Earlier this year, when I was working with a mentor on my photography business, I had a realization that I was not expecting or was ready for. We were talking about a possible opportunity that was being presented to me. And when I was talking about this possible opportunity, she saw my eyes light up and I had excitement in my voice. This was not there when I talked about my business/photography. She was brave and asked me the hard question “Is photography what you want to do for a career?” And when she asked me, I realized at that moment something was missing for me. This something that I was missing is part of who I am. This something was the relational piece. While some photographers create a long term relationship with their clients, but for me, it seemed like a transaction after having worked in the social service field for so long. God created me to be a relational person.
The feelings I experienced after this realization was like a gut punch! What I thought I wanted to do for the rest of my life was no longer what I wanted to do. And the primary feeling I felt was lost. This feeling of being lost was somewhat familiar. I had felt this after I left my job in social work in May 2019. But the difference between the two, was that this time I felt truly lost. I did not know what to do or where to head next. I felt like I was going to be stuck in jobs that did not fulfill who God has created me to be for the rest of my life. Like I was just going to float through life just existing not thriving. I had heard of people who hated their jobs and just went because they needed to make ends meet. I have never hated a job and I did not want to be the case. I knew that I did not want to live my life existing and that I was created for more but in these moments it felt like just existing was what I was destined to.
Soon after this realization, God planted a seed into my heart and mind of a possible direction that I was meant to go. He even gave me a framework for a course to go with the idea He gave. And it would help fill the piece that I was missing in my photography business.
You would think since He gave me the idea and framework for the course, I would have jumped on board with the idea immediately. But it took me a while to get on board with God. He waited patiently as grieved what I thought I wanted in life and worked to through my feelings.
Part of what I needed to work through I had put myself in this box and I did not want to be viewed as someone who just changed directions on the whim. I eventually came to the conclusion that this direction change for me is no different than someone else changing careers.
When I finally got on board with the seed that God planted, it felt right. I did not feel like I was trying to fit a square into a round hole anymore. It made sense with what I know about myself and how God created me. And it was one of the parts of my job that I loved when I was working in social services.
I have always loved seeing the aha moments happen in the process when someone is empowered to dream and creates steps for those dreams, despite their circumstances. All the while looking at the roadblocks that stand in their way. This is the seed that God planted in me in March of this year. This seed will blossom into many beautiful flowers as people are empowered to grow into who they are created to be.
You can find more information on this at Marilyn L Weaver.
Sometimes in life we think that we need to have do big milestones before we can celebrate or before God celebrates with us. And because of this we become paralyzed and might not start anything at all. Or we don’t think baby steps that we started are worth celebrating.
But in reality God celebrates every step we take. And He especially celebrates the baby steps. Sometimes the hardest steps are the baby steps because it may mean the beginning of something new. Many times, there is uncertainty in it. Which requires us to trust in God when we are taking these first baby steps.
These baby steps could lead to a milestone in our lives. For me one of my milestones in my life is to be the first one in my family to graduate from high school and college. While these are great accomplishments and God celebrated with me when they were accomplished! But God also celebrated every time I was dedicated to study for a class. Studying for a class is many baby steps of a larger goal of getting a diploma.
It is hard for me to fathom in my human brain that God has the time to care about my baby steps. The amazing thing is that I don’t need to figure that out for me to celebrate my baby steps. As a human, we are not meant to put God in a box. And this is something we do often when we try to figure out God. So, when I put aside my human rationalization, it is exciting for me that I have Father who created the universe rooting for me and celebrating every step of my journey.
As society, I believe we do not celebrate enough. There are many examples in the Bible of celebration. “We see celebration not only here in Nehemiah 12, as Israel dedicated the wall, but we also see celebration throughout the Bible. The shepherds, wise men, and angels celebrated the birth of Jesus with gifts, songs, and prayer. God gave Israel many celebrations in the Old Covenant such as the Feast of Booths, year of Jubilee, etc. In the New Covenant, he has given us the Lord’s Supper and baptism. We also see future celebrations such as the wedding of the Lamb and the wedding feast with Abraham.” We sometimes think it is trivial to celebrate the baby steps. Baby steps give us the hope to keep going to the next steps. And eventually many baby steps lead to a milestone goal completed.
So celebrate baby steps whether they are yours or someone else’s because our Creator celebrates them!
Last week my Pastor was preaching on the woman at the well (John 4:1-18). He was talking about her history and where she was at that point in her life. This woman was ridiculed by people in her community. Because of this she would go to the well when no one else was there.
One thing that my Pastor brought up was this woman may have quit dreaming and thinking that her future could be better than what it was. But one day Jesus met her at the well and changed her life. My Pastor then asked us “did you quit dreaming.” This question got me thinking. I realized in the last couple years I somewhat quit dreaming. And when I did dream I would think of a reason why it wouldn’t work. I also had become complacent in my life especially professionally. I put my own ceiling on my career and my life. But by doing this I put limits of myself and on God.
But with some changes in the last couple, this has caused me to start dreaming again. And this week, I was challenged to reflect over the last couple years and where my mindset was at that time. This reflection has made to start dreaming with limits because I serve a God who is limitless. I am no longer going to look at my dreams through the lens of my past failures and hurts. I am excited to dream again and continue making my dreams come true.
What dreams are you not pursuing because of your past, your current circumstances or the limits you put on yourself? So start dreaming, let the Father run with your dreams and take you to places you never imagined.