For a while now I have been feeling like God was telling me to quit my job and pursue photography. Yes, there have been times when I thought that maybe it was just wishful thinking, and that I just conveniently heard God to get what I wanted. However, I would like to submit the following evidence to you, and myself, as confirmation that God is really in control of what is happening.
My husband bought my first super nice camera for Christmas of 2009. At the time, I was interested in just getting some good pictures of my son, as well as, taking pictures of things that were interesting to me. In March of 2010, God drew me to himself, and my soul was saved by accepting Christ to come into my life, and forgive me of my sins.
A couple of weeks later I started taking pictures a LOT. A few people told me how much they loved them on Facebook, and then I started looking into the costs of starting up my own photog biz. I got my website up and running, and started taking pictures of friends and their children for free. At that time I felt led to go up to my church and volunteer my photog services for anything they might need pics of. On my way home from that meeting I heard a voice in my head tell me to quit my job.
I didn’t tell anyone at the time about that. I did however, come to the realization that God was the one in control of my success at doing photography. I know that this is my spiritual gift. Some people receive the gift of ministry, others healing, but I got photography…and I love it. Since March, I have improved drastically, and I give God all the glory. I know that without Him, none of this would have happened.
In October I got a tatoo of a scripture verse on my left forearm: “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know”. Jeremiah 33:3 It was almost an uncontrollable impulse to do it. I think of it as an easy way to get a conversation going about my first love wherever I am, at any time of day. You wouldn’t believe how many people I have seen staring at my arm.. even when they already knew it was there. I think this is how God is helping me to start conversation.. because I am a very shy girl!
I guess it was in January of this year that my boss, myself, and a co-worker got into it…big time. Again, I heard a thought tell me to quit my job. I didn’t. I took what I was given, and learned a bit of patience. After that, work was exactly that. Work. It took all my strength not to start crying at the drop of a hat in our office. Slowly, though, things have resumed to normal, and I can honestly say that work is going well again. The tension is still sometimes present, and it seems like things might snap at any moment..but as long as you mind your p’s and q’s you will be ok.
Two weeks after the fight, I went to a women’s retreat in Galveston. It took all my courage, but I broke down, and let His Spirit wash over me. I went and prayed with one of the ladies there about what I was feeling, and the ‘voices’ I had been hearing. The entire weekend it felt like God was talking directly to me, telling me to take a leap of faith out into the great unknown world of being self-employed. I made a new friend while I was there. Her name is Ashley, and I had been talking to her over breakfast one morning, and then she asked for my business card. Of course I didn’t have one on me, so she said she would find me again, and I could give it to her. I secretly prayed that if I was supposed to do photography full-time, then God would bring her back to me. (There were over 200 women at this conference, and I never saw the same person twice, except for my roommates.)
At the last teaching on Sunday morning, everyone was leaving, and I hung around to talk to our pastor’s wife. I told her about what was going on, and about the ‘voice’. She told me that it was God, and that taking a leap of faith was not easy, nor was it meant to be. She herself, along with our pastor, had taken a leap of faith in coming to Houston. God told them to come here. He didn’t tell them where to go, or how to do it, but just to come. So they did, and on their way they got a call to stay with a friend until they could find work and a place to live. When I was done talking to her I saw Ashley coming to talk to her. She walked right past me, so I tapped her on the shoulder to give her my card. Of course she didn’t know about my secret prayer, but by me taking the initiative to talk to her, I felt like it wasn’t God answering me, but me doing it. I was confused… and stayed that way till mid Monday.
Monday at lunch I decided to go to HEB to get lunch. They have really awesome soup, and this pasta salad that I am totally addicted to! While I was driving into the parking lot I looked over at the girl walking up to the store.. it was Ashley. We waved at each other, and she waited for me to park, and then we walked in together. God had brought her back to me. Turns out that she works for a company that inspects only HEB stores… crazy!!! I didn’t even think about what had just occurred until I got back to my office. Then I immediately thanked God for His answer.
Since then I have pondered on the idea of quitting my job several times, but each time my husband and I have decided that there is no way that we would be able to afford life without me having a full-time job. So I basically gave up. This past weekend the sermon was screaming directly at me, from God. The entire thing was about taking that leap of faith, and letting God be in control. Our pastor even used the example of being at a job, and then God has plans for you to do something completely different, and that you should let God lead you.. faithfully. It was what I needed to hear.
This was the third time God was telling me what to do. So, my husband and I discussed it to death all day Sunday, and we prayed together that night for guidance. He told me that he would have an answer for me in the morning. When I woke up, I looked for his note. It said, “I have not received a confirmation, but if you know that God is telling you to quit your job, then put in your notice.” I went to work, shaking.
I sat in my chair, the only one in the office at that time, besides my boss.. and prayed to God to fill me with His Spirit to give me strength for what i was about to do. I kept feeling like I was being pushed to get up and just get it over with. I said in my head, “God, if this is what you want me to do, push me into that office.” Then my boss called me into his office. We talked about the projects for a minute, and then I went and shut his door. He looked expectantly at me. I started talking…
“I’m scared to tell you this. I feel like God is telling me to pursue photography full-time. I feel like I have exhausted my service here in the way of fulfilling God’s will, and it is time to move on, and be out in the world around new people.” He smiled. He said, “Who am I tell you that you cannot do what you feel God is telling you to do? I support you 100%, and I know that God will fill my need in light of you leaving.” What? That’s it?! I was expecting yelling, and anger..lots and lots of anger! But there was calm, and a confirmation from God during this calm that this was truly what I am supposed to do.
I told my co-worker what had happened, and she was just as astonished as I was. My boss was happy the rest of the day. I decided to go to HEB again for lunch… and guess who came up to me in the store? Miss Ashley.. my ultimate confirmation girl. God brought her back to me again (almost 2 months later), to put a confirmation in my soul, again, that I was on the right path.
The icing on the cake of all of this came at a meeting this afternoon. You see.. I still have the problem of not having enough money to get by after I leave my job. I told my boss that I was more than happy to stay until we found a suitable replacement, and they had been trained… so I would say I have at least a month to go. We were discussing an upcoming ‘grand opening’ of one of the projects we had just completed construction on. He said that since I was a photographer, that i should go and photograph the building, and then we would use my pictures (with my logo on them) in the slide show that would loop continuously during the grand opening. I was internally hysterical! There will be over 600 people at this opening, including the Mayor of Houston.
Put your faith in God. You never know what might happen. Call to Him.. He will show you great and unsearchable things you do not yet know, nor could you even imagine possible.