practical replacement job came to mind, the name of the dream business they sketched out months before stood firm: Willow. The wedding videography company had been a romantic idea they imagined for the distant future.
With Emily’s experience in photography and Erik’s marketing skills, it would mean dream careers for each of them, after years of saving, of course. But God was calling for them to abandon all other forms of security and trust solely in Him.
On July 26, 2017, with less than two months of marriage under their belts, the Richisons launched Willow Narrative.
“Willow…because just as willow trees need to be near a water source in order to grow and truly flourish, we need to be rooted in Christ.”
Emily’s sentiment carries weight, not only in their personal life but in business as well. This couple is bold about sharing God’s love with their clients. They offer the gifts God gave them back to Him.
“Willow is God’s business. We are just the ones running it,” says Erik.
He and Emily find themselves continuously being tested to trust God and rest in Him. It’s a privilege that comes with being His children, and a lesson, as humans, we never stop learning.
Since starting their business, they’ve discovered the importance of community, linking up with other entrepreneurs and small shops in their area.
“We know we’re not the only ones doing this,” says Emily. “We’re not the only crazy ones.”
And, they make it a goal to enjoy the beautiful weddings they shoot by dancing to a few songs during each reception.
The Richisons are in the midst of a beautiful testimony. My hope in sharing their story is for you to be encouraged and filled with wisdom in your own new season. Whether it’s marriage or business or furthering your education, pursue Christ first. Trust in Him, find community, and enjoy the process (with a dance, perhaps).
For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. They shall spring up among the grass like willows by flowing streams. Isaiah 44:4-5