Today marks the beginning of my 40-day journey through Prosper, a devotional for photographers by Scarlett Lillian, of Scarlett & Stephen Photography.  You can read more about it on the website (and even see me quoted on the promo video!  Eek!), but it’s basically a vulnerable collection of Scarlett’s prayers, struggles, and triumphs throughout her years as a photographer.  I can already tell that God’s going to use it mightily to push some buttons in me concerning my business, but more importantly, my relationship with Him. You are currently reading my first assignment: to write a blog about my heart for Jesus Christ.  I’ve written about God before, especially when it comes to seeing His beauty in nature,  His love on mission trips, or His glorious humility at Christmas time (my personal favorite), but my blog is not really a place where I’ve been very vulnerable.  Consider this my first attempt!

This devotional could not have come at a better time, because recently each day brings some new opportunity or accolade concerning my photography and with the increasing attention, seeds of doubt and fear try to take root in me.  It seems like pride would be the more obvious stumbling block, but the real thing that threatens me is fear of failure.  An ugly voice whispers to me, “What if they expect great things from you and you can’t deliver?” or “What makes you think you know what you’re doing? Now you’re going to disappoint everyone.”  In the photography world (particularly wedding photography), confidence in yourself is a must, so my confession may not be the wisest business move, but I guess that’s what vulnerability is all about.

Fear of failure certainly isn’t a new struggle for me, but you wouldn’t guess it looking at my life.  I’ve mostly excelled at what I’ve done.  Whether in school, sports, or organizations, the more I've achieved, the greater the dread in my heart that I’m just fooling everyone and I’m not actually competent or talented at all.  That fear used to cripple me inside.  But something’s changed.  I met Jesus Christ, and he’s patiently teaching me that he does not despise my weakness or my fears, but loves me unconditionally and wholly.  He loves me in my successes and my failures.  Nor do my successes or failures define me, but only his love, which never changes.  I still struggle with doubt and it’s coming up currently with my business, but I know I’m not alone.  His power is perfected in my weakness, because then His light shines through.  I trust God to take care of me, to show me His eye for beauty, and to give me His love for people.

"And every work that he undertook in the service of the house of God and in accordance with the law and the commandments, seeking his God, he did with all his heart, and prospered." 2 Chronicles 31:21