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 9

October 1, 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 | part four | part five | part six | part seven | part eight



December 3, 2008: I keep picturing an open hand with everything in my life: guys, money, business, friendships. It all belongs to the Lord and He knows what He’s doing. I do not want to be disappointed over a situation that didn’t turn out how I wanted it to. I am not God. He has the greatest plan for me. The greatest man, the greatest ministry opportunities. I have great faith lately, total assurance in the Lord. Every morning I pray protection over my heart and my thoughts, I pray that my money will not be mine but His. I can’t wait to see what He has in store.

December 31, 2008: What a beautiful year this was. Who knows what 2009 will bring? I’m praying for an “enlarged territory,” an expanding ministry, increased blessing, deeper friendships, more quality time, against heartbreak, wasted time and a lack of vision. I turn 19 in 2009… weird. The years keep passing by. Maybe I think too much about the future but it excites me. Where will I be 365 days from now?

January 14, 2008: Life is blessed and good and I can’t complain. I am running a 15km race on sunday morning. Excited, nervous, scared, pumped — everything. It’ll be cool to finish! I can only imagine what it feels like to run a marathon. The training has been good — Mom and Dad are coming to watch me finish! Oh I can’t wait! God truly has a wonderful plan for His children.


Since 2007 and my Grade 11 year, very little of my thoughts and certainly none of my journals have revolved around weight. But maintaining my weight isn’t easy for me. After recovering from my disorder, I gained everything back and then some. I had a new challenge: lose five pounds while maintaining a balanced mindset. I lost a few pounds the last year of high school, thanks to my newfound love: running. Two years later I reached my highest weight [while eating “healthy” and working out consistently.] I had another challenge — learning to eat only what my body needed. I would chose not to have a second piece of chicken even though I “could” eat it without feeling stuffed. I would avoid the fridge after breakfast–even for a bowl of fruit and almonds!–even if I “could” eat something. Did I need it? I started counting calories casually and within six months, I was proud of the weight I had reached. Most importantly, I lost weight without the process becoming obsessive or all-consuming. I could do this.

I still watch what I eat. Just this past January in Australia, I was uncomfortable in my summer clothes. Despite working out five times a week and eating healthy, little calories creep in. I was five pounds heavier than my “healthiest” weight.  Another challenge to learn moderation in all things. By April, I had lost the weight I wanted to lose and re-entered my “maintenance” phase. Maintenance means to me means counting calories a few days a week and exercising 4-5x a week. Learning self-control [not snacking whenever I want] has given me a new love for food. When I wait for a meal, food becomes something to revel in — not to calculate and record. Self-control in eating is a discipline I will practice the rest of my life. Just like I practice the discipline of work/life balance. And the discipline of not dwelling on negatives but choosing to seek the good in every situation.

I am proud of my journey and my body. I can testify that God has renewed my mind. If I gain a few pounds, I do not ridicule or pick myself apart. Although my “current” weight is 30 pounds heavier than my lowest weight [SCARY] — I know I am beautiful, healthy, in-shape. I am not perfect. But I am not striving for perfection. My life is more than my body. My life’s purpose is BIGGER than my appearance. I am amazed at God’s healing. He has set me free and “if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” [John 8:36]

The 50+ hours I have spent writing The Girl I Once Was have changed me. I wanted to write my story to share with others — but I didn’t know this story was really for me. My healing was gradual and this time of reflection has opened my eyes to the miracle God has done in me. I had never grasped the magnitude of my testimony before. God took me and He broke me and He tested me and He healed me… and now He has brought me to a place of abundance. This story was written by the God who was, who is and who is to come. To Him, be all glory and praise!


Psalm 66
Praise our God, all peoples,
let the sound of his praise be heard;
he has preserved our lives
and kept our feet from slipping.
For you, God, tested us;
you refined us like silver. 

You brought us into prison
and laid burdens on our backs.
You let people ride over our heads;
we went through fire and water,
but you brought us to a place of abundance.
Come and hear, all you who fear God;
let me tell you what he has done for me.
I cried out to him with my mouth;
his praise was on my tongue.
If I had cherished sin in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened;
but God has surely listened
and has heard my prayer.
Praise be to God,
who has not rejected my prayer
or withheld his love from me!

And thank you, for all of the emails and messages I’ve received about this real-life story of mine. I gladly continue to bear my weaknesses and struggles on this blog, praying for the encouragement of even one heart. Because it’s all worth it for the one.

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