on creativity || part two

This is the second part of a post about creativity. You can read part one, written by my sister in-law, Chelsea, here.

Most people know I went to nursing school. And a lot of people wonder why in the world I never became a nurse. I graduated in May 2010 from UNC Greensboro's School of Nursing after working my butt off for years to get there. I studied all summer after that, then took my licensing exam at the end of July...and failed. I knew I had failed as soon as I left the testing room, even though it took a few days to get my results back officially. The day before I got those results, I found out I was pregnant. Nick and I decided I would work part time while mostly staying at home with our children, choosing to no longer pursue nursing as a career, and never looked back.

I didn't feel at home as a nurse. It never felt "right." I put on my brave face and worked hard, and I did a really good job of faking it. But truthfully, it gave me anxiety and an unsettled feeling. We are talking sick on my stomach, can't sleep, constant anxiety. See, there is a big difference between the feeling you get when you are doing something because it is expected of you- something you do just to be a responsible member of society- and the feeling you get when you do something you were made to do. I became a nurse so I could have a false sense of security by having a reliable source of income.  What I was missing is that we are only secure in Christ! I was seeking security from being a nurse that only God can give me, and I was loosing a little bit of myself, my creative self, in the process.

While I was learning to be a new wife and mom, I was also trying to listen to God and figure out exactly what He has planned for me. I know I still have a lot to learn, but I also know I am on the right path, and I am dreaming big. But I haven't really told anyone. I have been too afraid.

I went to bed last night, unable to sleep, with all these thoughts bouncing around. I jotted some of them down, and finally slept. I woke up this morning with "Christ has set me free" stuck in my head and thinking about Galatians.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free...
— Galatians 5:1 (NIV)

We should never be afraid to be who God has made us to be. It is for freedom that He has set us free, not so that we could still be tied down to those burdens of anxiety and worry, or the feelings of trying to please everyone, wondering if we will be 'good enough.' We are free in Christ. 

I saw that Chelsea had written the first part of this post, and immediately texted her, because I was in awe of the similarities in the feelings we were having. Something I have learned is that God tends to put the same things on both our hearts at the same time.

He sure didn't mean for us to do this alone! Sure, we both have our husbands, but there is something special about sharing a goal with your sister. We aren't talking going into business together or anything of that nature, but we do have a common goal, and the consistent encouragement and support of each other. 

Chelsea stood beside me at my kitchen sink this weekend and squeezed me. She talked to me about our dreams, and said, "we are doing this together. We decided to do this together." I will never forget that, and I will be forever grateful for her words. 

The joy that taking photos gives me is something I can't and shouldn't hide. There is just something about picking up my camera and being able to capture important memories and milestones that people are going to be able to look back on and cherish for a long time. I want to help them remember and tell their stories to the people they care about. They might show their grandchildren those photos one day, telling them about how life was "back then."  I love that. It makes me incredibly happy. I love photography.

Just like Chelsea, I have been afraid of saying 'I am a photographer.' Instead I say, 'I love taking photos,' or 'I love learning to use my camera.' Yikes. I worry a lot about what people will think and I worry a lot about failure, but I shouldn't! This is who I am, this is who I was created to be. This is what I am doing, this is what I was made to do. Nothing can stop what the Lord has set in motion. And He gave me a wonderful sister to share it all with.

I am going to work hard to be more confident in who I am as a daughter of Christ. I am going to be free.

 I am a fun loving but sometimes quiet girl. I am a little bit of a hippy. I am food lover, and a dog person. I am a wife, a mother, a sister, and a daughter. I am a photographer.    

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might...
— Ecclesiastes 9:10 (NIV)