Fear... The Elephant

With every opportunity it welcomes itself in... the unwanted guest. Fear. 

Whenever requests come, I'm always afraid I'll let people down, that because my talents don't measure up to what I perceive of those around me that I'm doomed to fail... And disappoint. 

People, special events- moments and memories we hold dear through photographs that capture but a fleeting moment in the momentum of life. Using my passion for photography in these situations is one way the Lord can use me to bless those He's placed in my life. And I used to love capturing people. Then one day, I am not sure when, it all changed... 

I turned to landscape and old doorknobs and details... I love photographing things people would dismiss and making them look at it differently. That became my comfort zone... It didn't matter if I took 20 shots before I got it just right... it wouldn't move or grow restless and complain. 

After many years I discovered a way I could use those photos in a more meaningful way when the Lord spoke to me through Priscilla Shirer's Gideon study and I had finally just settled in to that idea. But who knows that just when we think we have it all figured out the Lord says "OK, will you let Me stretch you"?

Requests started coming in to photograph events...people... I don't want to miss an opportunity for the Lord to use me and I certainly know my gifts have not been fully developed. But "committing" to do something has a great deal more of stress than when you just bring your camera along to snap for your own enjoyment... So... not wanting to close the door that locks me in, I reluctantly agree. 

And then in the anticipation come the unwanted guests of fear, anxiety and the confidence I momentarily had quickly fades to doubt. They make themselves comfortable at the expense of my comfort. My mind begins to entertain a torrent of thoughts of failure and disappointment and they consume me. But then a few weeks ago I had a gentle revelation, that "often the fear of something is far worse than what we actually fear happening." (The first time I had this revelation was when I prepared for the Frankenmuth Frankenmudder, Mud Run, you may enjoy reading that post here.)  During this moment I envisioned fear as the GIANT elephant, but standing behind him was something so minuscule it was almost laughable. 

So as opportunities come my way I've been committing... fearfully... but I really want to grow and be used, and "he who is faithful with little will be faithful with much", right? 

As Joyce Meyer says, "If you're afraid, do it anyway!" Today I swallowed one elephant... and I have to say I was not only relieved, but also completely surprised! A young lady asked me to take her senior pictures-and it required great patience and trust from her and her mom... But I am so grateful that they had faith in me and allowed me to take my time, I don't know that I could be more satisfied with the results. So for anyone who may have stumbled on this post and read this far, I just want to encourage you to face "the elephant" and dare to surprise yourself! 

Does that mean fear will never return? No, I am still terrified with other commitments I have made as I anxiously await to "get them over with," but I do believe the more we face the Elephant, the harder it will be for him to force his way in and welcome himself. 


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