Above photo by Blue Lily Photography
I’ve been wrestling. Struggling. Fighting an internal, silent conflict for almost a year now. It has been a soul searching, heart breaking, freeing journey. One that to most people will seem minute. But to me it has been quite significant. It certainly concerns my photography business. But has been more about obedience, trust, identity, and timing then anything else.
Since last August my plans for this business and those of the Lord have been butting heads. Even though moving a business to a new location is very tough I was super excited about the possibilities it would bring. In my mind it was the perfect time for a new brand, a new look, a fresh start. Time to change it up and take things to the next level. I was ready to do this and do it big. After investing in an online branding class I felt like I had honed in on my business identity and was ready to take that concept and make it visual. So I research branding companies for a few months and found the perfect one for me. One that could help take my vision and translate that to an online identity for RBP. I was beyond excited and totally ready to commit to this rather LARGE investment. Even my sweet husband was behind this venture. I felt like it was the next step for me. I was also planning on restructuring many of the ways I did things and was excited to start offering new types of sessions, in home sales sessions, and much much more. All good things for my business, things that would take my business to the next level of professionalism and efficiency that I long for. But all very time consuming and intensive.
And then that small voice told me to wait. Wait? Wait!!!!???!? Really Lord? You want me to wait???
At first I was shocked at this revelation. And then mad. And then disappointment. And then curious. I love owning and run my own photography business and I truly feel like it was a gift from the Lord. I struggled with him asking me to put it on hold when I have always felt that this was his plan for me. So for a while I wrestled with the idea. I asked the Lord why he would lead me to leave a full-time teaching job to stay at home with my kids and run a business if he was just going to take the business away. And then like a lightening bolt I got my answer. “Renee, would you have quit being a teacher to be a stay at home mom if I had never given you the business as an outlet? Would you have stopped working full time to be a mom without the promise of being a business owner?” This question was a revelation for me. And my response was clear. No. The answer to that profound question was no. You see, I quit teaching to stay at home with my children. In doing that I knew I could also pursue the dream of running my business full time. It was a win win situation. But as soon as I heard this question in my mind I knew the answer. I would never had left teaching to “just” be a stay at home mom. At that time in my life I needed another reason. And graciously the Lord knew that. He knew I did not grow up thinking I would stay at home with my kids. It was not something I was familiar with. I always thought I would work outside the home. I honestly did not realize there was another option until I moved to Texas and met some amazing women who desired to leave their nine to five jobs to be home raising babes. This concept was foreign to me . Man, little did I know how God was going to grab ahold of my heart and change me. That process started over five years ago and is still in progress today
After hearing that smack you in the face question I knew what I needed to do. Be obedient. So I waited. I stop taking new clients and kept in prayer about the direction I was to go with this business. Was I to wait to do the rebrand? Wait to be in business at all? What was I waiting for?
Over these last few months I believe I have been given my answers. I needed to wait, to put my vision for my business on hold to learn two very important lessons.
Lesson one: Being a photographer does not define me. Before now I never realized how much value I put on this title of photographer. It made me feel special. Gave me value. At least I thought it did. It was easy to become consumed with finding my worth in my ability to take pictures. If people liked my work then I felt validated and worthy. If they didn’t then that meant I needed to try harder, dedicated more time and energy to get better. This is a very competitive industry and the weight of that reality plus my desire to standout was hindering me from living in my true identity.
Lesson two: God wanted to change my heart. And He really has. I have always been glad for the opportunity to stay at home with my kids. Please don’t thing that I did not realize that it is such a blessing to be able to be at home with my kids. I am fully aware of the gift I have been given by God and my loving husband. However now I see it as my mission field and my top priority. It is exactly where I am suppose to me and my heart’s desire is to do this job as a SAHM well. More so than ever before. I can not really explain the change. All I know is that I used to love spending hours at night in front of my computer editing and now I want to spend it sitting on the couch talking to my husband. Instead of spending every nap time blogging or answering emails I want to be preparing meals and organizing activities for my kids. My desires have changed. Now I will be honest and say that there as still times that I am itching to get my camera out and shoot great images for awesome clients. I really do love taking pictures and meeting new people through photography. But unfortunately a lot more goes into running a business than just shooting.
Blurry photo taken by my then two year old son
What does this mean for the future of RBP. I am still in business. I have began booking a limited number of clients again. And I am excited about offering City Sessions this fall. But my vision, dreams, and plans for this business will be put on hold. And I am learning to be ok with that. Currently I am reading a book where the author states ” I sincerely believe all good ideas and dreams are inspirations are from the Holy Spirit.” That statement rings true for me. I believe the dreams and desires I have are from Him and I am excited to one day see some of those unfold. But I above else I long for his timing over my own. And I don’t want to miss this precious season that I am in. So I will keep dreaming, but my focus will be on the joys and blessings before me. And when that time comes when I feel released to take the next steps with this business I will be thrilled and ready to go.
So I will leave you with my current vision for the future look and feel of RBP. And who knows? Maybe this too will completely change when the time does come to start fresh.
Oh. One more thing. Please know that this is my personal journey. I am by no means saying that you should quit your job to be at home with your kids. God has a plan for each of us. And what he is calling you to may look very different than his calling for me. And that is ok. I just needed to share my heart and this journey I have been on. Thanks so much for listening. It has been some time since I have poured out my heart on the blog. But it feels good to share this with you and not be just internalizing these thoughts all on my own. I am glad to say I am in a good place. And that feels beautiful and freeing.
“You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.” Proverbs 19:20
Have you ever felt the calling to wait? How did you handle it? How was your heart changed? I would love to hear your story.