Well, this is vulnerable. I’ve prayed over this post a lot. And it has sat in my drafts for months. It’s revealing a part of my heart that I have really not wanted to expose. I would say I share things online that are pretty surface level, or at least generic enough that I never actually have to address details. I do this because I have been fearful of judgement and fearful of people not caring about what’s really going on. On top of both of those things, people I respect and admire have advised me against sharing personal things because it would hinder my professionalism, and that there are a lot of people who don’t like to know too much about someone they are potentially hiring for a service.
It’s ironic that I’ve struggled with this because I would consider myself an open book for the most part. If I’m having a one-on-one conversation with you and you ask a personal question, I will almost always straight up tell you what’s going on or where I’m at. I’m also someone that prides myself on being bold, and not really letting what other people think effect my decisions or choices. But when it comes to protecting my photography business, something I have worked incredibly hard to build and develop for years, I have wanted to hold it close. I’ve given in to my fears and have kept a lot more than I normally would to myself and my close friends. Until the past ten months or so, when what I’ve been learning started pressing on me more and more the longer I kept it in.
In regards to sharing personal things and it potentially effecting my business…well…here’s the thing. Yes, I create pretty pictures. But I also have a purpose beyond just delivering galleries in what I do, and I think sharing more of my life and what I’m learning is going to develop that purpose even further. Ultimately, whatever I am doing, I want to bring glory to the Kingdom of God. I want to love and serve my clients well. I want to build relationships with my seniors and couples. I want to create a comfortable environment where they feel like they can be themselves because they know me and who I am. Allowing them in to my personal life is only going to help foster that.
What I’m sharing today is something that has been a major struggle throughout all of my adult life. You probably could have told me all of these things over the last 8-10 years and it still wouldn’t have hit me because my heart was not ready to be open or accepting of them. God has worked on my heart, and all of these truths really started to sink in this year.
I’m not married. Sure, I would like to be married, but to the right person. If you resonate with that desire, and it’s not something that is in sight for you right now, please hear me when I say to both of us that God has a greater purpose for you than to just be married. Oh, and he also doesn’t promise us all marriage. Hear me again – he did not put you on this earth to simply find a spouse (thank you, Katie Turner, for that one). I’m confident that marriage is wonderful and sanctifying and beautiful just like I hear it is, but I am also confident that I am not “missing out” on being married because it is not meant to be mine in this current moment.
I trust the Lord’s sovereignty. I trust that he knows what is best (because he not only promises that, but he has a track record of it). And I trust that where he has me and you right now (as long as we are pursuing him) is how he will best be glorified. You can stand firm and confident in his timing and his faithfulness, you can find the many reasons being unmarried is wonderful (I’ve maybe embraced this a little too much – hello pink pillows, financial freedom, and independence!!), and you do not have to struggle with this. He has not left you in your loneliness forever. He is working for the good of those who love him. You may not see it, but that doesn’t take away from the truth of it.
In moments when I have been discouraged that there is no one out there that for me because it feels like everyone I know is married, I pray.
In moments when I feel like I am literally the only person in the state of Oklahoma who has not found their person, I pray.
In moments when I am weak and want to cave in temptation of dating apps or past relationships, I pray.
Gary Thomas wrote in “Sacred Search” (go buy that right now) that it is better to be lonely and single than lonely and trapped. Boy, did that stick with me. The covenant of marriage, the life-long vow & commitment, is something I have the rest of my life to live out if God has that in store. But right now, by the grace of God, I have the opportunity to really press into the Lord and theology and my community and my prayer life, not having to worry about pleasing someone else or committing my time to a relationship. I get to watch my friends get married (see below – best. day. ever.) and learn from their journeys. I get to step into who the Lord has called me to be, running faithfully after him. I get to pray for my future husband, Lord willing, – that he would be pursuing the Lord wholeheartedly, that he would be in community, and that his faith would be tested.
I’m not going to sugar coat it and say that I remember and believe this little pep talk in every lonely moment or Friday night spent by myself, but I do say all of this because I have found beauty, FREEDOM, restoration, and peace in the truth of Christ and his love, and I want you to find that too. To be known and understood, and to feel passionately loved and adored. I pray that you and I get to experience that beautiful glimpse of God and his goodness in our relationships here on earth. Whether or not he bestows that blessing on us in a marriage, we can stand firm in who he is & know that the blood of Christ has already reconciled us to our sweet Father in heaven who loves us more than we will ever be able to comprehend.