It is easy to give advice about conquering anxiety or fear. It is a whole other thing to see it happening right before your eyes and being able to capture those moments. Insecurity, pain, and doubt can all play into this cycle of panic. Should I do this? Can I move forward? Maybe I shouldn’t do this? Or, I just can’t. In these moments it is hard to see what could be conquerable or doable.
As a photographer I have the opportunity to see the struggle and triumph collide. There are fears of having your picture being taken, anxiety of standing up in front of 100s of people and singing a song, or like these two stories I was able to witness this past week.
The first is about Jacob. I first got to know him when he came to our house and met our cat for the first time. He backed away up the stairs and didn’t want anything to do with our black and green eyed creature. He further explained his fear for cats and I could empathize with his fear. I explained to him that Mix, our cat, was not to be feared. Jacob then came and made an attempt to pet Mix on the head. Success!
While I was out photographing the canvassers this past week, I had the opportunity to catch Jacob with this cat at a door. You see, this is a photo of victory. While Jacob was knocking on the door, this striped cat decided to come up to him. He quickly started backing away from the door and I thought to myself, “Don’t back away from the door! You have a canvass to make!” So I quickly piped up and said, “He is a nice cat Jacob!!”
Jacob then asked while backing into the tree, “How do you know?!”, and I said, “He is coming up to rub against your leg. It’s going to be ok!”
And this, my friends, is what happened. Fear was conquered.
My next story is simple and it involves three beautiful ladies deciding to follow Jesus and be baptized. Without going into too much detail these ladies had a challenging summer of going door to door selling books and experiencing rejections and triumphs. As young people it can be hard to face these challenges when they are still trying to figure out life and where they fit in it. The decision to make a visual commitment before friends and family to follow Jesus is a big thing and cannot be taken for granted. I remember sitting in on the discussion about baptism and how the misconceptions of what it means were thrown away. I heard of freedom and guilt being tossed.
Making the decision to be baptized doesn’t mean you arrive. It just means you can’t hide that you want to follow Jesus and that each day is a brand new day in Him. The devil likes to throw in doubt, thoughts of insecurity and worthlessness, and thousands of reasons why we aren’t worthy of the gift that God is offering. Shay, Kelly, and Ellen decided to go forward and follow in the footsteps of Jesus. This is no small feat! Look at the joy. I couldn’t have been more blessed to capture these moments.
In my heart I know that, I too, struggle with doubt and fear. I know what it is like to let the negative thoughts fly and think that I can’t do something. At the same time I have millions of stories under my belt of how God blessed my life and those around me. This post is to remind you of the fact that through Christ we can do anything. Through Him the hopelessness that we may feel at different times are conquerable. Move forward friend! Do what you were destined to do!
*The featured image is of Jairit who was telling a story of the time she met an angel. Sends chills up my spine, in a good way!*