Thank you all SO much for the happy birthday wishes! It means more than you will ever know! I feel incredibly #blessed for another year of life and so many wonderful people to share it with.
While reflecting on this past year, I felt very lead to share something personal. Please bare with me, as I do not share a lot of my personal life on social media. I’d much rather hide behind my work, or make a joke out of something.. but here goes!
Ever since I was little, I have always been a planner. I set goals, and after I reach them, I set new ones. For the longest time, this worked and life was great. Until one day “my plans” were not the same plans that the Lord had in store for me. I felt weak, discouraged, confused, and even like a disappointment to those who mattered most. Finally, I gave up trying to figure everything out on my own and said, “God, I’m listening! Just please give me a sign or tell me what my purpose is here.” After praying this prayer several times, I got a text message from a dear friend, Christina Devictor. She wanted to have a coffee date with me to catch up. LONG story short, Christina (one of the most BA photographers) gave me the opportunity to work and learn from her and the courage to go out on my own with photography. I will forever be grateful for her. She is one of the people I look up to the most, and she is the reason I pursued my passion.
After my time with Christina came to end, I said to God, “Ok, I did that.. now what? Can I really do this on my own?” I had stopped making my own plans at this point. I now fully relied on God to show me the way I should go. Then I started this prayer: “Thank you God for allowing me to use the gift you gave me to capture all the love that is in this world and give people precious moments that last a lifetime. If this is your plan for me, please continue to open the right doors.” After praying this prayer several times, guess who I ran into at a beautiful, backyard wedding in Luverne, Al?! The one and only Kim Box. It was at that wedding we starting talking about photography and when she found out I had moved back from Atlanta she said, “What! Come work with us" and I said, "Really?! OK!!."(in my head, I was like DUH I'll work for you.. Helloooo It's @KimBoxPhotography !!!!) ANYWAYS, Another LONG story short.. Here I am two years later, and could not be happier to be with the team of creatives I’m with at @KimBoxPhotography. Not only do they inspire me, but they make me a better person. I’ll stop there on that note, because I could write a another long novel on my coworkers. They are pretty amazing.
But even as a photographer with Kim Box Photography, I still worry. I still have doubt sometimes. And as many of you know, the photography/creative business isn’t always a steady one. You do not have a set salary. There are busy seasons; there are slow seasons. And when those seasons are slow, you better believe the enemy takes every opportunity to sneak in and plant that seed of doubt and fear in your mind.
This past July/August was a slow season for me. Back in the spring I was getting kind of anxious and worried because I had not booked any weddings for July and only one for August. So back to the drawing board I went with God, “Is this still what you are wanting me to do? Are you not opening these doors because this is no longer my calling?” For the longest time I didn’t understand. I was definitely looking forward to a break but still worried.
It was on the 4th of July 2017 that I got the news that my GaGa was in the hospital. Shortly after going to see her, I learned that she had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer and was not receiving any treatment. They gave her 2-6 months to live. I was devastated. I have never lost someone that close before. Not knowing how much time I had left with her, I tried my hardest to go see and visit with her every day. Every time I walked in the door she would say, “There’s my girl” with her hands ready to give me a hug and kiss as soon as I got to her. We would catch up, laugh at old times, and just enjoy each others company. She was the best.
On September 16th, 2017, my sweet GaGa took her last breath here on earth and went to be with Jesus. I miss her more and more every day that passes, but I will always treasure the memories and time I had with her. It wasn’t until then that I realized.. In my times of anxiety and worrying, God wasn’t not providing for me like I thought. He knew what was coming... and He gave me that time off to spend with my sweet GaGa for the last time. Because He knows I would have never forgiven myself if I never had it. I then had 3 weddings the month of September and am back in full swing / “busy season." I already have more weddings booked in 2018 than I did in 2017.
You see, He knows what he is doing with us, and He knows what is best for us even when we can’t see it. I just want to publicly thank Him for always providing what we NEED and not what we think we need or WANT. I am so undeserving of His love and grace, but forever grateful and amazed that He gave his only Son for us to have eternal life with Him.
If you made it this far, I truly thank you for taking the time to read this that is so personal and close to my heart. I hope this encourages or gives comfort to someone who may be dealing with some of the same internal battles.
and always remember:
"Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.” -Proverbs 3:5
28 and feeling great! To God Be the Glory! Much Love!!