Make it a priority to be a light in someones life. If you already are that in someones life, then move onto someone new. Keep this going. You are to be a light in the world...not just in your small group, not just in your church, not just in your 'mommy group' not just your group of work friends whom you have known for years. Shine bright for others who may not have the group of support you have established with your friends. Be that friend to someone who needs it.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 says
"Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up"
What a great change it would be in the world if every person added this to their long term goals for the year... What an influence we could have on others.
We have been living in Raleigh, NC for 6 months now and it has been so so difficult for me settling in. It has been hard to find my feet in such a large City. So many people with their own lives and friendships already established. It's almost like starting college in the middle of a semester and that is hard.
Trying to find good, solid people who will be there when you need them, who will allow you to be their shoulder when they may need it.
Having to re-start my photography business from scratch after having a fully booked, established business in New York- (what feels like home still). That is another challenge. Trying to market myself in an area absolutely filled with established photographers and small business owners. I have been learning and stumbling so much the past few months.
I had an car accident in October which was huge for me and really shook me up big time. A lot of my confidence seemed to disappear into outer space and a lot of doubt. Ever since, it has been a constant struggle to even get myself out of the house 'alone' to do anything...even shopping, HA! But really, it's something i never had to deal with. I was always confident, motivated and encouraged... but lately it has been so hard to find the joy, hard to find the passion for my photography I once had.
I realized that I was forgetting to full lean on Jesus. In everything... I was forgetting to trust him for the outcome, trusting that just because it felt like it was wrong and impossible...God meant it for good. "What was meant for evil, God uses for good." Max Lucado.
God never once left my side, he was and is with me through every trial... it's a matter of me reaching back out to him, taking his hand and saying- "I am all in". Why is that so hard? We know he is good, we know he has blessed us beyond measure... why do we continue to let the devil pick apart our hearts? The devil loves to steal our joy and passions and make us feel like we are stuck... and boy is it so easy to fall down sometimes and just not want to get back up again, even though God's hand is so close, within reach and his arm are ready to embrace us.
God has given us passions and dreams. He has blessed us with amazing, incredible spouses and friendships. But he wants us to seek him first... before everything else.
What do we do when we are faced with a storm? Who do we turn to first? Imagine how much more we could grow if we turned to God in prayer and worship before anything and anyone else? Our lives would begin to be transformed and I believe we would remember that he is faithful, I think we would soon discover those passions and hidden dreams that were lost. He wants so much for us but we choose to turn into ourselves, we try to fix ourselves.
Be intentional about your relationship with Christ... you cannot afford not to. You need him in your life more than you need anything. Never lose sight of his beautiful face. He is doing incredible things in your life today as I write this. This year will be filled with tears I am sure, tears of excruciating pain and grief and tears of overwhelming happiness. Know and trust that he is in every storm with you. He has a plan and he will win...always!
So as I continue to build my foundation in him and put him first in everything and as I face the challenges in my own life, my prayer is that you will find hope and maybe even insight in this blog. I pray that it will speak to you and encourage you to cultivate a life of integrity and meaning, maybe even change.
So go and make some time for quiet time alone with God, one on one with your spouse and make some time for friends!
(leaving you with part of this incredible song; (Desert Song-Hillsong United)
"This is my prayer in the desert
When all that's within me feels dry
This is my prayer in my hunger and need
My God is the God who provides
And this is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved
Of more worth than gold
So refine me, Lord, through the flame
And I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me shall remain
I will rejoice
I will declare
God is my victory and He is here
And this is my prayer in the battle
When triumph is still on its way
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ
So firm on His promise I'll stand"