I arrowed through the photos that we took at Line Creek & we laughed at our goofy faces & commented on all the yummy light we captured & then it appeared. I stopped & I cried. There I was – captured – my life frozen in time. It was one of the most authentic pictures of myself that I had ever seen. Me – the lover of nature, of water, of freedom, of life, of relationship, of a God who is good beyond measure. I sat & I stared at it for a long time because that simple image that Gabe caught held within it so much more than a moment of my life. In it I saw a girl who is loved beyond measure and is more than she ever dreamed she’d be. Yes, my life looks different than I had thought it would at 30something but it’s so incredibly perfect. It’s been a journey of facing fears, heart ache, hope deferred, chasing dreams, finding freedom, courage, learning who I really am & embracing it, building relationships, of obedience, tough choices, & trusting that God has it all in control. There were days I didn’t think He was there or that He’d never answer my prayers but I made a decision to believe that no matter what He is good.
The last few months of my life have proven just how good He is & how being obedient to His call opens some incredible doors. In 2014 I made the very hard decision to move from the place I’d almost always called home & go to place I honestly had hated most of my life. . .Selma, AL. I recall one evening, after a session with regular clients who were now more like friends (Tina Porter that was you guys), climbing into my car & bawling my eyes out. I loved my home & my job & the people I had met through it & had come to love. In all honesty, I yelled at God. “If You’re asking me to give up my beach cottage, the beach, my business, my friends, & everything I’ve ever known You better have something really good for me on the other side.” Then I dried up my tears & started packing my bags because He had said to go & I decided to trust Him. Now about 9 or 10 months into being in a new place I can honestly say that God had something greater than I could even imagine for myself. I’m surrounded by women who love the Lord so much & step out into new things just to have more of Him. God found just the right church for me to plant my feet, be a part of, make friends in, & have places to pour out. He placed me into a community that is united in seeing change & bringing life into something that was once considered dead. He’s created time & space for me to grow with Him & to really love who He made me to be. He’s broken fear from my life & has opened doors for me to finally realize one of my greatest dreams. . . photograph what He’s doing across the world (I leave for Africa next month). And he’s brought someone into my life who sees me & loves me for me. So that picture up there. . . it’s truly worth more than 1000 words to me. It means far more to me than you’ll ever understand. . . so much more than what I’ve shared here. But if I were to sum up all that it means as simply as possible – it would be that God is better than I ever knew & He loves me more than I will ever comprehend.
If you’re in a place where you feel alone or like God is asking you to do something that sounds pretty darn crazy – just say yes! He’s there even if you don’t feel Him. He’ll show you He’s been there just when you need to see it. Trust Him too – He has better plans for you than you can even dream. They may not look like what you imagined but believe me – they’ll be far better.
P.S. Gabe makes me laugh a lot too!
P.P.S. To my dad on this the eve eve of Father’s Day – Thank you for being such an amazing example of how a good daddy loves. Thank you for always having my best in mind, for pushing me into new things, for making me stronger, & for showing me who I am. I love you so much & am beyond blessed to have you as my dad! I love you!