sometimes i wish i would take my own advice, listen to my own words and do what i say i’m going to do. it seemed that the moment i wrote about not planning, but simply trusting God, i immediately started planning. would we buy a house in Washington? if so, where? and when? do we want kiddos right away? if so, when is “right away”? and how many? when do we want to move to NYC?
when talking is all you can do, sometimes talking turns into planning and bevore we knew it we were trying to plan out our entire lives. it was refreshing, i have to admit, to occupy my mind with thoughts of the future. the future meant him being home and us being together. but that refreshing feeling soon grew to an overwhelming feeling that we HAVE to get everything planned and together. the thing was, the more we talked about it the more confusing it got. if we went this route then how would that fit into the picture? and if we went that direction what would we do about this?
the feeling to let it go and let God work it out kept popping up, and i kept pushing it aside. it was getting in the way and i wanted to be in control, have it all figured out, have some sense of security in having a “plan”. during a certain conversation one morning, my mom spoke the words that i had been ignoring for so long. “wait. wait til Chris gets home and you get settled into doing life together. then you can think about making these decisions.” having him gone had given me a sense of insecurity that i didn’t even recognize but her words called it out into the open. it seems like there are so many unknowns and to be honest, i don’t do good with unknowns. i wanted to get mad at her for not giving me the answer that i wanted but i knew that it was the answer that i needed. so instead i took a deep breath, stopped planning and started trusting. it hasn’t been easy though.
it’s a daily battle to give up the control that i so badly want in order to let God have the control He so badly needs. but when i do, i find the security i need, knowing He’s got it all under control.
finally having the freedom to build a business doing what i love can be very rewarding. i wake up every day so excited to start the day, my mind racing with a million ideas and anticipating great things. it’s a feeling i have never felt before and one that i honestly didn’t know was possible. it’s these days that make me so grateful for the husband i have. the husband who has encouraged me to take this HUGE leap of faith and follow hard after my dreams.
there are days, though, where it all feels a bit overwhelming. days when i push and push and push and see little to no growth. days where specific dreams seem to die and the questions begin to rush in like a flood. days where i write out our budget for the month and feel like i’m failing us. i look at our income and see that i contribute nothing to our household; every penny that comes in from photography goes right back to the business and we are left completely reliant on my husbands income alone. it’s these days that i want to give up, throw it all away, and seek a “normal” job.
i poured out my heart to my husband over skype the other night. my worries that i wasn’t contributing and feelings of selfishness in it all. tears beginning to well up as the feelings of defeat crept in. i felt stuck. stuck trying to make my goals and dreams happen as a business owner while contributing to our goals and dreams as a family. he listened patiently, and when i was done he spoke words that i will never forget.
“see this cup?” he said. “we throw in my pay check and we throw in your pay check… shake it up… take out money for rent, utilities, business expenses, etc. it’s all the same.”
it was a simple illustration and it was all that i needed. with reassuring words he changed my perspective back to where it needed to be, reminding me that the decision to begin this business was a mutual decision, that no part of it was selfish and that he 100% supports where we are and the road we are on.
it’s these days that make me so grateful for the husband i have. the husband who has encouraged me to take this HUGE leap of faith and follow hard after my dreams.
“i don’t understand,” i sighed in frustration, “i have sent out numerous resumes and had multiple interviews yet not one single job offer.”
i went on to express to him that it seemed i was being led towards photography more and more with each passing day. every door that i tried to open was slammed shut and the door i kept trying so desperately to slam shut kept swinging itself wide open again. i confessed to him that i had still been viewing photography as more of a hobby than an actual business & vocation. i had continued to look for conventional jobs, deep down desiring the comfort and stability that i thought would accompany it. i was letting the fear of the unknown, that fear that i had spoken out against so many times before on this very blog, control who i would allow myself to be.
i confessed to him the need i felt to take photography more seriously, and he just smiled. and i knew exactly what that smile meant. being the amazing husband that he is, he had known this all along. he had known that photography was where my heart was, where my heart is, and he had known that it was where i needed to be. and being the amazing husband that he is, he didn’t say a word. he knew that when i was truly ready, God would show me where i needed to be, and all he had to do was sit back and pray and watch it all unfold.
after our conversation things began to change. my heart was finally where God wanted it to be and all of a sudden He began placing amazing opportunities in my life and showing both Chris and i what we needed to be doing in regards to my photography and how to do it. one of those was creating a Facebook page and i will admit, i felt like a fraud. how could i call myself a photographer when most of my portfolio was made up of family members i had bribed to let me take their photo? concerns of what others would think of the fact that i’m now taking myself seriously as a photographer swirled through my head until i realized that the thoughts and opinions of others matter none when it comes to doing what God has called me to do.
so i did it, i created a Facebook page and am now officially taking myself seriously as a photographer. and i feel like i have no idea what i’m doing, but that’s ok, because God knows exactly what He is doing
he was red in the face, with sweat dripping down his nose and he was grunting and moaning and immediately i wished that chris was there. ” what if he has a heart attack? what would i do? chris could help him but i wouldn’t even know where to start.” as my peaceful workout was annoyingly interrupted by the man next to me struggling to keep up with his stair climber machine i looked at my time; i was only half way there before i could hop off my elliptical machine and head down stairs to meet up with chris. i tried to turn my attention elsewhere: my stats, the news, my iPhone… anything to distract me… but it didnt work and i was left with the complete awareness of his every grunt. and then he spoke. between gasping breaths he said “come on.” huh? did he just say something? i was confused. is he talking to himself? and then another; “you can do it.” and then i realized he was talking to himself, he was coaching himself, encouraging himself, pushing himself past the point that his body told him he could go. and immediately my disgust turned to amazement. he had a desire, a goal, and he was determined to get there, no matter how hard he had to push himself.
then my thoughts turned towards myself. what are my goals? what are my desires? and what am i doing to achieve these goals? and what i found was a bit disappointing. while my heart was pushing me in one direction and i knew where i WANTED to go my mind was telling me where i SHOULD go and was filled with questions. “what if it doesn’t work? think of all the time and energy you will have wasted. will you have time to dedicate to it? are you really creative enough? talented enough? is this really where God is calling you to be? this isn’t safe.”
and as long as i can remember i have let my mind win out, thinking the more responsible path would be the one that’s safest, smartest. i gave in to settling and i have been left with this huge desire, restrained and restricted by fear.
the great thing about that man at the gym was that he knew his hearts desire, he knew he had a goal that, while reachable, was going to take a lot of hard work and dedication. and he wasn’t going to let himself or any one else keep him from that. he pushed himself, not caring what others might think of his seemlingly crazy grunts, moans, and self coaching statements. he didn’t let fear in any way keep him from going all out and pushing himself beyond his comfort level. and i am so thankful. he taught me a valuable lesson that day and i left determined to step out of my comfort zone to pursue what it his God has placed on my heart to do, no matter how scared my mind might be.
Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.
I Thessalonians 5:24