When Grace is no longer on your path

Have you ever felt the dimming of a light in your life? Something that you once felt such passion toward, that came naturally, that you delighted in and felt like you shone a light all around you when you did it, now seeming so hard to bring yourself to do? Like that passion is still there but maybe the shape of it has somehow changed over time?

I’ve been feeling that lately. Like the shape that my life was in was no longer fitting the mold I was trying to put around me. The things that once brought me fulfillment were suddenly not as fulfilling, suddenly not as easy to maintain. Status quo was no longer there and it was becoming more of a fight to keep myself in that same place. Contentment was fleeting and restlessness was taking over.

I’ve been restless for quite awhile. Hungering for something more, something deeper but not sure exactly what that was looking like. Over the last few months, a vision has been taking shape in my head and my soul has been aching for more of that vision, more of that light to shine into my life. Clarity has been fleeting in many ways as God tends to offer you just enough to know there is more beyond it but He doesn’t reveal that to us all at once. Admittedly, it’s a very frustrating thing because our human nature (or at least mine) tends to want to jump into the middle of the whole picture, sort through it, compartmentalize it and then see the end product before I even get started. So imagine how it feels when only the next step is lit for you and even that step isn’t fully explained.

Faith.

Surrender.

Grace.

Trust.

Obedience.

All words that have been floating around in my mind for the last little while. All of which I need a whole lot more of in my life.

God is working. Of that I have no doubts at all. And being obedient to His plans are anything but easy when part of that plan calls you to let go of something you once held so near and dear to your heart.

For the last 6 or so years, I’ve had a small photography business. I started it before I had kids as a way to earn a little extra money, while pursuing a passion that I wanted to share with others. And though I slowed down a lot as my family grew, it was something I still loved to do. Something about capturing the beauty in the world brought light to my soul. For me, it was like experiencing a peaceful sunrise after a night of storm.

Calmness at dusk..
Calmness at dusk..
Helping hands.
Helping hands.
Stepping into the light.
Stepping into the light.

In the past few months…probably longer if I really stop and admit it to myself, I’ve felt the nudge to close that chapter in my life. I’d been largely ignoring it as I didn’t want to let go of something that once brought me so much joy and fulfillment. So I kept plugging away when I was able.

The problem was that it was becoming increasingly hard to keep myself in that space. Every time I picked up my camera, I loved taking those pictures and seeing the final product come to life on my computer but something in between the lines was missing. It was taking more energy to keep myself in that space.

In thought.
In thought.

Back in February, I watched the IF: Gathering conference put on in Austin, TX. It was nothing short of life-changing and one thing that truly stuck out to me was hearing that God’s grace can be in something for a season and then that grace can leave and no longer bring life to something. In other words, God can call you to something for a time and then when that work is done, He will call you to leave it and continue forward (hopefully I’m not completely butchering the interpretation…). That’s how I felt about the season of photographing. It has been increasingly hard to keep myself in a place where God’s grace no longer resides. I haven’t been ready to leave it behind but it has been increasingly clear that obedience in my path means to let go of something that it no longer meant to be.

The reminder
The reminder

So after accepting that, and surrendering the fear of not having this love in my life and grieving the loss of something that once filled me, I’ve let it go. And in that, there has been peace through grief and calm through the storms in my heart.

It doesn’t mean that I will never pick up my camera again or capture special moments, but it will no longer be a focus for my going forward.

Am I scared? Sometimes. Do I regret it? Not at all. Do I feel that I’ve followed God’s prompting? Absolutely.

So now, as I embrace this ending, I can now turn my attention to the next step on my path. Whatever that might be.

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