LIFE HAS BEEN CRAZY this year!!! Can I get a witness?!?! But guess what?! You made it!!
I’ve had triumphs, successes, losses, gains, emotional scars and spiritual healing in these past 11 months. I am grateful for them all.
It’s crazy what you can learn when you’re willing to be taught. At the beginning of 2019, my husband and I embarked on a style of photography we thought would be empowerment and freedom in marriage but turned out to be the thing that questioned our walk and relationship with Christ. We delve deep into boudoir photography. It was a decision made by me and supported by my husband. With so many divorces we’ve seen the past few years and the conversations we’ve had with women and men alike who shared the same complaints, we took it into our hands to make a difference. In actuality, we made a decision that affected our reputation with many. As the bible states, ” Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.” ( 1 Corinthians 8:13) This means if there’s something that offends your brother, take that offense away. We were called many things and to this day (even though we no longer take boudoir photos) are seen as the evil stepchildren of faith or even the prodigal. We’ve made mends within ourselves and to each other and while our salvation is intact, the ones who claimed the same, treated us like castaways or tip-toe around us, as if mistakes aren’t made in this walk. BUT, do we regret our decision? ABSOLUTELY NOT!! We’ve met and encountered women and couples of all walks of life and was able to make an impact. We are light to those who lived and refuse to be in the dark. Our experience in this genre shaped the way we view the world and the need for love and security. God can only provide that.
As we continued to learn and grow throughout the year, we got the chance to see our children in a different way. Now that they are all growing up (WE HAVE A FREAKING TEENAGER NOW) and their needs are different, we see the need to be even more involved in their desires and dreams. We have 3 dancers (2 are competitive dancers), an artist and a martial artist. Their needs and desires are more important to us now than ever before which means our focus on things outside of this family has shifted. We are no longer to over-commit ourselves to meaningless endeavors. We pursue things that will benefit our family. Our prior commitments no longer overshadow our children. We choose our family over anything now and it is making a world of difference. With so many broken families who over-extend themselves outside of the home while neglecting their family has become the tale of the time and we do not want that for us. I am thankful for the ability to make this decision for our family’s sake.
I am thankful for the peace I have with denying traditions and manmade theologies that made me question my relationship with God and my family. I am confident and much more aware of God and His will for my life. Studying and researching has been revived in me. I have a deeper desire to KNOW Him outside of what I was TAUGHT about Him. Do you understand? Much of what we know stems from what we’ve heard, but to know for yourself has all the weight in the world and I am much more appreciative of the Word of God. It is alive and not recycled through one’s perspective and or relationship.
I’ve dealt with loss this year. I lost my big cousin to suicide and a very close friend/mentor/big sister in faith. I am not the type to mourn but God struck a chord in my heart with these two losses. I now see the significance in mourning, in grief. It doesn’t go away. It replays. It almost feels unreal. It is what makes me consider the blessings and keeps me grateful and grounded in my faith. It brings me peace that I thought I would never feel. Each of these lives played a huge role in some season of my life when I needed them the most. I am grateful and I would have never realized that importance until now that all I have now is the memory. Grief is a strange thing, death is a certain thing. I know this now. Maybe I tried to ignore it because of my ignorance or fear, but now I know.
This year also brought the unexpected. I was in my very first car accident. While no one was injured, it reminded me how quick normalcy is no longer normal. Routines can change in the blink of an eye. Independency turns to dependence. Conveniences become inconvenienced. It left me with so many questions and low results. The wait was real. I had to depend on others to get me to point A to B. My schedule changed and the roles I played came to a halt. All I could do was wait. This was a pivotal point in my life. To know that my day, my time, my “schedule” doesn’t depend on me. Even my waiting wasn’t dependant on me. God controlled everything and because of that wait, I can see Him in everything. Before I say, “Yes, God’s in everything” and for a moment in time, I questioned if He even noticed me. At this moment, I knew I wasn’t forgotten. I knew with all my heart that God is in EVERYTHING…even in our inconveniences. It’s all on Him.
What are somethings you are grateful for in this season of your life? In 2019?