At first glance, J. LeVar & Nyoka Bryan appear to be your everyday working couple with two adorable kids, but when one digs a little deeper, a story of inspiration to defy all odds is discovered. T. Rose International Bridal Shows heard their story while on the hunt for a couple to whom the company and generous vendors would give a live, "Wedding of a Lifetime." Nyoka and J. LeVar shot to the top of the list.
"I had a crush on Nyoka since our eighth grade science class," admitted J. LeVar, techie, business-savvy husband and dad of the Bryan home in Atlanta, GA. Much to his dismay, Nyoka never let it go beyond the "friend zone." Then, when she joined the US Army immediately after high school and was deployed to Iraq, J. LeVar thought for sure all hopes for his long-awaited romance were out the door. Then, 2006 and a phone call came.
Nyoka called J. LeVar in the January of 2006 for what she thought would be a friendly check-in. Always grasping an opportunity, J, LeVar saw his window and went for it! He asked once again to accompany him for a date; this time, she accepted. Six months later, they were engaged. Exactly one year from when they became "official," the couple made their way to the courthouse and were married. While the needed finances for their dream wedding were not in place, they knew they were meant to be one - for better or for worse.
Their wedding vows, the commitments they made to one another, would be tested over the next few years. Their marriage would be rocked with more than their fair share of troubles. The couple was hit hard by the economic downturn, losing their home to foreclosure. After being wed for only a year, Nyoka was deployed again, this time to Kuwait for fifteen months. Still, the most difficult trials came with the losses of their first two unborn children to miscarriages.
We often say, "What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger." The part omitted is that even the strongest are pushed to the brink of "death" in the midst of seemingly insurmountable battles. It was through deep reliance on their faith in Christ that J. LeVar and Nyoka say they weathered the tumultuous times and now stand stronger than ever, on the cusp of celebrating seven years of marriage. Now, the Bryans have a precious daughter and son who are responsible for the joyful noise throughout their home.
They've declared, "This is only the beginning of our story."
Your beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous will your future be. - Book of Job (Job 8:7)
If you have been moved by this story, please leave a note for the Bryans in the comments section. We invite you to witness their live wedding ceremony during the T. Rose International Bridal Show at the Holiday Inn Inner Harbor (Baltimore, MD) on Sunday, October 27, at noon. You can grab free tickets before they run out here: http://trosebridalshowbaltimore2013.eventbrite.com/ (use code "GetWedforLess" for free ticket) or pay $5 in advance, $8 at the door.
All images are property of J. LeVar and Nyoka Bryan.