relentless journey, story

BEHOLD I AM DOING A NEW THING

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For the past year, ahem, or so, Limbo may as well have been my middle name. After building a photography business for 5 years in San Diego, I was excited for a fresh start, maybe even a slightly different path. What I had grown to love so much about photography beyond making beautiful images, were the beautiful and unexpected relationships that were forged. I learned that photography was a way to be let into the inner most parts of people’s lives. I met people I would have never otherwise crossed paths with. I started learning that we are all much more alike than we are different. My camera was a simply a tool to break down walls and be let into people’s lives. It seemed the perfect time for a transition. A time to combine my passion for photography and love to communicate through writing.

I had it all planned out. A direct flight from San Diego to Nashville where we would start a family while simultaneously pursuing the things of my heart (more on that here). In my wildly idealistic and rather naive mind, this sounded like a first class ticket to the next piece of our journey. We would step up to the line, wait for the fire of the gun, and off we would go. Instead what happened, is the gun never fired. Or maybe it did and I just ignored it.

I can remember propping up on my front porch welcoming the early morning sun, and pouring over the pages of a book called “Anything” by Jennie Allen. It was the first time that words seemed to come alive for me as if they were speaking to me over a warm cup of coffee. I was at the right place, at the right time, hearing the exact words I needed to hear. It was where this idea of Relentless Journey was birthed. The place where two passions could collide. It sounded a whole lot like the gun I had been waiting for. Looking back, I’m certain it was. Only, instead of bursting out of the blocks and running on adrenaline, I waited. I waited and I collected things like excuses and fear. It would take courage on a different level to do this. So instead I got busy and distracted. I cranked up the volume to drown out those nagging words, “life is passing you by, what are you waiting for?” I told myself I would start when I knew the ending, knowing full well this was the antithesis of faith and enemy of progress.

ALL THINGS NEW

This morning I opened that book back up and right there, these words, “God builds our lives whether we give him permission or not.” He is the author and perfecter, the architect and builder. He knows the beginning and the end and nothing comes as a surprise. He works best in midst of our obedience, but need us, He does not. He loves us enough to let us stray, yet extends his mercy when our white knuckled grip of control eventually grows weak and we let go. He redeems, restores and strengthens. He makes all things new.

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:18-19)

Behold is a word not often used in the English language and for good reason. A lot had gone down in the book of Isaiah prior to this statement. But one steady theme throughout this book is that God has ultimate control and will bring His purposes to pass. He will build our lives whether we give him permission or not. Remember not the former things, take heart, actively seek the will of God. He is doing a new thing!

The beginning of a brand new year is time to look back, but remember not the former things. That means ALL former things. But it’s so easy to dwell on the time you wasted or the dream that has yet to to come to pass. Forget about New Year, New You. It’s Same God, Same You. He wove you together intricately and without mistake. He is doing a NEW thing that simply takes the reNEWing of our minds.

I know full well I heard that gun go off. I know that God has continued to build my life, at times in spite of me. But I have resolved to start running. His promise was to make roads in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. It’s not up to me to know where they lead, but to thank Him that they have been built and He knows where they are going. Faith is dropping the excuses, stepping out of the blocks and putting one foot in front of the other. Trust is knowing that He is building my life and yours and it’s far better than we could ever do on our own. I will fail along the way and so will you, but I will leave you with these words. He is doing a new thing and His grace and mercy never end. Let’s drop the excuses and the fear and start running.

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)