It feels kind of odd to sit down with the intention of writing something personal. Almost as if I have to focus and force myself to feel. To dig. And to divulge. Clearly I have never been afraid of sharing, I am a bonafide sharer. But what used to come with the greatest of ease--me always thinking, always searching, always questioning--has since ceased. I don't analyze life nearly as much as I used to. I rarely second guess things. And I try my damnedest to not wonder about the future anymore (that used to give me some serious anxiety). When I look back at it (come on, stay with me, don't get ghetto on me now...) I DO pause for a moment and think about why I haven't been so contemplative. So Stewie Grfiin 'bruting and deep'. And there can be many reasons one would attribute it to-- but I can declare the truth stirring my inner peace: God. I've learned to find freedom from the ways of the world (even when I struggle with it every day). I learned to decipher the lies of the enemy from the truths of God. I've been focusing on relying on His word, and not my own, His plan, and not my own, and commandeering the seed he has planted in my heart and focusing on making it flourish, through Him. I dream of places we will see, dreams I accomplish, smiles we will put on people's faces, stages I will pace as I speak, as I've let my mind go and left it all in God's hands. Inside I've asked him to change me, witnessed him place convictions on me, and decided that no matter where we wind up or what we wind up doing, that it is God's will in his perfect timing, and that I am absolutely in love with. I've shifted my focus from my past, from my concerns or worries, or frets about the future and what I can do NOW NOW NOW to become BETTER BETTER BETTER and turn my attention upward. Making an effort (that isn't always easy in such an age of distraction) to listen to what I am supposed to do in this exact moment. If it's to blog about film or spend an hour engulfing pages of the Bible. If it's to share what I've learned about running a one woman business or to open my heart and personal struggles up for the first time to someone else. And I've been praying. Not knowing where we will be led, but having absolute faith that every. single. moment, minute, encounter and struggle within myself and on this earth has been with a higher purpose. He's given me downright proof of that. And for that reason alone, I have left the worry. The fear that still tries to rise and take over. And the desire to prepare for the future. Because I know that with Jesus, all things are possible...and for the glory of God. Cann'a get an Amen? ;)
+ yes. Another reason I haven't blogged personal mind or matter issues much is because the holy spirit has, well, quite literally taken over my brainnnnnn! Sounds ridiculous I am sure, but some of the incredible experiences and things I have had recently I felt I should maybe just keep to myself (and naturally, I don't ever want anyone to feel separated or left out by me talking about Jesus, but that ish is for REAL! So naturally, I must share) but I have decided that for me, more than anything else, Jesus isn't a RELIGION, He is a relationship full of amazing experiences and direction in life that, if you let him, will BLOW YOUR FREAKING MIND, so instead of just keeping it all to myself, I think I may share every now + again when I feel the urge to. Because that I know--sharing is apart of my purpose. (And no, I don't think my life's purpose is to be a minister pacing the stage, hahahah, but I DO believe it will be photography related --speaking and helping others grow the seed of purpose that God has planted in them. Because I am truly passionate about helping others be their best selves in the Lord.)
This is the little church Hanes Chapel that I grew up in (back then we didn't have the side addition either! Just one little, charming room with baby blue pews!). When I was home this September I had the honor of sharing with the church stories from the mission trip to Thailand with Inspire Church. Speaking to the 'elders' (oh don't kill me for saying that!) who I remember from Sundays as a kid was not only a sincere privilege, but made me realize the impact that we can have not only outside the church but also with our brothers + sisters in Christ. When a gentlemen I have known and respected since I was a child came up to me afterwards and said he was "glad I said 'you've got to go through all the doors God opens for you'" I was in awe. You never know when your story will inspire someone else. So tell it to whoever will listen.