When I was 18, I had it ALL figured out. I was never getting married, was going to a big college in an artsy city to major in studio art and arts management. I was eventually going to move to The Big Apple and live in a studio apartment with exposed brick walls and have a space in a shared art studio where I would paint and draw when I wasn’t working my prestigious job at some super cool gallery, which would lead to the Met taking interest in me and hiring me for a top paying job. See? All planned out.
Things started out on that path. I did go to the college in the cool city. I did major in art and arts management while there. And I was a featured artist and employee in an art gallery. Except…I didn’t like that school, and I didn’t like my friendships, and I didn’t like who I had become there.
So, I transferred. To the school that NO ONE expected me to ever attend…this tiny Christian college 25 minutes from my parent’s house. See, I was VERY vocally atheist. Also, I was very anti-staying close to home or living with parents after high school. SO when I moved home and defied all those things I was so vocal about, everyone thought I was losing my mind. After some stressful years, I graduated on time with a degree in Communications, just a few credit hours shy of a minor in studio art. I kept working in galleries and arts councils on the management side until about a year and a half ago.
PS—I did get married. Less than a year after graduating college. Also, I don’t live anywhere near NYC and have only been there twice.
My dreams have changed. Like…completely. My dreams used to revolve around me and what I thought was such an exciting life. And it is, for someone else. Now, though, I dream of so many better things.
I dream of starting a family. I frequently pause in the baby section of stores and wonder when I’ll be shopping there. I think about the children we plan to adopt and wonder if their birth mom is already pregnant and pray that our babies will be safe and loved until we can bring them home. I dream of growing old with my husband and spending hours on our wraparound porch in the farmhouse we dream of owning someday.
I dream of photographing marriages beginning and love stories unfolding. Of capturing a baby’s entrance into the world on camera, and preserving the moments husbands and wives become mothers and fathers. This dream, this one I’m living. And I love every second of it.
If I hadn’t become a Christian, I wouldn’t be living these dreams out. If God hadn’t stepped in, this wouldn’t be my life. If God hadn’t taken over and done the dreaming for me, I don’t really care to think of what my life would have been.
His plans are always greater. His plans come from Him knowing us better than we could ever hope to know ourselves.
When I was applying for colleges, and moving into my freshman door, and going to parties I never should have been at, he knew what was coming. When I was heartbroken and scared and felt all alone, He knew I was just days away from meeting him. When I was new to believing and didn’t even think I was praying right, He knew my heart and knew where my life was going.
“For you know, oh man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God.” Mica 6:8
This is my life verse. This verse guides me. When I want to take over and be in charge of my life and know everything that’s coming, this is the verse I come back to. I look back over the way He changed my heart, my life, and my dreams, and I remember…He knew me then, He knows me still, and He will never lead me where I’m not meant to be.
Do justice. Love kindness. Walk humbly. Living this out, He’ll give you the best dreams. And the best part is? They’re going to come true.
I know mine have.
I’m Kaitlin Beckwith, owner and photographer at Captured by Kaitlin Rose LLC. I live in Upstate South Carolina, where I met and eventually married my high school sweetheart, Drew, who wouldn’t be mine if we hadn’t each met and fallen in love with Jesus during one of our breakups…but that’s a story for another day. Our enormous Great Dane/Lab mix, Lincoln, is currently our only child and keeps our lives interesting, whether he’s eating couches or pretending to be a lap dog for optimal snuggling.
*All photos were taken by my second shooter, Lauren Curry, of LC Photography.*