Up until about 18 hours ago, I had every intention to skip over a blog post recapping 2017. Obviously the year didn't fully kill me because here I am writing this blog post, but if I’m being honest, between my personal life, CANDRAcreative, my full time job, and everything happening in the world at large, there is a lot about 2017 that I try to block from my memory - that I have no desire whatsoever to relive.
But God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. Praise be to God who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me. (Psalm 66:19-20)
But God was with me and rescued me from all my troubles. (Acts 7:9b-10a)
But God has helped me to this very day, so I stand here and testify to small and great alike. (Acts 26:22)
Through it all, - the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful - in every moment, God has been good. And how dare I not give glory to the God who has brought me through the struggle that has been this year. How dare I not tell of the immense blessings he’s laid upon me in these 52 long (and I mean long) weeks. How dare I not sing his praises.
How dare I scroll through instagram jealous of the shiny rings and squishy babies or other photographers' best work and styled shoots and think so little of all God has called me to and all he’s done in my life, just because it doesn’t look like anyone else’s or what I might have hoped it would be at 26.
It was then that Spirit spoke over my heart - But look at all of the things you have done! Look at all I’ve given you. Your success may not look like *insert subject of comparison here* but that doesn’t mean it’s not success. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed. So I took a step back and I let that sink in. And then I looked at all the things I have done this year:
Photographed over 75 families, seniors, newborns, weddings, headshots, events, and sporting events. Not included in the count: products shot, weddings filmed, and graphic design projects.
Traveled to the west coast, conquering 4 hour flights, airplane bathrooms, and elevator rides to and from the 20th floor.
Attended the BLINK Conference and Seattle Senior Shootout where I learned from and shot with some of the top industry photographers I’ve admired for years, and made new photographer friends.
Bought a car.
Legitimately took vacations.
Joined a business mastermind group with two other Jesus-loving creatives.
The list certainly doesn’t end here, but all the praise hands emojis for this God who has not failed nor forsaken me. I'm so thankful for the ways God has grown and strengthened me this year, the people he’s brought into my life, the business he’s building up right before my eyes, the struggles he's brought me through, and that he is faithful and good and near, even when I can’t feel or see it.
Happiest of New Years to you all! Thanks for sticking with me this year + can’t wait to see what this new year holds for us. 2017, see you never. 2018, let’s do this!