As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. John 15:9 With all the attention surrounding our doggy newborn photo shoot with Snuggles including the interviews and calls from some of the top news agencies, I wanted to share my heart. I mean, why not?! Apparently the world cares more about a dog pretending to be a baby than Kim and Kanye's actual baby. lol Anyway, I had a real struggle with the idea of these images actually being seen. These images being posted is a complete step for me personally, emotionally, and spiritually. As silly as it may seem, posting these images was actually a real step of faith for me.
You see, I am a people pleaser. I have always been keenly aware of how people feel about me - feeling worried if someone is upset or mad. Do they think I am dumb? Do they think I’m weird? Did I accidentally say something that they didn’t like? The list goes on and on. After we finished the doggy newborn shoot with Snuggles, which was meant to be very tongue-in-cheek and just plain silly, I held onto them for quite a long time (8 MONTHS LONG!) and didn’t share with even the closest of friends. The fear of judgment from others crippled my ability to enjoy just good, clean, fun. Throughout this process, as I continually put off publishing them, I almost puked at the thought that possibly millions of people are going to see my images and JUDGE them - and as a result, me. But, over these months, I've seen the Lord quiet my heart and affirm His love for me. I am loved, chosen, and justified through Christ - bought for the highest price.
John 3:16 & 17 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him."
I am thankful for this opportunity, because I am reminded of the very worst and best realities of myself. No publicity and praise is enough to take away my sin, but no hateful comments or weird looks are enough to keep me from the love of my Father.
And, as He always seems to do, He continued to encourage my heart with this reminder from Brian Metz' sermon this past Sunday:
"Christian artists should be the most creative people on the planet, because they are able to take the greatest risks you can imagine - they are already accepted and loved." - Jeff Vanderstelt
As my lovely friend (and Snuggles' dog mom), Jan (an amazing wedding photographer in Huntsville, AL) so wonderfully put it:
"This life is only a vapor; people and things come and go… Only one life, 'twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last." C.T. Studd