Josh & Katie

If you haven’t encountered pain in your life, than you
haven’t been alive long.  Life’s challenges
come in with a blazing speed often with zero time to prepare or brace ourselves.  When we are faced with the devastation that breaks
the routine of busyness encircling our lives, we have a decision to make.  Will this make us bitter or will this make us
better?  That was the case for Josh and
Katie Redding just 3 weeks ago.

While coming home from a family camping trip, the Reddings
were in a devastating car accident.
While driving home on route 97, a tractor trailer sped by creating a strong
draft that unsettled the RV they were pulling.
This caused the RV to roll, which then pulled their SUV over with

How many times have you sat in a back up, cursing under your
breath for the delays it caused you, completely unaware of the devastation a
stranger was neck deep in?   We’ve all
been there/done that.  What if we
considered exchanging the curses for prayers to intervene on behalf of those
whose accident has caused our minor delay to our business as usual.

Katie’s mom woke the morning of the accident to a feeling of
dread deep in her soul.  However, she knew
no amount of worry changes the course of life.
‘Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its
strength.’  She would not allow worry to
trap her.  Instead this dread led her into
prayer.  No obligatory 30-second generic
prayer.  Her prayers flooded God’s heavenly
throne for 3 hours that morning!

This prayer vigil, held without a definite understanding of
why at the time, is what Josh and Katie attribute their lives to today.  Their three young children, Brady, Luke and Tali
all walked away from the accident.  Josh
walked away fine as well.  So amazing how her obedience to that call to prayer changed her family forever!

Katie was stuck in the car for an hour hanging partially upside
down.  She had to be cut out.  By most people’s accounts she should have
been wailing.  Instead she was
celebrating that although she knew she had sustained serious injuries, she was
fully aware she could move her feet!  This
was cause for celebration!

Katie and the kids were taken to Baltimore Washington Medical Center immediately.  Katie was then sent on to Shock Trauma.  Thorough
examinations revealed her kids were fine.
Josh held out on being checked out until he knew things were fine with his
precious wife and children.  He was
stepping into the gap for what he holds most dear in this life—his family.

This would start the journey that would lead to the
realization that Katie’s upper back was broken and parts of her neck.  Many would have given in to despair at this
point.  Josh and Katie began recounting
God’s blessing to have them at one of the finest medical facilities in the
world.   Josh fell to his knees and with
tears said, ‘thank You Jesus that my wife is alive, she can move and my children
are alive and physically fine.’

Josh’s tears through this journey have never been a ‘why me’
but instead have been a very real acknowledgement of God’s provision through
this valley.  He is repeatedly brought
back to humbling praise for miracle after miracle through this journey.

Katie’s journey to recovery started at Shock Trauma where
she received amazing care and her first surgery.  She transitioned to Kernan Hospital which
specializes in spinal cord injury rehabilitation.   The
hope was that the broken C1 part of Katie’s spine would heal to avoid surgery
that would require a halo to be installed.
A halo would immobilize her upper body by bolting into her skull…think
head gear for the whole upper part of your body.

Last week, a much anticipated CT scan revealed God would
have other plans that did not involve healing Katie’s C1.  Her scan revealed the C1 did not heal and
instead the base of Katie’s skull is turning in the wrong direction.   This alarming news means Katie will require
an invasive surgery asap to correct this turn of the skull.

The medical team at Shock Trauma wanted to prep Katie for
surgery immediately after viewing the CT scan results.  However, one of the medications she is on
necessitated they wait a week before performing the surgery.

Josh and Katie’s response to this devastating news—Thank
You Lord for this incredible medical team you have placed in our path.  Thank You Lord we will get time with the
children before the surgery as Katie was discharged from Kernan to her home for
several days to await her surgery.    She
remains in her immobilizing neck brace as they anticipate the surgery coming
this Wednesday.

The Reddings wanted to share this story with their dear
friends and family who have surrounded them with prayer, brought meals, visited
with hospital with homemade chicken soup, sat vigil with them, raised their
children, sent worship music, cards and flowers and flooded them with support
in countless other ways.   We are throwing the prayer net wider through
my portrait blog to garner more prayer support.

Currently Josh’s mom and dad have moved into the Redding
home to be a constant source of support and presence for Brady, Luke and
Tali.  Josh and Katie are overwhelmed
with gratitude for the stability this is providing their children and the
ability this has given Josh to be by Katie’s side daily at the hospital.

Katie’s remarked Josh’s mom, Patty, appears invigorated and
energized by her time with her grandchildren!
Katie expected to see her ragged and instead is amazed at her ability to
step into the role so seamlessly.  What
an incredible peace of mind this has given Josh and Katie!   Patty’s service to her grandchildren is
certainly a milestone marker in this journey!
Katie’s sister Stacy has also stepped in to care for the children.

Both extended families have stepped in in countless ways to
carry Josh and Katie through this.   When many would have their hearts flooded with
fear, the Reddings are awash in gratitude right now.

After visiting with Katie in the hospital I noticed
she had photos from a portrait session I did with her family when I first began
my business.  I decided Katie needed to
have some updated portraits in her hospital room as she undergoes these
surgeries and the long road to rehabilitation that lies ahead.

This swirled in my brain while I was making dinner the day I
visited her in Shock Trauma.  Operation ‘unplanned
photo shoot’ was born.    I knew I wanted
to surprise Katie with some portraits but fall is an especially challenging
time for a portrait business, aka it’s our busiest time of the year.  Time was of the essence because I wanted to
get her the photos prior to any additional surgeries.  Falls weather can be challenging and I knew
if we needed a reschedule the plan would fall apart.

While preparing dinner I mulled over how to make this work.   I
noticed how beautiful it was and thought, what if I could do the session right

I called Patty and found she was home with the kids.  I said, ‘what are you guys doing?’  I informed her of my plan, which she was
excited about.  So I went out on a limb
and said, ‘I will have exactly 30 minutes to shoot before sunset if I leave
right now.  Can you fly by the seat of
your pants and do this?’  To which super-Mom
Mom said, ‘yes, let’s do it!’

Josh and Katie had no idea.
They knew I had taken a few photos while we all prayed at Shock Trauma
for their record of the story God is writing into their lives.  They had no idea photos of their babies were
coming.  It’s been especially hard for
Katie to be away from her babies for 3 weeks and the plan was for this to ease
that pain a bit.

Just prior to the accident the Redding’s were studying the
Old Testament book of Joshua as a family.
God was teaching them about the stones of Gilgal where the leaders of
the 12 tribes of Israel each took up a stone from the Jordan river after the
Lord stopped the river from flowing. They made a monument to remember what God
had done so they could tell future generations of God’s great deed.

Often times in the Old Testament God calls His people to
raise up tangible reminders to His faithfulness.  When He does something big, He says, ‘build a
monument here where I performed this miracle, so when your children ask, you
can tell them of My provision.’  He knows
our children will ask us questions all day long and uses those questions as a
means to point them to His great love.   This is how our faith is passed onto the next

Josh and Katie strongly desire to raise up their monument to
God’s faithfulness during this whole ordeal.
They shared with me they are learning intimately that God places us in
situations we would never choose for ourselves in order to produce things in us
that we would never be able to produce or imagine in ourselves.   He is
certainly the Master at bringing beauty from our ashes.

Josh and Katie are looking to God for continued care and
provision during this next phase and every phase of this journey.   I’ve encouraged them to remember they don’t
have to be strong every step along the way.
His power is perfected in our weakness.

Josh’s care for Katie has been the model of Christ like
servanthood.  He is her champion, her
prayer warrior, her advocate with the medical staff, her bather, her hand holder,
her comic relief, her confidant, and her constant encourager.   To watch how this has knit them even more
tightly together as husband and wife has been an amazing thing to behold.

I’ve seen a new side of Josh during this ordeal.  God is certainly growing His child to know
Him more and taking Him deeper into the Kingdom.    Josh and Katie are learning as a couple
what a sacrifice of praise is….they are learning the truths learned and
proclaimed in the light still hold true in the dark.

Josh and Katie’s rally cry since the beginning has been,
“God is in control and God is good!”  No
matter what lies ahead they cling to this truth.  They are finding a fellowship with our sweet
Lord that is not found in busyness as usual.

Please join in praying for Josh and Katie on this
journey.  Specifically, prayer for the
doctors whose hands will operate on Katie Wednesday at Shock Trauma are
coveted.    They want to say thank you
again for all the many, many hands that have stepped in with service and love
for their family!    Hug your family
tightly today!

PS– almost forgot, but another cool reminder that has to be added to this story—Josh has shared with all three of the children that God has saved them from this crash because He has big plans for their lives.  He is speaking blessing and vision into their lives to be on the look out for what God wants to do in their lives!  Awesome!


  1. Jennifer Hudgins says:

    Prayers for Katie, her amazing family, the doctors, nurses, and techs to be working on her, and for a speedy full recovery! God is so good and has great plans for this family! So blessed to know Katie and her little ones! Prayers! Prayers! Prayers!

  2. Cindy Richardson says:

    "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13
    I have been following Katie’s journey through my daughter Jill who first asked me to pray for her. Praying that His grace continues to cover this precious family, as He turns this trial into a glorious testimony for His glory. They are living proof that His grace really is sufficient. Thank you for posting more of their story with your beautiful pictures.

  3. Susan Brinkley says:

    This is the most beautiful thing I have ever witnessed.This family makes me want to hold , hug , and charish my family
    more than can be imagined. This family brings back the hope love and strength I hold dear in GOD. Thank you for restoring my faith .

  4. Terri Wilhelm says:

    What a beautiful tribute to this family. My cousin and her family have our prayers.

  5. Kathy Zynel says:

    I’m sitting here speechless, hearing what Katie and her family have been through, reading about their strength and faith, and seeing this beautiful gift you have given them. I will pray for the Redding family and those that are taking such great care of her. Hugs to Katie!

  6. Paige Moffitt says:

    When all this is behind them what a lasting memory they will have with this picture blog and their 3 beautiful children. The pictures are exquisite and the setting perfect..sometimes the best pictures are done spur of the moment. I pray for the steady hands of her medical team preparing for her upcoming surgery and that God holds her and her family in the palm of his hand and gives them strength.

  7. Denise Lizau says:

    I am in tears for each of you. Please know you will all be in my prayers. I will send this around asking my other friends to pray as well. Patti is amazing….you are all so blessed to have her….love you all so much….

  8. Rebecca Coyle says:

    Thinking of you, Katie and Josh and praying that Our God will sustain you during this time. My thoughts and prayers will especially be strong on Wednesday. Love you.

  9. AmyC says:

    What a beautiful story and gorgeous children! Prayers for Katie and Josh.

  10. Lisa Redding says:

    I have never seen such love and faith as I have from these two people. They are amazing in what they are facing and how grateful they are for everything and everyone. God is great and He has you in His hands. We are just tools in His world, so tons of prayers to all! Love Always, Aunt Lisa

  11. Jennifer DiDio says:

    incredibly humbled by the response to this today…that people who don’t know Katie have partnered to pray for her—that is the Lord at work in this! when He lays something on our hearts and and we respond with a ‘yes Lord,’ mountains will be moved! God continues to write His stories into our lives when we will partner with Him and how incredible to be a part of that! Thank you all for your prayers! love, jennifer 😉

  12. Kara Litzau says:

    What a beautiful family! and a beautiful faith. We will be praying for you!

  13. Jamie says:

    Absolutely amazing!

  14. Penny harrigan says:

    Beautiful!! What a wonderful thing you have done for this wonderful family. I will keep them in my prayers and thoughts and pray for the doctors to help heal Katie. I don’t know this family but know they need all the prayers they can get 🙂

  15. Lori says:

    What a Beautiful story. You have captured the "Essence" once again Jennifer. I will keep this "Precious Family" in Prayers.

  16. Thank you for sharing this. I will be in prayer for this sweet family.

  17. Jean hale Trawinski says:

    It is an amazing story that you have written and expressed in pictures. I do believe God has his precious hands on this family. I also, believe that when tragic things happen it makes your love stronger to help you get through by praying and keeping the faith of God in your heart and mind!! Lots of hugs and prayers and please keep us posted on her recovery. God bless

  18. Judy says:

    This is an absolutely amazing tribute to the courage and strength we can have if only we accept God as our Savior. Praying for a full recovery and if not, faith and strength for this family to live with the challenges.

  19. Tom & Catherine Bonvie says:

    A very real and heart-wrenching story indeed. No matter what the outcome you have shown your faith to be real and steadfast…for without FAITH it is impossible to please God.
    We followed your beautiful picture story all the way through and paid close attention to the narrative. It was very moving. God is certainly in the final frame. And it’s this final frame we must adhere to with all our heart, for this is where our invisible God has shown himself to all who believe.
    Hold fast Brother…and though our prayers are for your wife’s complete recovery, we still must accept the Master’s final will.
    Be still and know that HE is God and remember, with Him ALL things work together for good. Blessed be the name of the Lord!

  20. Roxanne says:

    I’m speechless. Absolutely beautiful! What an amazing friend you are to capture these moments and share this story of faith. Thank you.

  21. Absolutely a beautiful story with photos. And most of all proclaiming God through it all! What a testimony they have to tell and are living for their own kids. Thank you for sharing!

  22. Evelyn says:

    This is an absolute blessing to me as a testimony of God’s faithfulness! What a strong man Josh and his Katie is amazing knowing that God is in control and he has a plan for them. Lord I pray right now for the hands of the surgeons that are operating on Katie to do your work, Father God you be the one behind the surgeon’s hands and guide them safely to correct this injury. We know that you are in control and everything little thing is in your hands. Please father God hold them in the palm of your hand and pour down your grace and mercy on them. In your precious and holy name I pray. Amen

  23. Kathy Torgerson says:

    What a beautiful gift you have given to both of these parents. Not only are they beautiful pictures of the children, they come at such a pivotal time. I will be praying for the whole family. God truly is in control.

  24. Lauren says:

    What a beautiful gift you gave this family. Thank you for sharing their story. They will remain in my prayers.

  25. Mary (Terri)Flaherty says:

    Remarkable family and friends. Too beautiful for words. God is definitely with us in crises like this and no one is better at loving him than this faith-filled family.

  26. Jan Brown says:

    This is an amazing story and these pictures are beautiful. These children are beautiful, the whole family is beautiful! I will be praying now through Wednesday and in the days ahead for a speedy recovery. Thank you so much for sharing this. God is good and He will take care of all of you!

  27. Sam Zito says:

    Great pics, Great family.God has a plan for this young family and his will be done. Wishing for a great recovery and my thoughts and prayers are with you all

  28. Dick, Kathy, and Danielle DeManss says:

    This is a wonderful story of sadness overcome by joy, and heartache turned into a heartwarming story. This is a great testimony of God walking with Katie and her family during this period of adversity. Praise be to God forever and ever. We pray for wisdom for the doctors, rapid and complete healing, and continued comfort, peace and strength for Katie, Josh and the kids. We are patiently waiting for the day when we will see all of you at LifePoint Church again.

  29. Doug and Laurie Anderson says:

    What a beautiful gift you have given the Redding family, Jen. Thank you. And you have given those of us who don’t know the Reddings personally some excellent specifics for our prayers.
    Reddings, we have not met, but we have been lifting you up to the Father for weeks. Much love, Doug and Laurie Anderson

  30. Susan Lamb says:

    Katie and Family,

    So sorry that you are having to go through this trial. Rejoicing with you at His protection of the rest of your family. What I love about these pictures is the obvious joy on your children’s faces. I’m KNOW they are missing their Mamma but God is clearly providing calm and peace for them that can only come from Him. What a sweet sacrifice of praise you are offering up to Jesus by your response to this suffering. No matter what, He will never leave you or forsake you. Continually praying for you and your family.

    Susan Lamb

  31. Julie Blauwkamp says:

    thanks for sharing these beautiful photos and story with us. We continue to stand in the gap for the Redding family- trusting God in His care and provision of them all and asking His name be greater through this ordeal.

  32. Kim says:

    My friend Patty was one of the first to stop at the crash that day and help Josh with getting the children out and sat with them along the side of the road. I saw her later that day and she asked me to pray for this amazing family! I will continue to pray that God will heal Katie and give peace an comfort to the family!
    Thank you for sharing this and the pictures a beautiful!

  33. J. Ferguson says:

    God is good. Bless this family, they are in my prayers. Thank you for sharing this wonderful story and beautiful pictures.

  34. Courtney Hannemann says:

    Absolutely beautiful. Thoughts and prayers for a special family.

  35. Heidi says:

    Prayers being sent for this beautiful family. Thank you for sharing.

  36. Marion E. says:

    We will pray for this family. What beautiful pictures. I hope she is healed and recovers well.

  37. Jennifer DiDio says:

    i am compelled to weigh in again and say Thank you again to all these added prayer warriors! Josh, Katie and I are astounded and overwhelmed with gratitude that sooo many of you have joined us in this venture to flood the throne of heaven with prayers for our dear Katie! really we had no idea that so many of you would join us in this and we are awash in amazement of the Bride of Christ living out His great commission to love one another! love, jennifer 😉

  38. Aaron says:

    You are in my prayers. May God heal you completely.

  39. Vicki Mattingly says:

    As a fellow storm walker in a different kind of storm – the cancer journey I can totally attest to the fact that my faith is stronger than it ever was. What the enemy meant for evil, our Great God will turn to good. May Jesus continue to bring healing, peace and joy in your family at this time! What a beautiful testimony of love and faith! And I echo what a beautiful photo journey!

  40. Linda a Jarrin says:

    Thank you Jennifer for this beautiful gift to the Redding family and to those of us who know them. My prayers are with them today. It was the first thing I did as I opened my eyes this morning and continue to do all day. What a blessing to find you picture journal this morning.

  41. Joel Redding says:

    thank you all for the prayers and well wishes to my brother and his family it really means a lot to know they have so much support up there!!

  42. Jane says:

    Praying for Katie and Josh…God is good and God is in control!

  43. Lisa Ducote says:

    Praise God for His mercies are new EVERY morning!! This tribute is beautiful!! My prayers will be with this precious family. God is clearly in control of this situation but what is so beautiful is Josh and Katie’s response to this tragedy. May God heal Katie quick and hold the family in His hands.

  44. Carrie Robinson says:

    My family will pray! What an awesome couple and family. I am speechless…just now you have an entire family praying for your family.

  45. Joanne Lovick says:

    Father, creator of all things and loving Abba, send your ministering angels to the bedside of Katie this very hour. Guide the hands of the surgeons and bring about complete healing with no residual effects of any kind. Bring peace to Josh as he keeps vigil by his wife’s bedside. Bring peace to all of the family and cover them with your feathers like a mother hen covers and protects her children. Let every nerve and bone created by you be returned to their complete functioning position and let there be no pain of discomfort of any kind. Thanking you, in advance, for the answers to this and all of the prayers being sent heavenward this very hour. I pray in the name of the one who bore our infirmities upon the cross – Jesus our Savior! Amen and Amen!

    Katie – I am Christina (Roach) Dunn’s mom and friend with Heidi. Be blessed and encouraged.

  46. Paula Deyle Rayner says:

    This photo blog has cut deep into my heart – my prayers for Josh and Katie and their families…..thank you Jennifer for this work of love in art….so remember you from CBS days! May the power of the Lord Jesus Christ and His healing graces be over all and especially to Katie through the surgery. Praying for healing – the covering of peace throughout surgery and may God’s Presence be upon all who attend Katie throughout the surgery and in the continuing days until complete recovery is experienced. And may praises rise to God daily for saving this family.

  47. Darlene haggerty says:

    We will continue to be praying! Thank you for sharing this awesome witness of faith

  48. My eyes are filled with tears. I am so inspired by the faith and trust in God this family is showing to the world. What an example of bringing God glory and being a living sacrifice for the world to behold and know that faith in God can move mountains! Praying for this precious momma and wife and her family that God will bring healing and continue to uphold them with His abundant grace and love!!

  49. Luke Redding says:

    I know that this is late and no one will probably ever see this, but I just wanted to say thank you for being a huge part in this life journey that we faced. I know I was young when it happened but sitting here writing this school assignment on this just made me come back to these picture! Again thank you so much for all that you did for us!!!

    • Sara Butler says:

      Awe Luke, what a sweet out of the blue surprise to hear from you!! How awesome that you are revisiting the Lord’s faithfulness to you all during this time that turned your family’s life upside down! May the Lord bless you and keep you all in His grace and joy!

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