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CAITLIN & LUKE

we're caitlin & luke,

a traveling husband & wife wedding photo & video team based in bloomington-normal, illinois, serving the midwest & beyond!

Welcome to the Caitlin & Luke Blog! We’re Caitlin & Luke, and we’re an IL wedding photo & video team based in Central Illinois! We hope you grab a coffee and enjoy browsing our latest weddings, resources for brides & photographers, and getting to know our little family- including our doodle pup, Oliver! We’re so happy you’re here! More about us ⟶

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Our Journey to our Family: Part One of Our Story

February 21, 2020

Filed in: Personal

I never, ever planned on sharing a post like this, but over the past few weeks and months, God has been making it abundantly clear to Luke and I that sharing our story was exactly what He wanted us to do. I tried to run away from it and pretend that maybe we hadn’t heard Him right, but I can’t ignore it anymore. He’s made it SO clear that this is what He wants us to do that NOT sharing our story would feel like a total act of disobedience at this point! So even though I have butterflies as I press “post” (🙈), I know it’s what God wants us to do, and that is enough for me. He’s been so faithful to continuously provide the next step for us time after time throughout our journey so far, and if this is our next step, then so be it! I also know I’d look back someday and regret not sharing our story earlier, so for all of these reasons, today we want to share what’s been going on in our life over these past few years!

Luke and I have been on the journey to start our family for almost two years now, and it has been a challenging season to say the least. I always thought we would just wait to share our story after we were pregnant and on the other side of our struggle, but that hasn’t happened yet, and I now know we’re supposed to share our story earlier than I’d planned. This is my only opportunity to share exactly what life is like “in the middle,” while we’re still waiting for God’s plan for our family to unfold. So here we are! 🙂

We believe so much in being real and open with our lives and all that God has given us. I’ve shared bits of my life on the Internet since I started a blog back in junior high, all the way through starting my business in high school, meeting Luke in college, and beyond. I’ve always been a believer that if someone may be able to benefit from what I’m experiencing, I’m doing the world a disservice by not sharing about it, and that’s how we feel about this season for us. What’s the point of this pain if we can’t at least help someone who’s going through something similar? And while we don’t feel the need to share every single detail of the last almost 2 years, we did want to simply share our story and, most of all, share God’s goodness despite it all.

Our job is centered around celebrating the beauty of marriage, and over the past 2 years, we’ve learned that there is so much beauty in marriage, even in the midst of pain. I always knew this, but it’s one thing to say, “I want a marriage more beautiful than my wedding,” and another to experience deep pain together as a husband and wife and realize what that actually means. 

Don’t get me wrong… we photograph some of the most beautiful wedding days I have ever seen and are routinely a part of one of the single happiest days of people’s lives. We lived through our own amazing wedding day that we’ll never forget. And we work in an industry that celebrates drop-dead gorgeous celebrations of love.

Yet throughout all of those experiences, I have never seen ANYTHING more beautiful than the way Luke has loved me through what’s easily been the hardest two years of my life so far. Weddings are gorgeous, but watching Luke hold me while I cry, write me notes about how he can’t wait to see me as a mom, take care of our house and business so I could take a break, drive me to SO MANY doctor’s appointments, hold my hand during calls with doctors, listen to me, pray with me for our future babies, wait with me for test results… THAT is now what I think is beautiful. And I refuse to let this season end without proclaiming to our little world that marriage can be SO beautiful, even when life is insanely hard! 💗

Our faith in God has been stretched so much throughout this journey. There were days where I was (and am) angry at God. This has been the first time in my life where I’ve had to decide for myself if I really believe God is good and that He loves me! But I’ve learned that my beliefs about these things CAN NOT be dependent on my circumstances. This doesn’t mean God doesn’t love us or isn’t for us, that He isn’t REAL, good or faithful, that He doesn’t answer prayers or is ignoring us or that He’s punishing us, or thinks we’d be bad parents! {And those are all lies I’ve been tempted to believe at points throughout this journey so far.} While we both believe we’ll have a family, we’ve had to get to the point where we believe God is still good, no matter if we get pregnant in a month or if we never do. 

We’ve learned He can take our fears, anger, pain and sadness. He can handle it- and I wouldn’t want a God who couldn’t!! This season has humbled us as we realize how much we need God. Nothing we’ve achieved has been because of us- it’s all been because of Jesus. We have all the faith that He can do anything and are expectant to see His plan for us continue to unfold 💗

We tell people often that we’re really okay! ☺️ There are really hard days that come and go, but we’ve still found so much joy in this season, which we know is ONLY because of Jesus. We refuse to lose sight of all of the good and all the things we have to be grateful for! We know we’ll get through this, and though this struggle has been a part of the past 2 years, it won’t define these 2 years. Each year has held so much good and so many wonderful memories, even as we wait for something we desire so deeply. 

Through this sturggle, we’ve learned that we both had developed the mindset that if we simply wanted something enough and worked hard enough to get it, we could accomplish anything. We’re kind of conditioned to believe thism aren’t we? If we work hard enough for good grades, we get them. If we push hard enough to grow our business, we succeed. You can easily start feeling like it’s all you making these big things happen in your life.

But then, something like this happens, and you realize that it’s been God all along who has been the reason you were successful or were blessed with ANYTHING in this life. Through this struggle, we’ve realized how much we need God for everything, and it’s grown us closer to Him, closer to each other, and it’s humbled us to realize how much we need Him moment by moment. So moment by moment, we are choosing to trust His plan and His timing for our family- even if it’s far longer of a plan than we’d initially expected or hoped.

Chances are, you or someone you know is struggling (or may someday struggle) with a similar story. And we know 2 years is hardly a fraction of how long some of you have struggled. When it comes to starting or growing a family, no 2 stories are exactly the same, and pain = pain. No matter if it’s been 3 months or 3 years for you, know that we’re praying for you. If you ever need to talk to someone else in the middle or want prayer, PLEASE reach out to us. It would be our honor to pray for you! 💛

We plan to keep most of our journey towards starting our family private, but we felt like it was time to share what’s been on our hearts over the last several years in an effort to be as real as possible. We just could not continue building this business that celebrates marriage, and not talk about the fact that even the deeply hard seasons can be so beautiful. We’d never want to give a false impression of marriage, and this is our reality right now- and that’s okay!

For as long as I can remember, all I wanted was to be a wife and a mom someday. The physical ache I feel when I think about how much I desire to be a mom is something words can’t describe. I don’t want to paint the picture that there’s a hole in my life that only a child can fill, because I know that God is the only one who can truly satisfy my deepest longings. Getting pregnant wouldn’t take away all my problems or the ache I feel, because only God can satisfy those longings- and I’m NOT just saying that to be cliche! He is enough, and He’s proven that time after time. But I will say that I never knew how much I could love the children I know I’ll have someday, before I’ve even seen their faces… and I think that is what the ache I feel is a reminder of right now. And if it’s possible to feel love like this now, before they are even here, I can’t even imagine how much deeper we will feel that love when we get to meet them someday.

These feelings also have led me to be absolutely blown away by how much God must love each of His children. I’m sure this will be a reality I grasp more once we do become parents, but oh my goodness, does God adore each of us. It’s staggering to catch even the smallest glimpse of how much. I hope that anyone who reads this can realize that, too- no matter who you are, you are SO loved by a God who has a story for you that is far better than ANYTHING you could write for yourself. I’m saying that in faith for us right now, because some days it sure doesn’t feel like it, but we will choose to keep believing.

We trust that we will be parents, however that looks, and we’re grateful for your prayers for us as we try our hardest to walk this season well and take each next right step. We definitely are not handling it perfectly, but our deepest desire is to be able to look back someday and know that even though this part of our life was really, really hard, we were as faithful with it as two broken, redeemed people who just really love each other and Jesus can be. And no matter what our journey looks like, we can’t WAIT to tell our kids one day just how prayed for they were… by us, by our families, our friends, and SO MANY people who are literally giving us more strength than they could imagine in this season simply by reminding us often that we’re being prayed for. I never realized how much hearing that could mean. Thank you all, so much, for your continued prayers for us! We can’t wait to see how God chooses to answer them.

If you made it to the end of this, thank you… and please be encouraged, no matter what you’re going through, that God still adores you, that there’s joy and beauty to be found even in the hardest seasons, and that God’s plan for you and your life is so very good- even when it doesn’t feel like it.

Xoxo,
Caitlin & Luke

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