The simplest of commands: “let your light shine before men”. Of course I am doing that. Occasionally writing, occasionally speaking at a rehabilitation home, and leader of an online community. Or am I?
Gifts are bestowed to be used, experienced, shared, and grown.
Somewhere along the way, I took the gift that came most naturally, tucked it onto a shelf, and went about the business of making money from knowledge that came from the gift itself.
Writing this is painful. Like a scalpel to my core, even now I’m being made aware and exposing what I’ve done while I process this with you.
The other week my aunt was visiting from out of town and said “I saw Keith’s website with his photography, but where is yours”.
I replied: “On my website of course, let me show you the new, fresh look and design”. I pulled it up by tapping each letter into the keyboard. A Quest For Light appeared, fresh, pretty, clean and new. I looked along the menu for the gallery. It was nowhere to be seen. It had been left. As if the images that were created were not worthy to be included in this brand new site. It’s absence was me separating myself from who I am, a photographer called by God to create.
I write this with tears. Y’all this is getting real.
I had spent months building the perfect website for me to use my voice, shine my light with my words, but had neglected the one gift that He had given me that started this whole journey in the first place.
You cannot speak without exposing your voice.
You cannot create without margin, room to breathe.
Limiting your space to breathe doesn’t just cause your soul to wither,
it is the death of creativity and the silence of the gift.
That same aunt shook her head, looked to my dad after I’d gone home to put out the most resent fire and said “I don’t know how she does it”. Initially I wore that statement as a badge of honor. Yes. I do it all. I have my hands in 5 different businesses, 3 of which are our own and I. Am. Busy.
All the while, I’ve placed myself under lock and key in a room with limited oxygen while running the perimeter in endless circles, out of breath and desperate for air.
Even now, I sit in my office, present but weary. Feeling dry. Contained. Distracted. Spread thin. Unable to create.
I turn on worship music that sends me to my knees and then to my face.
Living in a space of limited oxygen is the fastest way to put out your light. A flame can’t exist without oxygen.
If ministry and sharing with others what living in the Light of His Presence is, which is the aim of my life, I’m living profoundly off target.
And so, I look at my calendar and see that one week from today I go home to my wilderness. I ache for it. I am desperate for the mystery of the mountains, the peace of the meadows, the adventure that is kissed with danger. Because never has my soul needed to step away into Presence and I always always always find His Presence in the wilderness.
I need realigned, refocused and going back to where it all began, the wilderness of Canada, where my story began, is the quickest way to remember who I am. Tiffany. The girl from the north where the road ends. Photographer. Writer. Lover of Jesus. Wife to Keith. Creator. Pursuer of Presence. Worshipper in the Wilderness.