If you haven’t already heard, Benny and I are expecting a little one this year! As October draws closer, we are getting more and more excited to meet our baby girl. Who will she look like?! And what will she be like?! While there is still so much to be done (um…we haven’t bought any baby things yet, except a few cute bows and a super cute tutu-dress I couldn’t leave the store without!), God has definitely been preparing our hearts and shifting our lives to welcome this new addition. The journey hasn’t been easy, especially in the beginning, but we are so grateful for this gift of life and how God has already used her to bring us closer to Him.
Back in 2014, we felt like God was inviting us to take a break from the photography business in 2016. Honestly, we didn’t know the exact reason for this break, but Benny and I both felt strongly about it. Was it to rest? To dream bigger?…perhaps a family? Whatever the reason, the thought of stepping away from photography was daunting. Not only was this business our only source of income, but Eileen Liu Photography felt like my baby. I had sown into this business for the past 5 years and photography had become my life and my identity; stepping away from it felt like I was abandoning everything I had worked so hard to build up. But knowing God had our best interest in mind, we took a step of faith (actually, it felt more like a leap!)…
Moving forward was hard and every step of the way felt like a test of our faith. As we entered 2015 and inquiries for the next year rolled in, we questioned ourselves and God again and again. I couldn’t tell you how many times I broke down in tears as I received inquiries for weddings I really wanted to shoot. Inquiries from couples who were so perfectly sweet and inquiries at dream venues I’ve always wanted to photograph. It felt silly turning these weddings away- Didn’t I work so hard to get to this place? And instead of living the dream, I’m putting them on hold?! Things didn’t make sense. Well, 2016 came around and still we had no idea what our next steps were. Time was running out and we were still asking God for clarity. Do you even see us, God? Doubt crept into my heart and I became somewhat bitter at Him for what felt like His not-so-perfect timing.
Then in spring, we found out. Yes, I was pregnant! I burst into tears at the sight of those two red lines…and no, they were not tears of joy! haha. While on one end it brought relief knowing that there was a reason for this season of rest, it also meant that our lives would never be the same. NEVER. I cried because I don’t do well with change, and a whole lot of it was coming my way. Fear overcame me as I thought about how unprepared we were to bring a child into this world. Financially it didn’t make any sense, because we had no income…and now we were adding to our cost of living? But even more importantly, I’ve seen firsthand how much hard work it takes to raise children (much respect to my sisters!!) and how it requires your all, your everything. And more than anything, I was so afraid to give everything. I was afraid (and still am!) to lose myself in this journey of motherhood.
The next few months were far from easy. I was dealing with new changes in my body (not to mention those hormonal mood swings, RAWR!) and the financial pressure became heavier as each day passed without any clear direction. At times I even found myself blaming the baby for how hard things seemed. It was because of the baby that I needed to take this break from photography, and now we were facing all these pressures because of it. Benny and I were confused. Of course there were days when we stood confidently on God’s word, but there were plenty of other days when lies clouded our vision and we questioned God’s wisdom and goodness over our lives. How could a good God lead his people into THIS? But as we continued to wait on the Lord, He sustained us with His word. He reminded us of His faithful leading in the past and it gave us courage to believe that He would do it again.
At last breakthrough came, first in my heart. With each doctor’s visit, I fell more and more in love with our baby. The ultrasounds helped me realize that there was really a living being inside of me, not just something that held me back from pursuing my dreams. Soon the bitterness I felt turned into praise and I thanked God for entrusting this little one to us. God also proved Himself faithful by breaking through in our finances. He provided Benny with a job that fit him so well, it was beyond what we could have imagined. God really knew what He was doing! And While I am still struggling with my identity without photography and not knowing when I’ll be able to pick it up again, God is reminding me that if I trust Him with my dreams, He can do far more with it than I can ever do on my own. He might be putting this dream on hold, but He is inviting me to come away and partner with Him to birth a new dream in this season. Oh baby girl, we can’t wait to meet you! : )