KATIE + LUKE / ENGAGEMENT

If there were a perfect time for the phrase "all the feels," it's right now.

Getting to take my sister's engagement pictures was surreal on so many levels.

She has empowered me in so many ways when it comes to photography; she's taught me all about business and marketing, showed me the ropes of social media, and has given me the opportunity to accompany her and photograph epic elements of all that comes with her blogger lifestyle. She's encouraged me from day one and I wouldn't be where I am without her.

But that's just the photography part.

Then you have the fact that she's my sister and SHE'S GETTING MARRIED!!!! *freaking out*

We've been through so much together and have seen glimpses of each other's love stories that no one else has gotten to see. We've seen the ups and downs of each other's romantic journeys - the really beautiful parts and the really devastating parts, all the while, understanding each other in the way only sisters can, able to offer a genuine "me too" when the other needs it the most. So relieving. It's so life-giving to have a sister like Katie and to have a sisterhood that's composed of being open to the other's guidance and honesty. It's so sweet to share a sisterhood that's full of celebrating health and hope and growth and victory.

And as I look at these pictures, I see those very things. Health. Hope. Growth. Victory. I see a vibrant love, a display of God's grace to Katie and Luke.

Hearing Katie gush over how Luke has helped her see God's goodness and love in new ways fills my heart with a joy that overflows straight outta my tear ducts. The way she articulates their story is so beautiful; if you haven't read her blog post "Love Story" I highly recommend it. The description of her journey from feeling like she was in a valley to getting engaged on a literal mountain top - in Hawaii, might I add - straight up melts me.

You know what else melts me? That these two will be walking with each other through each and every mountain and valley to come. 

God is the redeemer of broken pasts and the giver of glorious futures.
— Katie Arnold

There's a lot about the ocean that parallels marriage, huh? I can't help but think about how the photo above is such a great reminder of the importance of holding onto one another in the midst of the waves.

There can be beauty in the crashing.

In life, there are waves that knock us over. Waves that brush gently against us. Waves that surprise us and waves we choose to charge into head first. There are waves that carry us out til we feel so lost and waves we ride back to shore where we can stand again. But no matter the wave, we gain a sense of strength in standing together. We all do a lot of falling over. We all feel like we're drowning sometimes, but relationships are an incredible gift in which we can find delight and strength in braving the waves together.