2017: A New Chapter

Here is a blog post I started writing in October of 2016. These things were written before I got my answer and my “what’s next..” but I have that now, so I want to share my heart with you and what this journey has looked like from the start.

October 14, 2016: I want to start by telling you something that I learned the other night during a quiet time that I forced myself to have. You are enough and you need to give yourself more grace. You are not your business. You are not your content. You are not your failures. You are a person and you are enough.

I have gone back and forth on whether or not to publicly write about this journey, and I can think about a million and one reasons why I shouldn’t but I think there is power in authenticity and freedom in being honest so here goes. I think I’m finally ready.

You see, over the last year… myself and my business have been going through some changes. These weren’t changes that I welcomed with arms wide open. These have been changes that I’ve fought at every single corner. I’ve pouted, I’ve questioned, I’ve sought counsel from friends and family, I’ve spent days paralyzed on the couch just trying to understand and I’ve yelled just about every profanity at God that I have to yell.

The honest truth? In 2016 running my photography business no longer brought me joy, and not in a way that comes with normal business aches and pains, but in way that needed to be addressed head-on. My dreams started changing and I didn’t know what that looked like.

And client-friends, before you read on… it’s not you, it’s me.

I wouldn’t assume any of you reading this thought I had anything figured out, but just in case you need a reminder, here it is. I struggled with a lot of self doubt, “where do I go from here’s?” and “am I enough’s?” in 2016 and it was a journey I really didn’t enjoy. One night as I was journaling some thoughts on everything that has transpired in my heart over the last year, I asked God for some answers. I didn’t really ask nicely, but I needed answers and I needed to hash that out in an honest place. As you would expect, I felt Him nudging me to open my Bible, I heard His small but mighty voice remind me the answers were there if I would just open the pages and look.

As luck would have it, I opened up my Bible and found my way to John 1:16 which says, “For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” Grace upon grace, guys. Are you trying to do everything and be all the things to all the people? Are you running a business, caring for a family, keeping your house cleaned, volunteering in programs, working out and eating right, being a good friend, desperately trying to live up to some wild and unrealistic expectation you set for yourself? Me too.

Instead of allowing myself grace upon grace and understanding that I don’t need to have all of the answers, I spent the last year trying to figure things out in a very self-deprecating way. But on that particular night, God gently reminded me that I am enough just as I am. I hate for anything I write to sound cliche, but sometimes gentle cliche reminders are good for the soul, so here I go; My business isn’t perfect, my body isn’t perfect, my marriage isn’t perfect, my faith isn’t perfect, but I am still enough and so are you.

The answers to our tough questions aren’t found in doing more and being more, the answers to our tough questions are found in letting go and letting God. I’m an exceptionally fearful person, as in I’ll outline all of the reasons not to do something before I’ll look at it and see the good. It’s just how I’m wired. I’m cautious and I don’t take risks. This fear though? It’s held me back from chasing some of my wildest dreams over the last few years. Chasing dreams that I’ve seen other people do and I’ve sat back and watched. I don’t think that’s what God had in mind when He gave us Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Coming to terms with the fact that something I built very publicly over the last six years and poured my entire heart into doesn’t make me happy anymore freaks me out. It has made me feel like a failure, a fraud and a fake over the last 10 months. But I’m slowly dragging myself out of it, speaking my new dreams into the world and I’m excited about it. I don’t know all of the answers right now, these are still real, raw emotions I’ve been working through for 10 months now. But I do know this; dreams change and that’s okay.

The more open I have been about my changing dreams, the more I hear an overwhelming amount of, “me too’s,” and “I’ve been there’s.” It’s hard though, isn’t it? Our identities are often wrapped up in what we do and this persona we project into the world. So what do we do when the very thing that identifies us no longer brings us joy? We listen to what our heart has been telling us all along. We act on it and we allow ourselves grace in the process.

I want to be candid with you during this journey, so come back sometime maybe. See where I am and what God is doing. Watch me stumble and get back up. I know it won’t be a perfect journey but it will be my journey.

Friends, I want to give you a gentle nudge, I want to remind you that you are enough. Your dreams can change and life will go on. You’ll be happier if you pursue your heart’s truest desire. You are right where you are supposed to be. Jesus sees you and He is with you. He hasn’t forgot about you and His arms are wide open offering you grace upon grace during this season of your life.

January 17th, 2017: Last week I got my answer. Everything I had been hoping and praying for, for an entire year finally revealed itself. I’m following my heart, pursuing my actual dream and I couldn’t be more excited to announce that I officially accepted a job with an interior design firm!!! More on this in the coming weeks :)

You guys, He hears you, He sees you, and He knows your hearts greatest desires… listen to what your heart is telling you because it won’t steer you wrong.

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