It’s about 2:30 in the morning and I’m having a hard time getting sleepy. I’m pretty sure the time change from being out on the west coast for 10 days has a little something to do with it. So, I’ve spent the last hour looking back on some of the trips we’ve taken over the last several years, just reminiscing. And, I can’t help but look at the photos we had done while we were in Colorado. Out of all of the trips we’ve ever taken, this was probably one of the most precious and sentimental ones we’ve gone on.
Things have been crazy to say the least. The last few months have been full of work, work and more work. I am not complaining about this, as I know we have both chosen to fill our plates as full as they’ve been. I guess in one sense I didn’t expect this past year to be as busy as it was. We’ve both had an incredible amount to accomplish and have even put our marriage on the back burner a time or two, just so we could get things done. Sometimes I will just look at Ryan and tell him I miss him. Ha! We are both very career driven and have dreams of things we are both trying to work to accomplish. Working on my doctorate has proven to be incredibly time consuming, challenging and has pushed me to incredible limits. I strive to be perfect in everything I do and I think God has finally gotten a hold of me to sweetly tell me this just isn’t feasible, nor does it need to be. With the ten days we were gone, my time with Ryan and the Lord was so sweet and so needed.
My personality tends to be on the go…all the time. I am a rule follower to the T, have a hard time going against the grain and I definitely am on edge a lot. Ryan helps balance me out, but there are still things I know God is working on in me. One thing I felt from this week is the need to slow down and the need to surrender my desires to Him. I like to have control; I guess that’s just the teacher coming out in me. Sometimes I just want to chill out, but even thinking about that makes me nervous. Surrendering my desires to the Lord means I can’t have control over all of my life.
As you know, Ryan and I have been trying to start a family for a while now. In the last year and a half, God has been gracious in revealing to us both that this is about His timing, His will and His way. I was writing in my journal this week and finally just told the Lord, “Ok…I surrender my desire to have children to you.” This isn’t about me or about Ryan, this is about You and your timing. Your timing is perfect. Right here and now, I am choosing to believe that. No, I don’t spend days crying over this, but yes, there are times I feel disappointed or feel that something is wrong with me. For as long as I can remember, I’ve struggled with insecurities about myself. Even at 30 years old, I feel I constantly fight the devil with lies about how others see me and how I see me. Not being able to start a family like I thought we would has triggered those insecurities in a sense, feeling like there’s something wrong with me. So…again…this trip, our 10 days out west, was so good for my soul and I felt I reconnected with Ryan in such a sweet way.
A couple of months before we headed out west, Ryan had the idea for us to hire a photographer and do a fun photo shoot. I can’t even begin to tell you what an incredible experience this was. I know the Lord led us to Jennifer Morgan of Jennifer Morgan Photography. From the moment we started emailing, it was like I had known her my whole life. Meeting her in person sure didn’t disappoint from my first impression of her. We spent three hours trekking through Breckenridge, Colorado, taking pictures. I don’t trust myself with doing my own hair and makeup since I hardly ever wear any, but I wanted to do these photos “right.” I left the salon with more makeup on my face than I had worn in quite awhile, my eyes kept watering and my insecurities were raging because of how I felt I looked. But, as I take a minute and look at these pictures, I see the one my heart and soul loves. With every fiber of my being. Yes, I love Jesus. You know that. He is who lives in me and who I strive to live for. I also know that He blessed me with my incredible husband. Ryan is my world. He lights up my life, makes me feel complete and washes away all of my insecurities of feeling ugly, inadequate and not enough.
These pictures capture more than words could ever express. We were at our last spot taking pictures, the one where I’m in the white dress, and Jennifer told us she wanted us to create a first look moment. You know, just like on the wedding day where the groom sees his bride for the first time. Can I just tell you how AMAZING this moment was? Ryan got into position and I changed into the dress real quick. I walked down toward him and had him turn around. I cried. In that moment, my heart could have leaped out of my chest. This man loves me- unconditionally with no limits. A famous quote from Les Miserables says, “To love another is to see the face of God.” I see Jesus in him. And I feel, 1,000%, this man loves me like Jesus loves me.
Our time with Jennifer Morgan Photography was beyond our dreams. God’s creation is indescribable and it’s beyond me that anyone could ever doubt His existence. Our time out west was needed. So needed. We’re back feeling refreshed, more in love and even more trusting that God has a plan. I am who God has made me to be. I’m not where I want to be, but thank God I’m a work in progress. I think Ryan and I would both say we’re a work in progress. We love each other and there’s no doubt about that. And as far as my insecurities go, it’s amazing to me that when I take a step back and stop being selfish in order to see the needs of others, the focus is no longer on myself. I’m a girl. Of course, I am going to have my not so great days, but I realize that I’m never going to be the person God wants me to be if I keep thinking about myself in a way that’s wrong. Take that devil!
Here’s to love…because without it, what do we really have?