Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Something Worth Fighting For

So it's been like this the last few weeks...

God: "Leah, you need to be ALL here. I've called you to be a photographer for better OR for worse. Success or fail. Praise or rejection. Ignoring your gift is not an option. There's no back door out."

From the time I cried tears of frusteration & confusion over my 3rd grade Math, I started a pattern of  just simply giving up when things got too hard.

In high school, I faithfully scratched numbers & took notes in Algebra class every day, but my heart wasn't in it. And I failed. It was like studying Greek - or worse - in my eyes. I didn't understand an ounce of it, so why even try?

I've been surrounded by SO many marriages where husbands & wives just gave up in complacency. It was too hard, and they didn't care any more.

Over a year ago, I gave up my photography business. Life hurt too much. Rejection from my clients .. or even from those (who I thought) were dearest in my life was too painful.

Without even fully realizing it, the last year or so I've been "re-creating" myself to fit in everyone else's boxes to be accepted. The beginning of September I hit some "bumpy waters" and changes in my life, so I began to earnestly asked God what in the world His will for my life was, and what step I should make. God began telling me in the most gentle way, "Leah, you ALREADY know what my will is. I've called YOU to be a photographer. Use your talent. Don't waste it out of fear of failure. Just because you failed before doesn't mean you quit."

One of my favorite movie moments is the scene in "The Patriot" just after Gabriel dies, and the Colonel encourages Benjamin to "stay the course" when he wants to give up after his son's death. Benjamin regains the courage to fight again, and so he catches up with the army, riding up on his horse with Gabriel's worn & torn American flag waving high in the air. Benjamin pressed on to fight again, even through one of the lowest moments of his life (losing his son.)

Or I always want to go running for a kleenex box at the scene on "Amazing Grace" when the bill is passed to end the slave trade. William Wilberforce chokes up in the overwhelming emotion of what had just taken place, and he glances up at his wife. He had been so discouraged, and so close to wanting to give up, but through the encouragement and support of his wife, Barbara Spooner, he kept going.. and made it to this day of victory.

All great victories have been won only through great sacrifice.

Life isn't always a compelling soundtrack. Sometimes it's forging through the grit, the tears and the hard times.

JD, photographer Jasmine Star's husband, told her, "I'd rather see you fail at something you love than succeed at something you hate."

I think someday when I get to glory and see my Savior face to face, I'd rather say, "Lord, I did what you asked me to. I did what I could, even though I failed miserably at times." RATHER than be ashamed that I made great sucess in my own eyes, because I ignored what He called to do.

All that I am, all that I have, I lay them down before You, O Lord. All my regrets, all my acclaim, My joy and my pain I'm making them Yours. Things in the past, things yet unseen, Wishes and dreams that are yet to come true, All of my hopes, all of my plans, My heart and my hands are lifted to You. Lord, I offer my life to You, Everything I've been through, Use it for Your glory...



Samantha R. said...

Amen, Leah!! Two of my favorite movies, by the way :)
And I've heard that quote by JD too; it's a good one to remember.

In order for God to use us fully we need to be fully committed!

Rachel said...

so true and SO hard to do. God, make me see that it's WORTH IT to live for an audience of One.

Anonymous said...

Keep going Leah! Use your amazing talents foe God's glory, and you will be blessed.

E. M.

Brittney said...

Though perhaps slightly different circumstances, I felt I could identify with so much of what you shared... Fear of failure, seeking to fit in the mold of what everyone else has for me, looking for acceptance in all the wrong places , not doing or being what God wants me to be but simply giving up. Makes me feel as though I have wasted a great portion of my life over the trifles of my heart. I guess that's what happens when you let such pettiness create who you are. Good thing we have a loving, patient, gracious God. :) Thanks for being so candid.

And Leah: GO FOR IT. LIVE the dream God has given you. Your photography is incredible, it's your talent and up to you to make it grow and multiply. Don't hide it or keep it safe in a box for fear of not measuring up... God will ask you someday what you did with the talent He gave you.

Love you, girl! Excited for you too. I feel like there's a lot of new beginnings happening in your life and that makes me thrilled for you. :D Blessings!