Sparrows, Lilies, and Introspection - May 6, 2021

Updated: May 13

Considering that I use this same website for not only my growth and sharing of God but for business, I've been told it's not wise to be so open and personal. So I pushed pause on this blog. I have been thinking a lot, and sometimes just some, about what I am doing and where I am. Don't get me wrong, this is not a blog about depression or woe is me. It's far from it. But I thought about this blog. A good man that I look up to, learn from, seek advice from, and care for very much has told me many things that have stuck. He's very transparent about his walk with Christ, including the not-so-pretty parts of his past. His reasoning is humble (my word, not his), and he walks closely with those who join him. He loves them no matter what and tells them. He's somewhat unconventional in this approach, but he has grown in Christ so much, and with so many others he has grown fond of and cares for.

I have another friend, a good man that I also look up to, learn from, seek advice from, and care for and trust very much. Same for his wife. We are close. I love them dearly. They're probably not people I would have been friends with before. But they and the first person I talked about before shared in Christ and grew close. We were transparent with each other. We walk together arm in arm and do our best to share what we have with others. He hated hugs, yet he hugs me when I don't hug him. His wife hugs me abundantly, and I am so grateful. These two have taught me so much about people I didn't know, and I pride myself on being a people watcher. Not in the way most people mean it, but because of my past, I have had to learn to read people on a deep level. Sometimes even for my safety.

I know a woman who has been like a mother to me. She and her family have made me one of their own. They've been through their share of trouble, as have I. And I've learned no matter what how to get through that, be accepted, and still see good.

I could go on and on, but maybe I'll get more to the point. Tonight someone asked me what God has for me to do. No one has really directly asked me that before, not in a way that I can remember. I've been told, prophesied over, and given help. But he just directly asked me. And while I've been wondering that in some form while I took a break from the blog, it hit me hard tonight. A good man asked me that question. One that I admire, learn from and make sure I stay close to so I can grow as he has. Very admirable man. However, instead of looking forward, I spent my time after church tonight looking back and thinking about what is going on.

I've been doing photography since 2009. That's twelve years of photos. I had a studio at one point for several years, but the majority of the time it's been a work-from-home situation. And while I did that, I had a full-time job managing a restaurant. Last year I gained a family, like an adopted or stepfamily, and I wouldn't give that up as I know that was a gift from God. I love them dearly. And they have shown the same to me. When I stopped that I was very worried about how I would provide for them, but I desperately needed a break. And God has provided for that. God has provided for me so many things, I am truly blessed and eternally grateful.

But that's been part of the story of my life. And in conversation with others, I always pull out the ol' sparrows and lilies verse. Of course, He feeds the birds and clothes the grass. If He does that what more will He do for me? But I'm just human, sometimes it's hard to keep that faith, but by God, literally, here I am. So for once, I told Him I wanted to have that kind of faith. When I stopped working in the restaurant, I told Him I wanted that faith so bad, but I knew I'd waver. And I trust He will lead me where He wants me to be.

Some people see that as a copout or an excuse. But I don't. I don't just believe it, I know it to be true. I've lived it.

At this point, I could pull out a ton of verses. Lead me not into temptation in the Lord's Prayer, Isaiah said the Lord will guide you and satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched Earth, John writing about Jesus telling of the Advocate who will guide us, even Proverbs saying that humans plan their course but the Lord makes their steps. It's all there and I already know it.

But this transparency I learned about. I've allowed people to use my life against me for so long as a weapon. Beating me, weakening me, attempting to destroy the very thing God was building up. And then these people came into my life and showed me another way. Open book. God will take care of His own, He has more than proven that to me. But to allow others to know me so I can get to know them and walk this journey with them, that's the beautiful part. It's let me gain more close friends than I've ever known. I could count my closest friends on one hand before them, and they are people I still love dearly. But now, the knowledge of the love of God and that experience has led me to a fuller life than I could have ever known.

God has provided everything for me. I know it. I don't just know it and believe it, but I live it. And as one of my very dear friends always says, what have you done with my Son? The reason I have this business, this website, this podcast, and this blog are because of God. And with these tools I will share Him the way I know best. So yes, this is a different kind of business than normal. But I am glad it is.

As for what I am going to do going forward, I don't know for sure. I could throw in one more verse about worrying about tomorrow, but I'm not going to. We all know it. But what I will do is take what I have today and use them for Him, and then I will keep my ears open and listen for what He has next.

Love you all.

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