noun – a special or instinctive aptitude or ability for doing something well
I have a friend named Emily. She’s a wife, mother, dental hygienist, and phenomenal singer. Recently, however, she recognized her love for photography. And when she started sharing her pictures with the world, her friends immediately recognized her gift.
But… just because someone else recognizes a gift in us doesn’t mean we automatically have the confidence to believe that it’s true. We often find it hard to believe that God could use little ole us doing a job that we adore. So it was with Emily. Until…
She prayed a simple — desperate — prayer.
As a wife, mother, dental hygienist, and part-time photographer, Emily was feeling the stress of trying to doing it all. Her love of photography, a mere hobby at the time, started to demand more than she had to give. But how do you give up something that you love? How do you find balance between the responsibilities of life and the talent that fills your heart?
In a stressed and desperate moment, Emily cried out to God, pleading desperately for a sign to leave her gift behind or keep developing it. That evening she posted the following picture on Facebook which had been taken during a recent photo shoot.
The next morning she headed off to work, ready to let the talent go if God so desired. As she was leaving work, she received a call from a friend that told her to check her Facebook account. Upon doing so, she saw that the picture she’d posted the night before had over 300,000 likes, and within 24 hours of the posting, the pic reached 1 million likes. That same 24 hours brought in 200 email inbox messages and hundreds and hundreds of encouraging comments from strangers all over the world! People from the United Kingdom, Canada, and even Australia raved over the perfectly captured moment. Within 3 days, her photography fan page grew from 400 likes to 22,000! According to FB, Emily’s photography had reached over 27 million people!
Needless to say, God answered: “Don’t let the dream go, Emily!” I’m so proud to say that she’s my friend, and I love her heart, which says follow God even when the dream’s future is unknown.
Her story reminds me of quote from Holly Gerth’s book, You Were Made for a God-Sized Dream.
It’s not about what you do as much as HOW you do it. It’s about pursuing life with passion and purpose and going with God wherever he leads. It’s about not settling. It’s about tenaciously believing that you were made for more…more of Jesus, more of what he’s created you to be, more of what he’s called you to do. Less of you, actually, and more of all he is and all he has for you — which is beyond what you can even imagine.
God places dreams inside of all of us — gives us each a talent. Some of us choose to hide it, ignore it, or dislike it, but some choose to fight for it. That fight is what brings us closer to God because we know the dream cannot live without him. The dream requires something of us that we don’t have – a thing that only he can give.
May you be challenged to pull out your dream, lay it before God, and decide it’s worth it . Just like Emily did.
Enjoy these photographic moments that Emily created just for my family. Her flair for photography is evident. If you are looking for someone to capture your family’s personality and preserve it forever in a photo, check out Emily’s Facebook page and her photography page.
Thanks for being a God-sized dreamer, Emily. Your flair for photography and dedication to God makes all our lives a little more colorful.