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December 9, 2013

None of It’s Mine

It can be easy to think that everything I have and everything I work for belongs to me.  The hours I put in, the tears that are shed, my aching feet at the end of a wedding day all should point to how I did the work and how the results belong to me.  But it just isn’t true.

At the Pursuit 31 Conference back in October, the first night we were there, Karen Stott talked about detours and how even though we might have a plan, God might have a different one.  But that it’s for His glory, not our own.  She used the story of Joseph to make her point… who in the world would WANT to be sold into slavery and go through everything he did in order to one day be the second in charge of an empire?  Right… no one.  But it was a detour that God put into motion in order for him to learn the lessons he needed to learn so that when the moment came for him to face his brothers, he did so with forgiveness and grace!  (If you haven’t read Joseph’s story before, I HIGHLY recommend it!  It’s in Genesis chapters 37-50).

That night in our small group, one of our leaders challenged us to write out or draw out our own detours in life and even though I’m no artist I got this picture in my mind – it was a bit cartoonish – of my story and how God took my heart, my desires, my dreams and changed them and molded them until they lined up with what He wanted for me.  I mean, I was a mechanical engineering student set on becoming an astronaut who ended up changing her major to French, living in Belgium for a semester, working in ministry for 8 years and then becoming a wedding photographer!  What?!?  During my “astronaut days” I never would have imagined myself here!!  But, I know I’m exactly where God wants me to be.

And because of that, everything I have, everything I work for, everything I do belongs to God.  Every image I post is because of Him.  Every piece of equipment I own or even rent belongs to Him.  Every client that comes my way is one that He brought to me.  And I’m SO thankful.

I don’t give gifts for people to look at me and thank me and pat me on the back.  I give gifts because God has been so gracious to provide for me.  I do things and sacrifice my time and energy because my time and energy belong to Him in the first place.  Now don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean that I do all my sessions or weddings for free, I do run a business after all.  But, my hope and my prayer is that as He continues to grow this business and bless us with couples and clients that we won’t forget where it’s all coming from.  My prayer for all of us is that as He works in you and whatever it is you do, that our generosity will increase… whether it’s with our time, our talent, or our resources.

And what better time of year to ponder on this than at Christmas and as the new year is just around the corner?

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