This Ocean

I don’t really know how to start this post since my thoughts are wandering 100 different directions. God is good, y’all. He is so good.

With that said, sometimes it’s hard to see how He’s working and other times it’s clear as day. Right now I’d say His work is partly cloudy, but I can see the sun streaming through and this brings me so much joy. The last two weeks since MTH have been hills and valleys. Clarity. Confusion. Rest. Exhaustion. Joy. Frustration. Fear. Confidence.

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

In all this He is still God and, man, is He working. I can see Him shaping this path in front of me. It’s not an easy one, to be certain, but it is full and it is crazy and it calls me to rely on Him in everything.

I always thought my dream of going full-time with my photography would be years down the road. After Brendan graduates. After we don’t depend on my paychecks and it’s a little less risky. After it seems I’ve reached the average time it takes a business to grow to the point where it can support a family. I had my own plan, my own timeline of how I wanted things to work out. It was safe.

If I’ve learned anything about the times that I’ve had nothing to lean on but God, it’s that God is not safe. He is our security and our Protector to the fullest, but following Him is the opposite of comfortable or normal or cautious. Remember the CS Lewis quote from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe? “Of course He isn’t safe. But He is good.” Following God means stepping out on a ledge. It means diving in. It means vulnerability and going to Kenya alone when you’re 18. It means giving away a portion of your income, even when you barely have enough to take care of yourself. It means making decisions that will confuse your peers and make them think you’re completely crazy. It means doing things for others and not yourself. It means risk and adventure and trust and perseverance and faith.

Going full-time with my photography right now seems crazy to me sometimes. What if I


don’t book any sessions

don’t improve


don’t market myself well

am not accepted by other vendors in this area


can’t support us with that income

am not actually good enough to do this


This list could go on forever. I’m sure you noticed how failure is one of my great fears right now. I’ll be honest, I was never really afraid that my business would fail. Maybe because the weight of what failure would mean has always been way down the road on my timeline. But now things like huge disappointment, judgement, confusion and financial insecurity seem like a legitimate and imminent possibility.

And this is why I’m so grateful for those two marvelous days at Making Things Happen. I realized a few things about this thing called “failure” that we’re all so afraid of:

No. 1 “Failing” at something does not make you a failure.

No. 2 If what you want doesn’t work out, it probably means that God has something way more awesome planned for you.

No. 3 I cannot fail.

Whoa. No.3 is getting a little bold there. But I really believe that if I am loving people as much as I can and using my talents to glorify God and being a servant in my marriage and taking joy in each day and seeking ways to grow and learn, then I am succeeding, regardless of how my business is doing. There will be waves that knock me down and times that I feel like I’m drowning, but my Lord will never forsake me.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

I can love Brendan more than myself through Christ. I can build a business that is rooted in love and joy and serving others through what I love most. I can worship my Lord by taking pictures of a couple on their wedding day. I can learn how create a brand that reflects my heart. I can balance life and work. I can be efficient and use my time well. I can encourage others and build them up without seeking personal gain. I can be bold and fearless in my faith.

And this is my calling. To give love, document love and reflect love.

So that’s where I am. Standing on the edge of this ocean and ready to jump into a big, exciting adventure that scares me a little.  Or a lot. But I have faith that at the end of the day, my God is good and that He is working in all the little steps forward and the big frustrations and the everyday details. I have confidence that He will sustain me, provide for me, make a way for me and show me beauty that inspires work that glorifies Him.


Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

(Hillsong United)

  • Lara - I am SO proud of you. God will never ever fail you.ReplyCancel

  • C.Ray - Em, this was so encouraging! Proud of you and excited for you! And I LOVE that Narnia quote and Hillsong song :)ReplyCancel

  • Victoria - I am SO proud of you for sharing your heart! You are incredible and I am genuinely so excited to see where the Lord takes you and your almost hubs. :) You are so rooted in Christ and it is so encouraging to see. Hugs to you, friend!

    Also, thank you for the Narnia quote… such a goodie.ReplyCancel

  • Whitney Davis - So, SO happy to see this, Emily!!!! Let’s grab coffee soon. I’m excited to hear more about how you are MAKING THIS HAPPEN!!ReplyCancel

  • Shannon - Em, I’m inspired by your fearlessness. Go out and make it happen. But you know I’ll be waiting at the soup kitchens for double dates this coming year. Finance logistics will be on the forefront of my life too. Let’s bond!ReplyCancel

  • Lynn - I’m so proud of you!!! I had hard time reading this through my tears, but you know you are in my prayers always! I love you so much!ReplyCancel

  • Sara - Wow this is just beautiful! Such an inspiration and so honest! I cant wait to see what you do from here! You got this!ReplyCancel

  • Emily - So very excited to see where this journey takes you, and as a fellow MTH conference alumni I am so proud of you!!!ReplyCancel

  • Jordan Maunder - GIRL. I feel you! Failure is the scariest thing ever. But just know you’re not in these feelings alone (once again we’re totally in the same boat)! Those same what-ifs run through my mind every day! Thank you so much for sharing this (I know sharing is second only to failure in the scariness category!). And also you’re not going to fail because you’re awesome and really talented :)

    P.S. your new site looks amazeballs!ReplyCancel

  • Blakely - I love this post. Get it girl! God is soooo good! Dream big and trust God. You can’t fail :)ReplyCancel

  • 2014 Goals » Emily March Photography Blog | Chapel Hill Wedding Photographer - […] has grown so much in the last year, that I plan on going full-time in 2014. Remember when I wrote this post? I’ve been standing on that ledge for nearly a year now, and I think it’s about time to […]ReplyCancel

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