The Heart Behind the Photos.

Brad and I will be celebrating our ONE YEAR anniversary this coming Monday, July 2nd. It has been a crazy year and honestly one that has gone by so extremely fast. I feel like I’m grasping to hold onto the memories and moments we’ve shared in this first year. I reached out to my friend Mary to help me capture my vision for what I wanted for our anniversary and I wanted to share with you what that vision was and what it still is for me.

Courtney & Brad Heathcock

I grew up in a home that wasn’t split in two yet, but it was broken. I love both of my parents, but no one can deny that we all knew divorce would be a word that would soon become familiar to my family. When I went off to college, the decision was made final and everything changed a little bit. Lucky for me, my parents are really good at not making it weird when we are together. They can be around one another, they ask about each other and how they are doing, and they still work as a team to make sure I am doing alright. So, that’s one example of how divorce has impacted my family.

I’ll keep it short, but here are a few more examples: My mom’s older sister has been divorced and married again and her older sister has been divorced 3 times. My dad’s sister has been divorced, his brother has been divorced and remarried, his nieces and nephews, and so on. As you can see divorce runs deep and wide on both sides of my family.

When I entered college pursuing a degree in Psychology and then also a Social Work degree, I began to learn about generational curses and how things that were present in the generation before have a high likelihood of reoccurring in the one to follow. This was reiterated to me again once I entered into the church world, that generational spiritual strongholds can be passed down from generation to generation if someone doesn’t put up a fight against the enemy to stop it.

Courtney & Brad Heathcock

I decided the moment Brad and I started talking about marriage that I didn’t want that to be my story. I didn’t want to put myself, Brad, or our kids through the pain of divorce, the confusion, or the heartache. We made the decision together to beat the 50% divorce rate and that divorce was not even an option for us. Now that you know the backstory, let me get to the heart behind the pictures.

I wanted something that could visibly document us breaking the cycle of divorce in my family. I wanted to be able to show my children one day that we stuck it out through the good and the bad. I want to be able to look back years down the road and laugh at when we thought we had it rough and that we couldn’t make it. That’s where the pictures come in.

Brad and I will take anniversary pictures every single year to document us breaking the stronghold of divorce on my family, God’s grace for us and my family, and to be a reminder of what marriage is really about. It’s not about us at all, it’s about what our relationship can do for the Kingdom and how can we display the gospel in our marriage. We will document our families growth through this visible representation of God’s goodness for our marriage, from dogs to kids to grandkids.


I am so excited to see how this develops over the years and look forward to the many years ahead of us. I hope this encouraged you in some way and that you enjoy looking at these amazing photos by Mary Margaret Gates! I’ll be sharing more throughout this week!

8 thoughts on “The Heart Behind the Photos.

  1. This is so sweet. I LOVE that you decided together that divorce was not an option. I’m sure that really helps when it comes to working out any issues.

  2. This is the sweetest post!! I love that you all want to memorialize your marriage long term and bring success as an example for future generations!

  3. Happy one year!! And I absolutely loved reading your thoughts and seeing the intentionality with which you are approaching your marriage. That is so important and precious! And July 2nd is our engagement anniversary, actually, a pretty good day! 🙂 We’ve managed to take an anniversary photo every year so far, this year will be eight years!

  4. This is a beautiful post. It’s so sad that divorce runs so deep through your family, but I admire all your family members and yourself for continuing to look for love even with all the evidence that it doesn’t work out in the long run, because I truly believe it can. My partner and I have been together for 5 years and have a lot of other goals to achieve before getting married, but we are already very dedicated to living much happier lives than our parents did. We’ve created a home full of love and happiness, and there’s no room for bitterness or anger here! We are a team, and always will be. I truly believe we’ll make it in the long run, and I have no doubts that you and your husband will as well!

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