The first week into the New Year and God has already triple-dogged-double-dogged-dared me.
New Year’s Day, I received a Facebook message from someone who I met by chance in November during one of my blog shoots. The encounter was only 10 minutes, but I remember thinking to myself: this conversation may be useful later. Now, here we are months later and this same person is contacting me. He had the same thoughts.
A few days after the Facebook message, we met to discuss a possible collaboration. The meeting went well and the creative juices were flowing. We were on the same page. God was in it. When I walked away from the meeting, I was excited and scared. Did that just happen? This stranger and his company are willing to work with little ole' me. Wait, God is that you? I decided that I would pray and sleep on it.
The very next morning, I woke up to fear and disbelief. It was almost crippling. My heart begin to race and I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes. I began pacing. Back and forth. Back and forth.
Next, I spoke out loud, "Okay God. Okay! I hear you." I stopped pacing.
Then, I stood straight up. "If this is what you have for me, I'll do it. But. I'm scared."
And, almost as clear as my own voice ringing in my own ears, I heard God. But, you asked for this; so do it!
For the last couple of years, my conversations with God have been the cornerstone of many decisions in my life. The big man(or woman) and I have a long standing relationship. Since, I’ve acknowledged God's existence, I go to God for the smallest or largest of requests.
When I was 11, I wanted to be student government president for my middle school. When I was 17, I needed God's help with my teenage pregnancy. When I was 20, I needed God's strength to get through college. Growing up, I’ve brought God my requests and God’s delivered within reason. At 23, I was out of work and I had just broke up with my boyfriend. I spent hours upon hours alone. It was that way until I started talking to him and then waiting for God's response. By 25, I learned how to carry on a conversation with God. And now, I know God is eavesdropping on all of my conversations, even the ones you I have in my head.
Lately, I have been extremely dissatisfied with certain areas of my life. I've been hosting quiet pity parties in my head. My life's energy is dependent on excitement and challenge. Some nights, I've gone to God and asked for more.
One thing you need to know is before God moves you to your next step in his plan, he will make you so uncomfortable that you have no other choice to move. When he’s calling you to the next step, your current state will start to feel too tight like all of a sudden you went up a shoe size and every time you take a step your toes are crying out in agony.
In the last few months of 2016, my shoes have been way too tight. I am trying to stretch my toes in certain areas of my life, but there’s no extra room. In all of my stubbornness, I tried to push against the edges hoping to break through. Ironically, I found that the areas in my life didn't need a breakthrough, I did. This brings us to God’s dare.
My breakthrough came by way of the challenge.I asked God for more, so he delivered more. But, what we have to remember is: God's plan for our lives will always be grander than our very own vision. When I am presented with any opportunity in my life, I always look to it's spiritual context.God hears my complaints, thoughts, and desires. He heard me loud and clear in 2016. Before, I could jot down my New Year's resolutions or craft a vision board, God had already been working on my 2017. God is daring me to live out my heart's desire's. All my thoughts and ideas are going to start manifesting. It's time for me to do it!
Photography Credit: Jessica Mason, @jayyymayphotos
Sidenote: I apologize for the vagueness about my meeting. I will share more details in God's timing.
What is the universe calling you to do for 2017? How is God challenging you this year? Share with me below.
Love the photos? Click here to see more images from the shoot.