Stories about exes aren’t often inspirational. That’s what makes this photographer’s story so special. Amanda Steffke opens up about shooting her ex’s wedding and how co-parenting with an ex can work.
God blessed Amanda Steffke with an incredible talent for capturing special moments through her camera lens. Amanda uses this gift each day in her work as a wedding photographer.
But one day, Amanda’s ex, Ron, had an unusual request. Would Amanda take the photos as he married another woman?
The notion may sound cringe-worthy to some. But this photographer’s story about this big day is an inspiring example of the beauty that can exist when we do as Ephesians 4:31 says and put away all bitterness!
Photographer’s Unconventional Love Story
Amanda and Ron were only 19 when they got together. And by 20, they had their daughter, Johanna.
“Then we struggled,” Amanda’s photographer story revealed on Facebook.
Over time, Amanda and Ron grew further and further apart until, finally, they decided to split.
“We decided that staying together would cause more pain,” Amanda explained. “And at the end of the day, we both loved Johanna enough to give her an amazing life still.”
If you’ve ever wondered how to navigate co-parenting with an ex, Amanda Steffke could certainly give you some pointers. She admits it wasn’t easy, especially in the beginning.
“We fought, we argued,” she said. “After all we were trying to navigate a life where two people needed to share one child.”
But then, things changed.
Co-Parenting With An Ex
Those who are full of bitterness are captive to sin (Acts 8:23). But once Amanda and Ron put away the bitterness and hurt from their split, everything changed.
“As time moved forward, so did our maturity and respect for each other,” the photographer’s story went on to reveal. “I knew that Johanna needed her dad just as he knew she needed me too. We managed to find a middle ground that kept us all happy.”
Amanda and Ron grew to be friends. Co-parenting with an ex went became a blessing instead of a burden. The two began rejoicing together, not just in the joys of their daughter’s life, but in their own, too.
“I cared about the things in his life and he cared about mine. When I got married, he was there to hug me and tell me how happy he was for me,” Amanda said. Then she went on to share, “When we lost our first baby, he was there to tell me that everything was going to be okay. When I needed to talk through parenting Johanna, we talked it through together.”
Photographer Story Is Inspiration For Others
So, when Ron went on to meet his future wife, Jenny, Amanda felt no jealousy or malice.
“He [Ron] had finally found the one, just like I always knew he would and just like I had found too,” she wrote. “From day one Jenny and I had a mutual respect for one another. I knew that she had Johanna’s best interest at heart and already loved her so much.”
So, when it came time for Ron and Jenny to tie the knot, Amanda Steffke felt honored to be a part of the wedding as the photographer.
“I watched as my daughter gained another mom,” she said. “I laughed with them and cried with them.”
And as Amanda reflects back on her unconventional photographer story with her ex, Ron, she’s happy and “so proud that two 19-year-old kids have made a life this beautiful.”
Amanda recognizes that there are so many “split family” situations these days. And her story serves as an encouraging reminder that co-parenting with an ex doesn’t have to be weird or painful.
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“I know that it’s not a walk in the park and I will never say that we’ve done everything perfect,” Amanda says. “We just do it because it’s what’s right for our daughter. She was just under 2 years old when we split. She’ll never remember a time that we were together, but she’ll always remember how we treated each other after.”
What a wonderful story of forgiveness!
7 Quick Bible Verses To Help Battle Bitterness
- “But now you also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.” Colossians 3:8
- “Be not quick to let your spirit be angry; because wrath is in the heart of the foolish.” Ecclesiastes 7:9
- “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do you.” Colossians 3:13
- “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father, who is in heaven, may also forgive you your transgressions.” Mark 11:25
- “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all wrongs.” Proverbs 10:12
- “So, then, my beloved brothers, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger; for the anger of man doesn’t produce the righteousness of God.” James 1:19-20
- “Follow after peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no man will see the Lord, looking carefully lest there be any man who falls short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and many be defiled by it” Hebrews 12:14-15
Featured Image: Amanda Steffke Photography