One couple graciously received a rainbow after their September 2 wedding was derailed by Hurricane Harvey. The bride, Shelley Holland, took to Facebook this weekend to share her story with Ellen DeGeneres, and her post has since gone viral with nearly 400,000 reactions and over 19,000 shares.
“My husband and I completely lost every plan we made over the last 6 months surrounding our upcoming wedding,” Holland wrote on Facebook. “This included our wedding cake, the venue, the chapel, the catering, and so many other small details.”
The bride acknowledged the disappointment over her wedding, but said it paled in comparison to the actual devastation left in the wake of Harvey. Among those who’ve lost their homes was their pastor, who was originally supposed to marry the couple at the Church on the Rock in Katy, Texas. “His home was completely destroyed, his church was flooded with several feet of water,” Holland continued in the post. “Yet Pastor Jorge Cardeas and the wedding coordinator Evelin […] found us a new Chapel so that we could continue with our wedding ceremony. They were a tremendous blessing and even came to check on us on the day of the wedding. WOW!”
Holland included a link to a local news story which further detailed Pastor Cardeas’ strife. The religious leader and his wife had to be rescued by canoe amid rising floodwaters. “The reality is that we all go through crisis of our faith in moments like this,” Cardenas told local ABC affiliate KSAT 12. “We question ‘Why?’ I personally asked myself, ‘God why me?’ The church and my house, all gone and then I said, ‘Wait a minute, why not me?’ I can take it because I have faith.”
Accompanying the bride’s post was a triumphant photo: An image of the couple kissing in the middle of a floodwater-filled street. The groom, whose pants are rolled up to his knees, kisses his wife in an impassioned embrace, hoisting her up so that her shoes and dress are safely elevated above the water.
“We are so [grateful] to these sweet people,” Holland concluded. “I also want to thank our photographer Jim Davis and Andi Davis for this AMAZING photo that was captured. Such a testimony of God’s faithfulness! Harvey we WON!”