This post has been a long time coming. However, I feel like I am ready to share what the Lord has been cultivating in my heart for awhile, specifically the last year or so. I pray that as you read this, you may be filled with the loving kindness of the Father and His good Grace.
For as long as I can remember I have been a fearful person. Always playing it safe and scared to take risks. If anything required some sort of trust, I was out. I was a timid child, spending my time doing things that were easy and safe. One specific memory I have from growing up, that is applicable to this post was my history with learning to swim.
Let me start by saying this. I spent my summer days at the pool either in the shallow end of the pool or sitting on a towel. I was scared to wander into waters where I couldn't feel the bottom beneath my feet. This led to me missing out on what my friends were doing at the pool. While they ran around going off the diving boards and the slides, I played it safe and stuck to what was comfortable: the shallow area. After many summers spent like this, I finally built up the confidence to learn how to swim and did something that scared me. The moment I put myself out there and risked something safe, was actually the moment where my world opened up. Gone were the days spent in the shallow section, but I was off running around, enjoying my summers, going off the slides and doing flips off the diving board.
This may seem like a silly story to you, but the same principals applies to my life as a 20-something post grad. I spent the last year learning that playing it safe leads to more anxiety than I ever thought possible. As I waded out into the deep end, I learned that life truly became more beautiful. However, as (somewhat) adult(?!?) it wasn't the water that scared me, but my reputation, my pride and my financial security that was on the line. It still felt like I couldn't feel the bottom beneath my feet, and sometimes it still feels like that.
However, it's more beautiful than I could have imaged. I've realized that when you say "heck no" to fear and you punch Satan in the face, life becomes more freeing. I've realized that God gave me this beautiful life to enjoy, and enjoy fully and not doing that is a disgrace to Him. When I learned how to swim my world opened up and I had wayyy more fun than I did in my safe space, just like when I stepped out of fear and put myself out there my life has been so much more rewarding than I thought possible.
Here are a list of things that I would have never done this time last year, but I am so thankful for!
- Started a photography business (!!!) (No joke, this time last year the thought of putting myself out there in this capacity terrified me)
- Second shot for some fabulous photographer friends.
- Charged for a photography session.
- Interned at the most fabulous Bridal Boutique.
- Shot a roll of FILM!
- Upgraded equipment and invested in my business.
- Kick fear in the face.
I know that this list might not seem that crazy to you, but for me it was! I've learned to listen to the voice of the Lord and His calling over my life and sometimes that means taking a leap of faith and risking it. Regardless of whether or not I find success in this venture, I know it was worth it, because it taught me one of the most important lessons of it all: taking risks is worth it, because regardless or not if you succeed, you tried and that's far more valuable than your pride or money.