When thinking of what I should write about next I realized I should probably let you get to know my heart better.
So, I’m going to write an in-depth series of posts about what makes me who I am.
Fair warning -this post is going to be lengthy and personal but I feel like it's important to share.
First up - my faith.
Up until recently, being a Christian and sharing my faith is something I frequently felt that I had to hide from everyone. I didn't hide that I went to youth group or church but I had this relentless fear of being made fun of or that I would offend someone if I talked about my relationship with Jesus. For some silly reason I let that fear rule my life -not even talking about it with my husband! Well, I've finally kicked that fear to the curb and I'm going to share my faith journey with you.
While I've always called myself a Christian, I can't honestly say I've always understood what that meant. Growing up, I believed in God and prayed a lot but I always thought other Christians were forcing themselves to go to church every Sunday, to read the bible, read daily devotions or say grace before a meal - as if they didn't actually want to do those things. I couldn't understand why they were "forcing" that on themselves. I was content with praying, attending church occasionally and going to youth group. When I was 16 years old we moved to Pennsylvania. A few months after moving, my Mom and I started attending a local church and I started going to their youth group. I met lots of really awesome people (including my hubby and his family), went on mission trips and built friendships. Before I knew it I was going to church every Sunday. Of course, being a teenager, my main reason for going was because I got to hang out with friends.. but I was searching for something -I didn't know what it was- and I was hoping to find it there. I never found what I was searching for before I became too old for youth group.
After I turned 18, I got really lost in my head trying to figure out who I was and where my place was in the world. I stopped going to church because I didn't think I needed it. Over the next 7 years I tried to do a lot of things on my own and found out the hard way that my way wasn't getting me where I wanted to be. I was at my lowest point when I learned about a book called Make It Happen (by Lara Casey) through a friend's post about it on instagram. I was convinced I needed to read this book so I bought the kindle version and started reading it right away. When I was about halfway through the book I had an awful day at work and when I went to leave my car battery was dead! I was so mad and didn't know what to do. I was already late getting home so I had to call my mom and ask her to take my dog out for me. Then I realized my sister worked nearby. She came over with her car and my boss came out with instructions and we got my car started. They told me to let my car run for like 15 minutes before driving and to then drive around for a while to recharge the battery. I thanked them (a lot!) and then they went back to their jobs.
When I got back in my car I started crying. I was thinking about how unhappy I was working a job that wasn't going to turn into a career, how I hated that I was 25 years old and living in my parents house with my husband, that I was suddenly having so much trouble with my health and that my life didn't seem to be going anywhere. I started to think about what I had been reading in Make It Happen. Lara talked about trusting God, leaning on him and asking him for guidance. I was desperate so I prayed. I asked God why everything I tried to do seemed to crash and burn and got me nowhere.
I told him I give up. I asked him what was I supposed to do and I asked him to show me what to do. I cried for another minute or two and in that moment is when everything changed. I suddenly heard a voice in my head tell me to get my ipod out and put on the Switchfoot songs I have. So I did. I knew I had to drive around for a while before I could go home and I didn't know where I should drive so I asked God to show me where to go. As I pulled out of the parking lot, a picture of the next intersection popped into my head and a voice said to turn left. I turned left. A little ways down the road I saw another intersection in my head and that voice came back and told me where to go. This kept happening and I followed every direction I was given while also practically sobbing, singing along to This Is Your Life, Dare You To Move, Only Hope and Learning to Breathe --it couldn't have been a pretty sight! I had no idea where I was going, I was just following directions and I could never predict where I was lead to. I ended up driving to a house that we were looking into renting that I had already determined we couldn't afford. As I was driving past it I had this sudden wave of peace wash over me and I heard that voice again, this time telling me "This is it. This is where you're supposed to be." I said "You've got to be kidding me!" out loud and laughed. I turned around and drove by the house one more time and I said "Okay! Let's do it!"
We moved into that house about two weeks after that and are still here two years later.
Since that day I have discovered a new love for reading the bible, reading daily devotions and so many other things that other Christians do that I never thought I'd ever desire to do myself. I don't have everything figured out and I still struggle with things but through my relationship with Jesus I've finally figured out who I am, how I can lean on him when I'm lost and that photography is a big part of my purpose on this earth.
I've also found my favorite bible verse.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."
If you stuck through all of that I just want to say thank you so much for reading this and I hope it's inspired you in some way!
P.S. I love hearing other people's faith journeys so reach out to me if you'd like to share yours!
Hey there! I'm excited that you're here!