I'm a wedding and portrait photographer living in Vancouver, BC with my husband Randy.  I photographed my first wedding when I was only 17 years old - and I've photographed over 200 weddings since! I am an avid bookworm, lover of green tea, pretty nail polish & my Labradoodle Harley. Thanks for visiting!

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the girl i once was: part 4

July 17, 2012


[The Girl I Once Was is a series of blog posts compiled from real-life journal entries from my teenage years. If you’d like to read the story from the beginning, you can find the introduction here.]

part one | part two | part three


November 21, 2005: I’m just mad. Bored. Frustrated. I want to cry all day. I don’t want to get out of bed. I want a flat stomach. I hate myself. I hate my new hair but Mom would flip if I said that. I hate every little detail of my life. Everything. I’m so bored with it. Everything is a let down. Everything is boring, disappointing or frustrating. I don’t look good blonde. I have no motivation to exercise. I can’t eat anything because of my allergies. I hate taking my medicine and doing my castor oil packs to help my stomach. I hate my pale face. I hate everything. There’s too much going on in my head that I don’t even know what to write.

I need help.
I need God.
I don’t know how to find him.
He doesn’t seem real.
I don’t feel strengthened or encouraged.
I feel lost.
I need my Mom.

I want to be a normal teen. I want to have fun, not food. I’m done with thinking about food. I hate going to youth. I hate feeling self-conscious. I hate being alone. I hate my brain. Stomach. Hair. School. Youth group. The doctor. Sickness. Stress. Lack of motivation. I don’t see how I can go on. I want to be done, with school, youth, sickness, everything. I can’t do this. I can’t. I can’t. There’s no way. I want to stay here and cry, cry, cry.



At the start of every new year, Southgate Church had one week of prayer meetings. I have always respected my parents’ love for the church. We were raised with the mentality: If there’s church going on, you go to church. So we went — to all seven prayer meetings. The first evening, there was an altar call for those needing healing. I stood frozen. My parents stood beside me and I prayed: don’t touch me, please don’t touch me. I bargained with God to heal me where I stood. But… then I moved. I walked to the front and someone prayed for me. I didn’t feel anything. When the meeting finished, my parents and I drove home.

We came back the second evening and there was another call for healing. I moved out of my seat more easily that night. I was prayed for; I went home. We came back the third night; another call for healing, another time of prayer, another drive home. By the fourth night, I was done. I asked three times, I did my part, now God can heal me here. As I settled that matter in my heart, our pastor opened up the Old Testament to read the story of Naaman in 2 Kings 5.

Naaman had leprosy and was seeking healing from the prophet Elisha. When Elisha instructed Naaman to wash seven times in the Jordan River, Naaman complained, “I thought he would certainly come out to meet me! I expected him to wave his hand and call on the name of the Lord to heal me!” Naaman’s officers levelled with him. The request was simple: obedience. Reluctantly, Naaman went to the Jordan River, washed seven times and he was healed. Seven times. It was the push I needed. I went up for prayer all seven nights. I didn’t experience an immediate healing that week — but certainly a spiritual one. God doesn’t work on my schedule. He is God. I am not. By responding to God’s free grace, I am not doing Him a favour. God doesn’t need me but yet He wants me. He asks for obedience: a willing surrender of my life to His will. His good and perfect and pleasing will.


January 15, 2006: Confession: I desperately need my Saviour. Fact: He desperately longs for me. How amazing is that? Tonight, I began to have huge doubts of self worth. I’m fat, I’m ugly, I’m stressed but as I read the Bible I realized that God thinks I’m beautiful, that my body is perfect, that my talents are worthy. I need Jesus and I need His guidance. I’m ready to commit myself to Him. Jesus, show me the baggage and trash in my life. Gossip? TV shows? Self-criticism? Food thoughts? How I treat my family? Celebrity idolatry? Help me to get rid of the unnecessary things in my life so I can spend undivided time with you. Help me to worship unashamed. May it be real. Show me how to honour you. I don’t want to live life without you. Forgive me.

April 1, 2006: Last night was a major melt down. I sobbed myself to sleep. Three words circled in my head: lonely, bored, unhappy. I soaked my pillow. I felt alone. It was a bad day. I feel alone everywhere I go. Today was a little better. I got up early, cleaned both my closets and my room for most of the day, dusted all my furniture and organized the workout room downstairs. Productive day.


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