It seems odd (even to me) to write a blog post about “religion” on my photography website. But this is not just a post about “religion”. First of all, I would not define what I believe in as religion, but rather simply a faith in God and in Jesus. And second, so much of what I’m doing in my business is based on what I’m learning about Jesus. And so it does seem fitting to share this part of me, to write about the discoveries behind the business changes. Please know that I write not to exclude anyone or offend anyone, but simply just to share a bit more of who I am.
I was six years old when I discovered Jesus. I still remember standing in my backyard with my mom on a Sunday afternoon in September, praying with her, asking Jesus into my heart. I could not fully grasp then what that all meant, but I believed with all of my heart that Jesus was real, and that He loved me. I still do.
And even though, in all these years, I never doubted these things, the next three decades consisted of a lot of inconsistency. I would spend months, even years wandering from Jesus, going my own way, falling selfishly into my own messes, and then I would rediscover Him, and His faithfulness, His love, His mercy. I would grow hungry to know more about Jesus, I would read and study and pray, and then eventually, I would wander away again. This went on and on, decade after decade, and through it all, these few things always remained constant:
Jesus was and is truly faithful, full of mercy, and forgiving, always welcoming me back with loving arms after I’ve strayed.
I was, and am, and always will be imperfect, unfaithful, and forever in need of Jesus’ grace and mercy.
My life will continue to be one of wandering and rediscovering Jesus, and I’m thankful that that’s ok, and that Jesus encourages me to keep seeking Him.
And so, like many of you, this past year brought with it lots of questions and uncertainties. And while I don’t want to get into politics in this blog or in my business, I believe it is safe to say that our country and our world continue to grow divisive and fearful, and as a Jesus girl, I’ve been grappling with where I fit in with it all. Too often, I find myself questioning what I’m reading or seeing in the news, and struggling to know where to stand.
And so my journey for discovery began again, where it last left off- in the Bible. Because I have come to learn that when the world and all its people tell you a million different things, there is one place to find truth. I went, into the Word, specifically into the New Testament, and into the gospels, looking for those words in red, the words that Jesus spoke during His time on earth.
And as I read those stories that I had read so many times in my 36 as a Jesus girl, it was as if I was reading them for the first time. The words jumped off the pages at me. Verses like:
“Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave- just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:26-28, italics mine)
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:38-39, italics mine)
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40)
“For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.” (Luke 22:27, italics mine)
“Do you love me? Take care of my sheep.” (John 21:16)
Time and again, Jesus spoke about being a servant, about serving the least, and even more important is the fact that He didn’t just speak it- He lived it.
As I read through the gospels, and rediscovered Jesus, this truth occurred to me. I could spend my time splitting hairs about whether I’m right or she’s right, about whether I know the real truth or see things with real clarity as opposed to him, or her, or that guy. Or I can live like Jesus did. I can spend my energy on those who are needy, on those who are oppressed, on those who need help. I can give of myself, and I can become a servant, because in the end it’s really not about whether I’m on the right side or the wrong side of this particular issue or that particular agenda. For me, it’s about having Jesus say to me, “I see that you did this for the least of these. I see that you did this for Me.”
After all, it was Jesus who said:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
Because he has anointed me
To proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
And recovery of sight for the blind,
To set the oppressed free,
To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
Jesus was never about Himself. His entire life was lived for others. For me. He was the ultimate Servant. He served the oppressed, the needy, the poor, the widows and the orphans. He was never about the rich, He never judged, and He was never about doing life for Himself. And so I I don’t want to be that way either.
Now, knowing my selfish nature, and my tendency to wander, I know I will fall way short of my desire to live like this. I know this will not be easy. So I’m asking for your help. Might you help hold me accountable? Keep my eyes set on serving? Maybe join me on this journey? Let’s go serve others together.