Wednesday, March 20, 2013

it's okay to be messy.

I'm guilty of wearing masks.

Specifically, the lovely, I've got it all figured out.

It's easier to slap on a smile, put up a pretty photo, write a few words, and be done. Easy to blog a session or write about what is good, instead of what is hard. Easy to put on a face and skim the surface instead of being real and honest and raw. Easy to make it seem like my life is less than messy, more like a picture perfect magazine rather than being filled with grittiness and real things like staying up too late working and getting behind on deadlines and being insecure.

I want to be honest and real. I don't want to appear like I have it all together or because I'm doing so and so, I'm somehow "better" or "cooler" or "more professional." or I've somehow reached "that point" (whatever it is, it doesn't really exist), where I've got it all figured out. Because that is so far from the truth. :)

So. Here's the truth...

I still get nervous before every session.
I care too much what people think and struggle with my identity.
I fear I don't measure up.
I focus on my fears instead of resting in God's truth and promises.
I get stuck between pushing myself and being proud of myself.
I have trouble believing in myself.
I feel like I'm faking it and won't ever make it.
I struggle with punctuality and diligence every. single. day.

But there is grace in the midst of those real things. And I don't have it all together. Not by a long shot. But. I am learning. I am growing. I'm learning to let go of my perfectionism and to be confident in the gifts I've been given and use them to the best of my abilities...that doesn't mean I get a free pass to beat myself up if I "mess up" or don't meet my own expectations. There is a difference between pushing ourselves to be better and ignoring the strengths and gifts we do have, because we fear we don't measure up.

And I fear I don't measure up all the time. Because of my age. Because of where I'm at. Because I can't drive yet. Because I don't have ____ or _____(whatever it may be). Because I did or didn't receive this many comments (yes. even silly things like that). Because so-or-so is shooting these photos and I'm stuck in snowy Minnesota in gross March weather. Because I don't work out everyday or eat totally green and on and on.

But none of that matters. That's not where my identity lies. I can find joy and I can find who I am in the things of this world OR I can embrace who I am in Christ and this beautifully messy life I've been given.

Here's the deal. It's easy to reach a certain point and think that we've got it made. That as soon as we get to this many likes on Facebook, or buy this new lens, or get that many comments, or shoot this many sessions a year, or attend those conferences, or go to a photographer meet up, or get to that "point" -- whatever it is -- that we'll be good. That all our insecurities and fears will go away and somehow we will live in this overwhelming confidence. And those things are not necessarily bad -- in fact, they can be really good! But when we start basing our identity in where we're at instead of who we are in Christ, then we lose the heart behind what we do and who we truly are.

I struggle with my identity. I get nervous around other photographers, bloggers, and well, sometimes just people in general. I'm afraid that I don't measure up. I worry about whether people will like me and I put too much stock in what other people's opinions of me are, instead of being confident in who I am in Christ. And it's an everyday choice for me to focus not on what the world says, but what God says. That I don't have it all together and that's okay! I don't have to be perfect to be His.

It's okay to be messy.

"God speaks something meaningful into our lives and it fills us up and helps us change the world regardless of ourselves and our shortcomings. His name for us is His Beloved. He hopes that we will believe Him & start to see ourselves beloved instead of thinking up reasons we aren’t." — Bob Goff

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