truth + dare: I'm a little teapot.
Enough is such an ugly word.
Enough, that wild beast that will always run just a little bit faster, taunting you with her wholeness, her beauty, sprinting ahead anytime you get close.
Enough, that mirage in a land that knows you need a well to drink from, something to satisfy a deep and rooted need for more. It promises to satisfy your thirst, to soothe your parched heart, to save you in the midst of the dark night if you only can be better, if only you can pay.
So I unfold my heart and look at its register, hoping it can afford the thousands of things it needs. I find myself squatting in the dirt, counting my pennies, scraping up the remains of what I have, and the sight of it deflates me, every ounce of hope sucked dry. “I just don’t have enough.” So I put Courage, Love, Confidence, Hope, back on the shelf. Another day, maybe.
and it hurts because you want to become that kind of special, that kind of meaningful, and you just don’t feel it yet. you feel so far away from all you can be and all you are supposed to be and all you should be. all those empty spaces, all of those blank registers, they get heavy. and you carry that burden around with you and it sits like a heavy rock in the pit of your soul. like the anchor tying your feet to the sea floor, refusing to let you get to shore.
you look at your sorry little life and wonder how all of these strings could ever be tied into nice and tidy bows, how your mess of days could ever be assembled and presented as a gift to the world, how, through tear soaked eyes, you could ever gather yourself to be someone who is evenly and consistently GOOD, how the crumbling pieces of yourself could ever be trusted with a mission to change the world.
And the lights go out. Because I just can’t pay. I don’t have the proper currency of strength, don’t have sufficient courage, don’t have enough anything to pay the bills that are long past due. And the electricity is taken out of my life, shut off in my heart.
Dark because I’m empty. And spent. And depleted. Because I’ve spent everything on chasing and fighting Enough.
As I’m pawing around, looking for a way out of this tunnel, wondering where that illusive light at the end has disappeared to, this Voice beckons me.
“Because of the tender mercy of God, the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Light. It’s in me.
Those answers I seek, the meaning I covet, that ticket I desire, the things I thought I could never afford, they are not unattainable, locked away in some hidden corner of this cave I too often inhabit.
They are inside of me.
And I don’t have to worry about Enough because I never had it but always will.
God operates in that kind of economy. He doesn’t give me a present with note that says, “batteries not included, some assembly required.”
There is not a hollow space inside of me that I have to fill with some secret potion, all the qualities I try to hunt down and carry home, that magical power source that will give me life.
I don’t have to try in vain to put myself together like a fallen Humpty Dumpty so that all of the pieces mean something.
It’s not my job to worry about my capacity and what’s inside of me and if it’s enough and how it will work. It’s not my job to figure it out. I’m just a vessel. With a God-shaped hole. And the way He shines out of me, well, that is my gift. Therein lies my meaning.
The truth is I’m a little teapot. And I must dare to pour myself out.
When I do what I was created to do, when I pour out the gifts He’s given me, when I breathe out His life in the ways He’s wired me to, then He makes a masterpiece from my mess and He ties bows with my strings and He assembles it all to be sent out into the world. Signed, sealed, delivered.
He has given me the ability. He has given me enough. Even if something inside, some hidden darkness, tries to convince me otherwise. To hold onto that gift, to bury it in the ground, like the servant buried his one talent out of fear, is a wickedness itself.
When we hold onto something that was meant to be released, we are eventually going to blow up like hands holding grenades. We can’t keep ourselves locked up, shut in like the butterfly that once got trapped in my house, wings fluttering anxiously against the ceiling.
Watching her, all I could think was, you don’t belong here, beauty. You belong to the wind and the open air. The sky is yours, endless, limitless. You’ve spent your time attached to stationary things, sleeping, boxed in so you could heal, grow, become. But you’re done. You’ve metamorphosized, kid. You made it.
You carry light in your wings. It’d be a shame to lock you inside where you were never meant to be.
Tip me over and pour me out.
And the more you give the more you get. That's the way this economy, His economy, works. Never empty. Always enough.
I want to hear your story. Because what I need is to give what I have. So I’m giving away a free session* and all the digital images from it. I want to give my time, my heart, and my art to someone who is experiencing their own rocky season, someone who has had too many dances with hopelessness, someone who wants to proclaim that they do have enough. Photography can be healing, a celebration, an excuse to press pause, a way to capture what is good about life, when all we can see is bad.
So, what is it that you need to get out? A gift that you’ve been hiding? That you, too, have been chasing Enough? That you are cowering in a darkness you can’t escape?
What is it you need? Hope? Love? Laughter? Rest? Bravery? Strength? Confidence? Passion? Self-worth?
Comment here with your story and tell me why you need a portrait session right now. Share as little or as much as you’d like. I will read over every response and prayerfully choose someone to bless. However, everyone who share may receive something. ;)
And I hope, in some way, it helps get you to what you need.
*This can be anyone (who lives or is willing to travel within 60 miles of my location): a couple, a family, an individual, children, whatever. I'll leave the comments open until Sunday, June 22 at midnight.
If you don't live in my area, I invite you to share your story anyway. I'd love to read it and add you to my bucket list of photography adventures. :)
If you know someone who would love this, you're welcome to pass it along.