heart talk / The Mapps Quest

It’s not luck, it’s love.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

This past May marked 1 year since I quit my job.  This month marks 1 year since I told my co-worker I would be able to leave by June.  After I told that to her I forgot it.  It wasn’t until the day I gave my resignation that it was brought back to my mind.  I’ve been thinking about all of this a bunch lately.  Over the past few days I have had lunch with 3 different people, all from different stages of my adult life, all open and willing to hear me dote on God.

Sometimes I am met with acceptance, and sometimes skepticism when it comes to where I’ve been, and where I am going.  I’ve known now for almost 2 years that I want to be an editorial/fashion photographer.  I’m not sure why, I just know that I want it, and that is where I should be.. and so I pray.  I know without a doubt that God gave me this talent, and that it is for a purpose.

I have also learned that it is not my job to force Christianity on the people I come in contact with, but to have answers when the topic arises.. and it almost always does.  The more I read from God’s word, the more answers are revealed to me about what this life is all about, and how I can serve thru my work.  In these two past years I have gone from a girl lost in the world to one that is suddenly known by models, fashion magazine editors, actors, and musicians looking for something different in photography… and this is only the beginning.

Did I earn all this?  Is it just a coincidence?  Was it luck that everything happened so quickly?  For my future remembrance I want to recap how quickly things have transpired.

  • February 2010 – Christ opened my heart to Himself.  We started attending church.  God placed photography on my heart.. I couldn’t get enough, taking photos of everything and anything.
  • July 2010 – I began serving at my new church, taking photos.  My friend asked to be my first customer.  I told my co-worker I would be leaving by next June to do photography full time, *I just knew it*.
  • October 2010 – first model shoot
  • April 2011 – first paid wedding
  • May 2011 – after hearing from God, took a leap of faith and quit my job (with only a handful of booked jobs in the months ahead)
  • June 2011 – I began my daily morning reading of God’s word.
  • June 2012 – first published work, followed by 3 more, and 2 coming in August.

Every month since I have been working from home has been the same.. I have nothing scheduled.  No bookings, no fun modeling stuff.. nothing.  Sure, there’s the occasional wedding that has been scheduled, but they are few and far between.  I must trust, each and every month, that God is going to provide.  And He has.  This coming month of August is no different.  I don’t have a single thing on my calendar.  But I trust Him, and I know that He is my provider, not me.

The truth is that I didn’t earn any of this.  If your child comes to you and asks for a toy that they’ve been dreaming of, and you know it, what do you do?  Personally, I make my child wait, but when he gets it, he is so filled with joy because he has been dreaming and hoping for it.. and the joy of his smile is worth it.  The same is true of our Heavenly Father.  He wants to give us the things we dream of.  Sometimes we must wait until we are ready to accept them, and other times our dreams are not His plans for us.  Thank goodness He didn’t answer my prayer for my life 7 years ago!  I would never have met my husband, and had our son.

This dream of getting out into the world of fashion photography was placed in my heart by Him, at just the right time in my life.  He is molding me, and shaping me into the person He needs for me to be.  Who knows what my ultimate purpose is for Him.  Maybe I will meet someone along the way that needs a shoulder to cry on, and maybe that is the only reason that I am where I am now.  Only God knows, and I have put my life in His hands.

But do I deserve it?  The answer is no.  I have done nothing to prove that I am worthy of what I have been so graciously given.  My life up until I was saved was nothing to be proud of.  The beauty of Christ is that He comes to rescue you.  All you have to do is say yes.  The Lord is the creator of all the things in motion around us.. all the things that move us from one place to another… all ultimately working out the best for all of us individually if we put our faith in Christ.

I have not worked my booty off to get to this point.  I have worked very hard to maintain my relationship with God.  All He wants is for us to come to Him, ask, and He will guide us.  He loves me, and He loves you.  He loves you so much that He gave us a way to reach Him.. to have a relationship with Him.  Just ask.

Are you unsure about your standing with God?  As my pastor says, “It’s as easy as A, B, C.”

A. Admit you are a sinner.  All have come short of the glory of God, and therefore cannot enter His presence.

B. Believe that Jesus came to earth and died for your sins and mine.  Believe that He conquered death and rose from the grave to be seated at the right hand of God.

C. Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord.  Pray and ask God for forgiveness.

Romans 10: 9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

***

 

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