I sit here, freshly recovered from a week-long flu, coffee to my right, coughing husband to my left and I wonder…was I brave this year? My word for the year in 2017 was brave.
In January, I created audacious goals for my business, set the bar (and my expectations for myself) very high and you know what? It didn’t happen. None of it. In fact, I fell far short of my business goals. It was clear by the Spring that things had taken a turn, and by things, I mean my heart. I was burned out. Tired. After 9 years of hustle, of constant pushing to book more, make more, be more, I just couldn’t do it anymore. I hated the hustle. Picking up my camera felt like a chore and not like the art form it used to feel like. The work I was producing was incredible but my heart wasn’t in it. I spent a lot of time feeling like a failure, then I spent a lot of time feeling rebellious and acting out.
Looking back now, I can clearly see the Lord was calling me into ministry and I’m so grateful He did. However, wondering if I were indeed brave this year has still kept me up at night. I’ve decided to use this post as a gentle reminder to myself, and perhaps to you, that bravery doesn’t always look like what we thought it would, and that’s OK.
In 2018 I…
-Said YES to Jesus when he called me into full-time ministry and away from full-time photography.
-Flew on my own for the first time to FRANCE and attended a business-altering workshop.
-Forged new and lasting friendships in a foreign country with women I’d never met.
-Said NO to countless weddings that were not that of my ideal client.
-Said NO to countless family sessions that would have put my schedule into disarray and thus affect my family negatively.
-Launched a beautiful and refined brand that reflects my heart for weddings, education and is attracting my ideal clients daily.
-Loved Carolina well as she transitioned into childcare 3 full days a week.
-I let go of what I thought my business should look like and let it be what it was – a work in progress.
-Much, much more than I could possibly list here….
Friends, bravery doesn’t always mean doing everything you can to accomplish your goals. Sometimes it means taking a different path that leads you to somewhere totally unexpected. Somewhere beautiful, but unexpected.
This Christmas Eve, I sat in our church sanctuary during rehearsal and cried because I was so, so sick, so, so tired and I wasn’t able to be on stage and sing for our 5 Christmas Eve services. I texted my sweet friend to tell her I was crying and sent her the hashtag #baby. She responded, “You’re not a baby. You’re feeling your feelings. #brave.”
She reminded me that I am brave just for feeling my feelings. If there’s one thing I did in 2017, it was feel all of the feelings. Sometimes, that’s enough. More than enough.