So you want to know Who I am. Before you read.. remember this. I do not have it all figured out, and my heart is still healing so please do not “Cast the first stone”.
(Jesus faced a mob that was eager to execute a woman caught in adultery. He put a stop to it with a simple challenge: anyone who has no sin in their life should step forward and throw the first stone. That sentence is often cited as a reminder to avoid judging others when there are faults in your own life that need to be addressed.)
I used to be this girl who was in desperate need of the word “more”. Let me tell you brothers and sisters in this vapor they so call life, there will always be more. I went from a selfish girl.. to a selfless woman. Which then blossomed into a career where God surprised me with a gift, as a photographer. I now indulge into every creation he has placed before me.
Soul searcher/searching-noun soul–searching \ˈsōl-ˌsər-chiŋ\ : the activity of thinking seriously about your feelings and beliefs in order to make a decision or to understand the reasons for your own behavior.
This was me. (As long as you add in “to make a decision to get others approval” that definition described my life until 2015/2016. And not that it was all bad I was just looking in all of the wrong places for what, or who, or when to love. I have been soul searching for what seems like a lifetime and by that, I mean trying to discover who I was really meant to be. I have been the literal definition of a hot mess trying to find myself in the last five years. Luckily with a savior like mine, you go from “feeling like a hot mess” to knowing you’re a beautiful piece of a plan. There was a time in my life where my mind became a battlefield. I was my own worst enemy on more levels than one. I got married when I was twenty-one to my love, Christopher. A man I met at the craziest time, in the craziest way. After only knowing each other for three short months, we were engaged. CRAZY, we know. But, when a man loves you in your darkest days and a woman completely changes a man into someone for the better you don’t discount that love. You thank the Lord and run away with it. So that we did. We have a son named Montgomery who is the light of the room and awfully fun and crazy (aka a boy). We are hoping to have many babies after we continually add onto our house and turn it into a farm for them to grow and just enjoy life.
So, I struggle a lot with making decisions, I always will. I did not want to do the 9-5 job. I did not want to live in a city. But I did not want to be sheltered and stuck in a small town forever. I wanted to live and not just exist. No matter what it was I felt like a failure. But I always made sure I was “put together” because people were watching and God forbid they see me fall. I find myself lonely being at home by myself. And longing for adult conversations. I am always pondering the question “What can I do to live life the way it was meant to be lived?” I don’t want to live off crazy schedules or follow a list all day every day (but I so love lists). Like I want to actually live. And I don’t mean jump off a cliff and climb a mountain (even thought id totally love to do that). I mean waking up with an overwhelming feeling of joy, hugging random strangers to make their day and giving all the crap we have to someone who really needs it. I want to live like that. I am still working on becoming this person every day so don’t think I have it all figured out because I do not. So you’re wondering when is photography coming into this?.. right now. When I confess, that I was in a dark place it, I don’t mean I did things terribly wrong, even though I’ve made many, many mistakes. I am talking about there was a period where I was in a very toxic mindset where I was all about myself. (For those who wonder where I went or why I got off social media for a time period this is why!!) I wanted to make sure I always was dressed to the nine, my extensions were long and my tan was ridiculous( which is not bad, but my focus was more on those things than loving who I was). Basically, I wasn’t myself at all. And it breaks my heart because I know all that time I was breaking the Lord’s heart by “trying to be someone” he did not intend me to be. I had fifty thousands stages and styles that I acted out, people were mean about it and thats ok I learned from them. But then there were people who knew I was hurting trying to find who I was supposed to be next. All because I was impatient time after time, I needed to know my future just tell me who I am supposed to be. Like right now. I wasn’t strong enough to realize the beauty God created in me naturally in my heart, mind, and soul. That these creations would take me farther than worldly satisfactions. I would compare my body parts and material things to every other woman on social media. I became obsessed and slipping into depression. I focused on myself and would want to take a thousand selfies a day and I was drowning in selfish ugliness. Dripping from head to toe. I was a miserably lost girl longing for love. Some of you may think I was conceited which I was, and others may think a big deal that’s 50%+ of the girls now days just look at social media. And you’re right and it’s NOT right. Instead of focusing on ourselves we need to find something else to do by making the world a little brighter. A little sweeter and a lot kinder. When God closes old doors and opens up new, you don’t ask questions. I then fell into being me, a photographer. DID NOT SEE THAT COMING. I fell to my knees one night in disgust, humiliation, guilt, anger and so much more. I had to remove myself from social media for my own personal sake and my husband did it with me, it was the biggest blessing in our marriage. In the midst of all that, there was beauty, hope, grace, love and above all tenderness. All of it was from God’s plan. True Love bends so low to say “Darling you matter to me stop trying to impress the world”. God showed me that I needed to stop being about myself and start being about others. I got an affordable camera and fell in love with taking pictures of my son, and my creative thumb was itching to capture someone else shortly after. And once I did I felt the most joy I had in a very long time. So I took a leap of faith, I prayed and asked my husband if he would support me and invest into starting a side business. And here I am!! After starting this business I have fallen so deeply in love with others beauty and God’s creations (rather than being selfish like before). I am so humbled by his grace and the love each client has given me. This is his talent and glory, not mine. I Now I find myself never wanting to step in front of a camera, rather I would love to see you smile. Not because I don’t think I am beautiful but, because I know God created each one of us beautifully and unique and I love reminding others that. I have more pictures of other families on my phone and on my computer than my own. And I smile at each one. I love to look at an image and say wow.. look at the way he looks at her, or that baby loves her mama. and much more. It really is one of those “Profound tenderness” kind of moments where I get the privilege to pause everything and everyone. Where it reminds myself of a simple kind of love that comes with NO boundaries. Never would I have guessed this is what I would have become or who I would be. But I am beyond happy and thankful. These are the things that force my heart to fall in love with what I do. Because, during a shoot, you might not think twice when you lean into your husband. But it’s when you look back at an image leaning into your husband twenty years from now and experience an overwhelming feeling of happiness and security because he was always home to you. That brings me REAL JOY. And that’s my overall goal in life with this career choice is to focus on how beautiful life and others are while being joyful. Because it is true. I wanna look back when I am ninety and know that love was so real, present and raw in a world that experiences tragedy and despair day after day. But this is me. The new found me the one who loves with comparison and indulges in everyday livings and falls so deeply for the human race. I am now free from societies expectations and you should be too.
Praise our Lord, Do not give your thoughts to satan, keep your coffee strong and know your worth.
From my heart to yours,
Bay-Owner of 4894 Bailey Ln.