My thoughtful husband gifted me with a new camera for my birthday—a Canon M50. He researched all the options, compared prices, asked me questions about preferences, weighed pros and cons, and finally made the purchase that led me into transition.
He tracked the delivery online, texted when the UPS truck was on its way to the house, and when he arrived home from work, immediately set up the blue tooth, and started tinkering with all the buttons, levers, and switches. My son had already set the date and time on his way to the kitchen for lunch.
They love new technology and figuring out how things work. And they know I don’t love either of those things. I moved the camera off the counter to make dinner.
My daughter tells me I’ve been debating . . . wanting . . . longing for a new camera for ten years. Really? I didn’t realize I’d verbalized that. Years ago, when H finally convinced me to make the switch from film to digital, my kids were ages nine and six. And we were planning our first family trip to Rwanda.
I was nervous about changing the camera at such an important time in their lives. It would be their first time to Africa, their first time on a mission’s trip, their first time to see poverty up close, their first time to stand a stone’s throw away from a baboon, giraffe, and hippo. I wanted to document every moment.
Change scares me a little.
Honestly? I was scared to travel to Rwanda with my kids. What if they got ill on the trip? What if they got malaria and it changed their lives for the worse? What if they couldn’t sleep? Or eat Rwandan food?
Uncertainty scares me more than just a little. And God knows about that.
Initially, I hadn’t even considered the kids going with us to Africa until missionaries asked. Bent over the altar, pleading with God about the decision, what I heard led to repentance and humility. And the following response to my prayers has informed every major decision I’ve made since.
All those things you are worrying about have nothing to do with faith. You have left me out of the scenarios you are creating in your head. What if this trip is an opportunity to grow their faith, perspective, and view of the world?
Hundreds of pictures taken on my Canon Rebel XT reveal God’s faithfulness to my kids in Rwanda.
What are you anxious about that leaves God out of the equation?
The most memorable event on that first trip to Africa wasn’t captured in a photo but imprinted with words. “Rwandans know that Americans really love them when they choose to bring their children with them,” said Emmanuel Kolini, Archbishop of Rwanda, during a dinner of plantains and chapati.
My son, Harrison, turned twenty this week. I am no longer the parent of a teenager. But God parents us at every age.
I’ve been using my one and only digital camera for nearly fifteen years. And I am hesitant to part with it.
Harrison has a new girlfriend from Switzerland. She is vegan. And they prepared a delicious dinner on my birthday.
My new camera has been sitting in the same place for days.
The sun is shining, and summer temperatures are returning to London after an autumn tease for several weeks. Harrison asked for two beach towels before leaving the house for Hampstead Heath. Beach towels are packed away in our storage container in Pawleys Island, South Carolina. It’s the first time in four years that beach towels have been requested.
I am slow to warm up to change. The unknown scares me. I like knowing how things are going to go before taking a leap into new territory. And If I don’t have a clue, I tend to self-protect and turn inward. Protect the familiar like it’s my job and then wrestle through perfectionism until I finally surrender.
Tofu is on my grocery list.
Change is vulnerable. Transition is uncomfortable. Uncertainty is scary. And God uses them all to push us past self-reliance for a reliance on God that is unshakeable.
“Satan’s tactics often start with unbelief. If he can’t make you doubt, then next he will tempt you to sin. In one sense, all sin stems from unbelief.” Nicky Gumbel
Doing the thing that makes you scared is an act of faith; an act of spitting in Satan’s face. And acting your way into faith leads to belief. Growth is impossible without risk.
Be stiff-necked and delay the fulfillment of what God promises. He’s not slow to respond, we are slow to come around to being loved by Him.
Why do you think it took the Israelites forty years to reach the Promised Land when the journey could’ve been made in a few months?
I’m taking a walk with my Canon M50 now. Maybe I’ll go somewhere new. My son and his girlfriend are cooking tonight.
I have several new things I look forward to telling you about in the coming weeks. I’m a little scared but ready to risk after doing things the same way for years. My patrons are the first to get an inside look into my creative process. They’ve been praying me through for months, I’m grateful. Consider joining me on Patreon? I published a prayer for transition on Patreon and made it public this week. Go take a read, maybe I wrote just for you.
Jesus often uses good questions to bring clarity to the surface and as a personal development coach, I follow His lead. If you are in the uncomfortable place of transition, experiencing change, or immobilized by uncertainty, I am here to help you discover a way forward. You can find out more about coaching with me here.
I’ve been a little quiet here due to many projects (and perfectionism!) in the works but this blog post just came spilling out, it wanted to be written so I went with it. I write to the Sabbath Society every Friday. If you need help making rest realistic and practical, subscribe here.
So lovely. So true. Transition has been heavy on my mind for a few weeks and I’m always grateful for another perspective as the river of thought and experience flow together.
Thanks for being here Natalie. Thinking about you today and sending prayers your way. Lots of love to you!
My new fancy digital camera (Christmas gift) has had about 50 photos on it. Most immediately transferred to my iPhone. I HEAR YOU.
My kids are seeking their paths, and mama wishes it were easier. Choices aren’t obvious and are hard to assess for risk. I Hear You.
Vocation and avocation paths have forks in the road, rushing at me. Fear burbles up. I hear you.
Faith in transition. Listening hard!
Empathy is such a gift Kelly. Thank you so much for giving me perspective. Sometimes its the greatest comfort to know you are not the only one struggling. I’m grateful for your voice in my world.
I’m trying to subscribe to the sabbath society, don’t understand what to put when it asks for website. Huh? Please help. Your book rhythms of rest is the best book I’ve ever read on this topic. Just amazing. Thank you
Hi Sherry, just leave that part blank about the website. It’s just there for people who do have websites so I can connect with fellow creatives. I hope that helps. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you any difficulty. And thank you for the kind encouragement about RofR, I’m grateful.
What are you anxious about that leaves God out of the equation? Thank you for asking (and being obedient to pour these words out for us, Shelly.
We are parents of our kids no matter their age and my challenge is to let go of my son and his family (and one grandson in particular) and trust God that He’s got their current situation in hand. It’s a daily surrender and the work has been done in me more than anyone.
You’re so right about this, “God uses them all (change and uncertainty) to push us past self-reliance for a reliance on God that is unshakeable.”
Being rooted and grounded in love takes a life time (an echo of Scripture shared at Refine and repeated throughout the summer via The Presence Project.)
I’m learning that all my worry about my kids comes from not trusting in God’s love.
But He is faithful and patient to teach me.
Thanks for offering your perspective here Jody, I’m sure I’m not the only who is nodding my head. Appreciate your kind encouragement always.
Thank you for asking, “What are you anxious about that leaves God out of the equation?” You must have been thinking of me. I have been having health issues and as a perfectionist, I tend to try and control things myself instead of allowing God control. You reminded me to rest in God and allow Him to do what he does best. TY. Blessings.
Hi Robin, you are speaking my language as a recovering perfectionist. It messes with me all the time. But there is hope because we can overcome by the blood of the Lamb, yes?!Thanks for being here and for joining my patreon community! I’m thankful for your support and so excited to get to know you better there too!!
“Doing the thing that makes you scared is an act of faith; an act of spitting in Satan’s face. And acting your way into faith leads to belief. Growth is impossible without risk.” – This paragraph resonates so much with me as I’ve been dancing around taking some leaps of faith in my business. Perfectionism keeps me afraid of the possibility of failing, even though I know more growth often comes from failure than success. Thank you for the encouragement to take that leap!
I’m so with you Beth, I totally get “dancing around taking some leaps of faith.” Me too! I’m glad this post was encouragement to you. That feels like amazing grace, especially because I hadn’t planned to write this when I sat down. But God sees, he knows what we need when we need it, yes?! Thanks for being here. xx
Oh my. This post could not have come at a more opportune time. I just finished emailing a friend from church that I’d be delighted to attend her Bible study this fall–even though it means traveling on two expressways to get to her home. The prospect makes me nervous. Then I read your post, Shelly, particularly this statement: “All those things you are worrying about have nothing to do with faith. You have left me out of the scenarios you are creating in your head.” I immediately had to respond, “YES, Lord, I hear you. Compared to what Shelly faced, my 20-mile trek will be nothing!” Thank you, Shelly, for refreshing my faith today.
Wow…I am going to a convention in October, only about 4 1/2 hours from home, but I am going alone. I don’t like to be alone and hotels make me nervous even when I’m not alone, but this conference has limited interest for those currently in my life and it is a little costly. My one possibility ended up attending another conference elsewhere. But I REALLY wanted to go and feel drawn to learn Christian leadership principles and how to read and teach the Bible. And so I signed up and am going alone.
How reassuring to read: “All those things you are worrying about have nothing to do with faith. You have left God out of the scenarios you are creating in your head. What if (this trip) is an opportunity to grow their faith, perspective, and view of the world? What are you anxious about that leaves God out of the equation?
“Doing the thing that makes you scared is an act of faith; an act of spitting in Satan’s face. And acting your way into faith leads to belief. Growth is impossible without risk. Be stiff-necked and delay the fulfillment of what God promises.”
I mean, honestly, I have a call on my life and this is a most applicable step toward it. If I don’t start stepping, the journey will never begin. So even though I’ve already signed up and determined to go, thank you for what you’ve shared as it confirms that I should not only be determined to go, but I should also go positive and expecting…finding God to speak to me in the quiet and alone that I seem to fear.