March 5, 2015
I’m not sure I’m going to ever hit ‘publish’ on this blog post. Sometimes blogging for me is just a huge release. It’s a way to get everything out of my head and heart quickly. Typing is quicker than writing and its more of a release for me anyway… so I blog. I have blog posts written that I’ve never shared because I don’t feel like I have needed to share them with the world — they did their job by just letting me get things out and I felt better! But this… this is something I think I may want to share. I may just publish this one…
At a very young age I was very enthralled with God and wanting to know all about him and Jesus. My mom taught me as much as she could, but we never went to church as a family (until I was a teenager). My dad grew up Catholic and my mom grew up Methodist and the two just don’t really coincide, so we just didn’t go. When I was young (I’m talking elementary school young), my friend Brittany invited me to go to church with her to experience God and her family was very welcoming of taking me with them. So although my mom taught me as much as she could about religion, the Bible, etc., my friend Brittany was really the person that introduced me to the bigger picture. I went to church with her and her family and I loved it!
Fast forward to my adult years… I had a test of faith when my relationship of 5 years ended. It was definitely a blessing that it ended and I was the one to initiate the ending of that chapter in my life. But it left me with such a weird feeling so I started going to church every sunday by myself. I remember talking to my mom about it and asking her if it was weird that a young 20-something girl go to church by herself and if I would feel weird and alone. I’ll never forget my mom saying “you won’t be alone, you’re going to worship and God will be sitting right next to you.” So I went. And again, I loved it. I literally went every Sunday and felt His presence every time. Even if I went out on a Saturday night, you better believe I was at church the next day — tired, hungover, whatever it may have been, I went. At the time I wanted to be alone in life…alone as in single. I didn’t want anymore relationships with men because they had all been negative, controlling, and just bad. So I wanted to learn how to stand on my own two feet. I once heard at church, when you want something from God, you have to just give it to Him and release it. Release it as in, not think about it anymore and fully know and fully trust that God will give it to you. Almost a ‘demanding’ way but without the negative side of being demanding. So I prayed to Him and in almost exactly my words, I asked him to take my life into His hands. Guide me where you want me to be Lord. I trust that wherever you take me in this life is where YOU want me to be. Choose my husband for me. I don’t want to choose him. If I leave that in your hands, I know I’ll marry the right person that I can spend forever with. Give me a husband when YOU are ready to give me one. I’m at your mercy God. In all things, I’m at your mercy.
I prayed that and I fully released it. I felt good afterwards. I may have cried a lot while I said that prayer that day around 7 or 8 years ago, but when I was done talking, I felt good! I 100% put it in God’s hands and trusted that he would do all of the things I asked of Him. I didn’t worry about those things anymore because I released it to Him (and He did indeed give me the man of my dreams). This isn’t to say I haven’t had times between then and now that I’ve had faith testing moments or moments where I have wavered a bit from God. Literally I cry every time I say that last part. That I’ve wavered from Him. Will He be mad at me for saying that out loud?
In September 2014, my childhood friend Brittany, who introduced me to God and made me a church goer, passed away a few days after a horrible car accident. This was a HUGE test of faith for me. I was so mad at God. SO angry. How could He do that? How could He take such a pure, beautiful, amazing, kind, selfless person from this earth? I remember after my sister ran down my staircase at my home saying “she’s gone Jami…” just screaming out loud “WHY God? Why!? How am I supposed to believe in miracles? She was supposed to live. She was supposed to get married and have babies…” This was a tough moment for me. But what was even tougher was walking into the church for her funeral…the same church she welcomed me into with her family when I was a child. The same church she helped me to become closer to God in. How could this be? How could it be that the last time I was there, was with her learning about how amazing God is, then the next time, as an adult, saying goodbye to her? I just don’t understand how or why that was happening. To be honest, I still don’t fully understand it but I know that I’m not supposed to understand everything. I’ll admit to distancing myself from God a little after this accident — it was just somewhat hard to believe. Here we are 5 and a half months later and I feel Him trying to work His way back into my life. I can almost hear Him knocking on my door telling me its okay to come back. This may seem weird to some, especially if you’re not spiritual, religious or have any sort of relationship with anything bigger than we are. I usually never waver away but I guess some things hit harder than others and naturally make us take a few steps backwards.
Another huge faith tester was back in October when another photographer put the blame on me for something I didn’t do. It’s one thing to truly believe in your own heart someone did something to you, but to tell so many people within our industry, blabbing away to everyone after I have repeatedly said “with all my heart, I did not do this”… its just wrong. She was nasty about it. She was negative, she lied and she continued to TRY and make a bad name for me. Shame on her. I had to do a lot of praying on this one and I’ve finally come to the conclusion several months later that God puts ugly people in our lives so we can learn to appreciate the good, the positive and the TRUTH!
I’ve had a few other tests of faith since, but they were small and quickly “fixed” in my eyes. Over the past several weeks I have felt a yearning to start talking to Him again, a void in my heart that needs to be filled (Him), and I’ve done what I can to fix that. I’ve started talking to Him again and it feels good. I feel horrible about wavering…wondering… not being as Christian-like as I should have been. It’s not something I’ve ever discussed out loud with anyone — they’re always just feelings I try to work out myself.
Sundays are my husbands day to sleep in (I get Saturdays). One Sunday when I got up with Aubree, I was reading some things online and I’m not even sure how I got to this specific webpage on that day, but I did. It was the scripture about Salt and Light (Matthew 5:13-16). It was one of those passages that stopped me in my tracks and made me want to really understand it in its entirety. So I did… I researched it and I LOVE what it stands for. I encourage you to look it up as well! In short however, it is God saying that we are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. The salt of the earth is meant to represent the good, the positive, the KIND people and the light of the world is meant to represent those of us who shine our light on others and help to spread the word about our amazing God. To me its all of those things and more. We know that salt is healing and light is positive, warm and embracing, so this passage made me feel healed and warm. I’ve never made a decision to get a tattoo of something so QUICKLY in my entire life. But I decided right away — this will be on my body, so I can see it daily and remember that I am always supposed to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world! God wants that and I’ll give that to Him! There’s so much negativity in this world today, Debbie downers, mean people, liars, etc. I’m learning that I can’t control those people but I can control the effect they have on me.. on my heart, my day, my overall well being. I’m allowed to remove those people from my life in order to create a better well being for not only myself but for my family.
I will be the Salt of the Earth and the Light of the World…because thats what our amazing God wants for each one of us.
I actually feel SO much better after typing this all out. It feels good to get it out. I cried a lot while writing this… mostly at the thought of God being upset with me for wavering but our God is a forgiving God. How lucky are we?