November 30, 2012 In life

With You and Before You

Do one thing a day that scares you.

I see it in artsy, scripty fonts all over Pinterest. I see it plastered on the side of LuluLemon bags. I’d bet $10 I could find a self-help book titled just that. But doing things outside of our comfort zone is scary. Even if we are the only ones pushing ourselves. I try to live like that. Being challenged with daunting, nerve-wracking tasks, as often as possible.

A few challenges are highlighted in my life. Speaking to 150 photographers at ImageQuest conference was a big deal for me. It was the largest group I had ever spoken to–a middle school public speaking contest doesn’t count–and it intimidated the heck out of me. Running a half marathon scared me. The start line was the worst! So were the days leading up to the race. But I loved finishing. Teaching a photograph workshop in June 2011was nerve-wracking. Standing in front of 20 photographers who had paid a lot of money to hear a 20-year-old teach them about business? Yeah. That was scary.

One of the many things I love about having a relationship with Jesus is my fears aren’t faced alone. Accepting challenges and achieving goals is not about looking inside, mustering up all my courage, strength and natural ability. When opportunities come (a full wedding season, an invitation to speak somewhere, a long-distance run) they don’t come alone: I feel the knot in my stomach.

My heart knows God promised to never leave me nor forsake me. (Deut 31:8) And I have complete faith He will go with me, as He has faithfully proved over and over in past challenges. But yesterday, as I prayed about upcoming opportunities, God spoke a cool thought: Not only will I go with you, but I have also gone BEFORE you.

Psalm 139:5-6 (NLT) speaks of this crazy mystery, “You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!” Scary things. Intimidating things. Unknown things. Fearful things. Overwhelming things.

God has gone BEFORE me. What shall I fear?

  • This is really encouraging to me. I’m in a season of life that is very busy, very challenging, and in between. And it involves a lot of stepping forward in faith, working very hard, and being extremely diligent. I’m learning to be steadfast and to step forward boldly in faith, and so this was so good for my soul. Thank you always for for honesty and the truth you speak. Your words, photos, blog, and YOU are such a blessing to me. I hope that someday I’ll be able to meet you, sweet Jamie.

  • jen

    this and you are encouraging to me. from a thirty five year old to a twenty year old…keep doing the things that scare you, they encourage me and others! :)

  • LOVE this. Love these thoughts and inspiring words, Jamie. Isn’t it so comforting and challenging that Jesus has already faced everything? We are just following. How wonderful! He is so GOOD!

  • this is brilliant. God is good!

  • Absolutely inspiring. It’s been incredible seeing your faith grow and grow over the past years through your blog, and it’s always a pleasure to see it renewed again. :)

    P.S. – I love that font from the picture! What’s the name of it?

  • Thanks so much for sharing this, Jamie, it’s an encouragement to me today!