I think most of you know the rest of the story. I fell more in love with him every day, and we were engaged within a year. I had never been the girl who dreamed about her wedding day. In fact, I had always imagined running away to a private island. At the ideal married age of 27. But once I had that ring on my finger, I was in love with love. I spent endless hours browsing wedding blogs, planning out details, and swooning over photos. The more I saw, the more I realized I was a sucker for all things wedding. Outdoor ceremonies made my heart skip a beat. Beautifully designed invitations were like sweet honey. But photography is what really made my heart sing. Tears from the groom as his future walked down the aisle. Pure adoration in the face of a bride as she danced with her dad. The nervous anticipation as the bride gets ready. And it hit me. I love this. I could do this for a living.
And then my head put screeching brakes on my soul’s imagination. You cannot change career paths. You will never make it. What will your friends and family think when you give up? But no matter what my reasoning said, I could not get the idea out of my heart. I prayed and prayed and knew that God was calling me to something more. Yes, it was outside of my perfectly laid plans. Yes, it would be a ton of hard work. But I wanted it so badly. I began studying my favorite photographers, watching videos on how to use my camera, and soaking in as much as I could.
Photo courtesy of Harvest of Memories.
We got married, continued on with school, and my dreams got put on the back burner. They were still there, but there was a part of me that still thought it would never work. I tagged along on a couple weddings with a dear friend who happens to be a talented photographer. I shot some portrait sessions for family. And I kept getting asked the question: what do you want to do with photography? Deep down, I knew the answer. My heart was screaming: EVERYTHING! But my head was still putting it’s foot down. Finish school young lady. Start a real career. Make that money.
And then the impossible presented itself (I was telling the truth when I said God could do ALL things). I was given the opportunity to travel to Chicago for an amazing workshop. I had been following the Making Things Happen blog since my photography dreams had first sprouted, but I knew I would never actually go. I talked to my husband, emailed a sweet friend, and listened to my gut. It was a resounding DO IT! So I signed up, drove six hours, and was scared to death as I walked in to a room of thirty creative women. Most of these ladies were already running successful businesses, and I felt so small. But one by one, these ladies poured their hearts out, and I realized that we are all broken. But God wants to fix us. It was like sitting in a room full of childhood friends who knew every single thing about me. There are so many things I am still processing, but I have this new energy and confidence that I can do it. I am worth it.
I have been waiting for my life to start after graduation. I have been sleep walking through my days, hoping for something better. Someday. Well someday is today, and I am eager to get started. It is like the fog is slowly lifting and I can see the path before me. It looks so beautiful. If you want to hear more about my journey, please ask. I am so fired up about the future God has in store, and I would love to share it. Thank you Todd: for being my support system and loving me no matter what. Thank you Lara, Emily, and Gina: for sacrificing so that you can inspire others. And thank you MTH alum (especially you Chicago ladies): for being authentic and helping me to see my worth. I cannot wait to see what our futures hold.