Meet my Kelly friend!
This session made my artist heart happy for multiple reasons.
Kelly is a beautiful soul and being with her is good for the heart - specifically mine. She's a ton of fun, and little adventures usually transpire when we're together.
The vision for this session started intentionally as we were sipped down coffee at Barnes & Noble one day this past winter, and she explained what she had in mind. She's attending Moody Bible Institute and there was a specific concept she was after creatively. As we brainstormed the vision evolved, and we found ourselves chattering excitedly through ideas. Kelly has a heart to help those who've been victims of sexual exploitation. That's why she's attending Moody - it's an intentional step in a direction that she feels called to make a difference.
The name Kelly means 'warrior' and occupying this identity in a spiritual sense has been a huge part of her journey. This session was simply a way for us to celebrate this journey and process in a creative way. So lovely!
One of the easiest lies for us to swallow as believers is simply that we are less than, not good enough, or arrogant to go after the things that God has put before us to do. Believing that we are exactly who God says we are can be half the battle...or at least the part of the battle at which we're meant to swing our swords. Belief is a big deal. It shapes our lives because we move and act and make decisions from what we genuinely believe in our hearts about God and about ourselves. When we cling to the truth of what God says above all that lies that feel so true, we are warring well.
Kelly will be the first to tell you that warring well, clinging to the truth, doesn't always feel as pretty as a picture. Often warring well shows up like tears on cheeks, and teeth gritting, and letting go of the ugliness we see in our own souls and simply trusting that what Jesus did? It's enough. It's enough to cover all that we aren't, because this story was never about us being the hero anyway. This has always been His story, and He's invited us into His grand tale, and the war is just to believe we have a part and with trembling hands have the faith to pick up a sword and believe The Truth That Sets Us Free. This is what it means to war.
On a creative sidetone, I had a bit of fun playing with double exposure for the shot above. (In other words, this is not a Photoshop trick. It was shot this way in camera.) It's not something I do much, but the mixture of the lace, sword, and her eyes was unique so thought I'd share this one here too.
Kelly, I'm so proud of you. I love your honesty. I love the way you sat across from me at my yellow kitchen table and didn't sugar coat that you'd made some bad decisions that left your heart feeling a little mangled. You are not your bad days. You aren't your best days either. You're who God says you are every single day, whether you're warring well or feeling a bit lost. The best news ever is that it really isn't about us. You are a beautiful part of His story, and I can't wait to see how your thread in this plot plays out. Keep fighting the good fight.