Today I’m sharing how three things had a stronghold on my life. Fear, comparison, and hesitation. I may throw in busyness, but we’ll see how this goes. Sharing this is inspired by my latest rebrand of my business to Jenny Williams Photography and my whole new online brand. Read part 1 about rebranding if you want the background.
Through many different experiences, teaching our college students, and in Bible reading, God has been bringing the topic of fear to my attention for over a year. If you asked me a year ago if I was fearful I would strategically answer with “I am extremely aware, analytic and cautious”. Those were strengths! I have come to realize my sinful nature can take the very strengths God has given me and turn them into spiraling weaknesses. These “strengths” showed their face as anxiety, doubt and failure to act. Fear has a continuous stronghold on me. Can you identify?
First I had to realize I was living in fear. Then identify my fear. Then hand it over to God and trust that He will take care of it. I have a fear of loss, losing control, and rejection. Friends, fear is faith in the enemy. I’ve learned as a child of God I am empowered by the Holy Spirit. If I am living in God’s will he has abundantly more for me than I could ask or imagine (Eph 3:20). BUT if I am living in fear, I’m letting the devil coax me out of believing in God’s promises. Fear and faith cannot occupy our minds at the same time. Worship and worry simply cannot occupy the same space (Louie Giglio).
Last week our Sunday School lesson was on Fear (from Louie Giglio’s Goliath Must Fall–watch the video here). It hit the nail on the head. Jesus is the champion and he has already fought the fight (the giant) and defeated sin. My Goliath of fear has been conquered, but sometimes I still let it get a hold on me.
This rebrand is only a small portion of the great work God has done in my heart over the last year. He has shown me that I CANNOT control or plan my future. My fear of not being in control of my calendar or anything else has to be set aside. What am I actually in control of, anyway? If I truly believe the creator of the universe has already fought for my good, then I must trust Him with my days and live for His glory.
Any creative entrepreneur would probably agree to this. When you are questioning or redoing something in your business, you go straight to another business person’s website to see what they are doing. Or maybe you aren’t changing anything but you are influenced by your daily browsing. You scroll down Instagram and see others adding this and that to their business. Before long, you are adding elements to your business that aren’t right for you and don’t fit your purpose. We get loaded down so much trying to meet an ever-changing industry standard. We set goals that aren’t our own and we try to meet expectations of strangers in little squares. We begin to talk like someone else. We begin to work like someone else. We begin to spend our time and money like someone else.
Comparison has crept in and told us we aren’t connected enough, busy enough, resting enough, cool enough, or business savvy enough. I feel like we could all use a break from social media noise. We all need time to figure out who we really are. Then learn what we need to in order to excel in that. If you are a Christian there is great joy in finding who you are in Christ.
This rebrand was so hard in the comparison aspect because I learn by observing. I have to see how it can be done and then make my own tweaks and ideas. I had to continuously reel my self back in and ask, “is this me?” “does this help accomplish my purpose?” It was a daily struggle, but I’ve never been more happy with my online home…That’s what it feels like, home.
What held me back from making this rebrand happen for 7 years? A lot of things, not knowing exactly what to do, fear of doing it wrong, too many options, technical challenges, and not making the time to do it right.
Last Fall we reached our goal of becoming debt free. Read more about our journey here. We were released from the burden of debt! Not having the immediate need for my income allowed me to think freely about using my winter season to rebuild a brand that could continue to grow with me. Add in a little burnout for the final push!
I didn’t know how I was going to do anything and I was afraid. I knew I needed to start, so I did it afraid. I picked a designer and contacted them. I took the first step. Then the second step. Then the third step. We can play the endless scenarios in our head. We can let hesitation halt us…or we can beat the epidemic of analysis paralysis by taking the first small step.
Through many trials in the last year, I finally had to release the grip I had on my business. Work had it’s seasons of being a god to me. Business was thriving, exciting, affirming, and it needed me! But when you commit so much of yourself to your work, there are only leftovers for everything else. There are only leftovers of your soul. Busyness will no longer be glorified in my life. I have to decide that every day. Side note: I do believe there is a season to grind (hello wedding season!). I also believe we need to do our best work all the time and never stop learning or improving. Trading busyness does not mean I am welcoming laziness. It means I’m working harder and smarter on what matters the most. I’m working to glorify God, not myself.
I remember when January finally rolled around and I was sharing my recovering heart with Mom, she said “You are much nicer when you aren’t stressed out.” Her words were hard to hear, mostly because I hoped no one else noticed. I knew she was right, she always is.
I’m not sure what brought you here, but I’m glad you came. Maybe you struggle with one of these things. I encourage you to draw near to God. He is the only true solution. I know this isn’t a gentle ending, but I can’t let fear or hesitation get in the way now. There are tons of books with answers and instructions on how to use your own strength to overcome life’s issues. Living by your strength will eventually fail you. There is only one conqueror of all things and that is God. Practicing gratitude, praying daily, and investing time in God’s word will empower you with God’s strength.
- “I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at the right hand I shall not be moved.” Psalm 16:8
- There are over 360 verses in the Bible about fear! One for each day of the year!
- Goliath Must Fall by Louie Giglio
- Cultivate by Lara Casey
- “For God has not given us the spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7
- Psalm 34:4-14
Christian friends, spiritual leaders. One big fear I have is sharing something that is not biblically sound. Help me here, I welcome correction!