I love beauty, intimacy and depth. I can’t get enough, it’s how I was wired. I love mystery and adventure, and it didn’t surprise me at all that after I spent time in America I ended up recognizing the unmistakable tug of God to move there. You know, the kind of tug that leaves every other option unthinkable (even if staying is easier).
I’m not surprised that my life has so far turned out upside down to my own expectations. I’m (unfortunately) gifted in that common but unhealthy knack of planning your life out, detail by detail. I have envisioned and re-envisioned my future, with enormous dreams and a passionate drive to carry them through. Don’t get me wrong; dreaming is a good thing, and passion is even better, but dreams with expectation and passion without humility can end in a broken heart.
I grew up in Sydney Australia in a small town, and this gorgeous, hot, salty coast will always be my home. I became a Christian at 15, began working for non-profits like World Vision and Open Doors from 16, and had a degree in communications and history (specifically the history of the middle east and human rights) by the time I turned 20. I had my future set for non-profit work in Sydney, a (hoped for) handsome husband and a home in the western suburbs of Sydney.
Then I took a breath from my speed train journey and moved to the city, became a barista, and joined a tiny church plant that became my family. In the midst of my breath, time slowed. Over time, everything that tied me to this city was stripped back, and possibilities floated around like fireflies in the night – distracting, but undeniably captivating.
I had been shooting here and there for friends since uni (college), steadily growing in this beautiful ability to capture happiness and hearts, blessing people with frozen joy-moments. I stumbled into wedding photography in a unique way (that’s a story for if I ever catch up for coffee with you!), and completely fell in love with every single moment of this insane joy called ‘work.’ At the same time I fell into the exciting (and risky) opportunity of launching a social media/marketing business (classic millennial). I looked after marketing for small businesses all over the world – in the last three years I’ve worked for wedding and documentary photographers, wedding stylists, magazines, fashion labels and non profits, to mention a few.
So there I was – a wedding photographer, a social media manager, working out of cafes in the morning and making coffees in the evening. Then a long time Tumblr friend of mine reached out and asked me to shoot her wedding in California in the Fall of ’15. So I left everything and went out to the west coast in Summer to gaze at pine trees in Seattle, marvel through Yosemite valley, cruise down highway 1, and life became this vibrant, deeply felt, growing mosaic of meaningful moments (Brendan Berchard).
At the Socality conference in SD, I met a handsome, bearded barista from Portland, who made wedding videos on the side and had a tattoo that completely defined my life in a few words. It took a few weeks and two 8,000 mile flights back and forth, but I finally surrendered my fears in dating an American because it was undeniable this man was going to be my husband. I could rave for days, but simply put, I didn’t know a man loved Jesus that much, and he became my best friend. I was offered an internship at a church in Seattle and knew beyond a shadow of a doubt this was God’s calling on my life.
So I left everything, and it all ripped apart in holy aching and holy healing. I lived in Bellevue, WA (just east of Seattle) in 2016 on a one year visa, experiencing a deep joy in more difficult circumstances than I’d ever experienced. And there he was, by my side, my American boyfriend a constant source of home for me. And then he asked me to marry him in 4 feet of fresh snow, and it was the easiest yes I’ve ever said. A few days later we got on a plane and flew to Sydney, where we’ve spent 4 months waiting on my visa and preparing for marriage.
By the end of summer ’17, we’ll (finally) be husband and wife, and I’ll be living half way across the world with a man who speaks funny, with a people who talk about sports more then the weather, in a city that rains more than almost anywhere else in the world. I’ll be 8,000 miles from everything I’ve ever known, including my beloved family and close friends, and in all the grief, in the breaking open of my aching heart, I feel incredible peace and certainty in the God who called me to America, to Camron, to Doxa Church, to photography, to writing, to being fully human.
This is my story, this is my journey – I want to be fully human, to experience the beauty, intimacy and depth of a life lived in closeness with God, no matter where we live in the world.
If you’ve made it this far, I feel compelled to add this about myself:
I feel a deep sense of beauty; the beauty of being, the beauty of the soul. I’m constantly after signposts, the markers of drawing closer to real Love; that is, God. In Him I know the source of my identity, the origin of my soul, the Home I’m always longing to go back to, the One who gives me senses and capacity to experience everything. He’s the One that helps everything radiate with beauty, because in everything we can feel the presence of God.
Every person I’ve ever met is designed to feel something real. They’re oriented to be fully human – to know what it feels like to be authentic to who they are, and to know Who made them that way. You are a magnificent mystery, a manifestation of the mysterious God who made Himself known in Jesus. And so now you can be known – you can be seen, you can be vulnerable, you can break open and all of a sudden you start to taste and feel your true humanity – fully seen yet deeply loved by God your Maker.