Now this might sound crazy, but before the laptop situation ever broke forth, I had been wanting a new camera.
For those of you who know me you know I love photography. I’ve have had an SLR camera since my 18th birthday from my sweet parents and have also dabbled in the world of iPhonography and instagram like the other 99% with smart phones.
After I committed to serving as an intern/missionary at New Hope in the Dominican Republic come this September, I began dreaming of the things the Lord would have for my not only in my position but in my new community, surrounded by many new faces daily. I began getting so excited about the writing I would be able to do, dreaming of the stories I would be able to share, wanting to pair them with pictures as well and began brainstorming potential photojournalism projects.
My one set back was, I felt like my old camera wasn’t doing the job any more and I wanted an upgrade.
Now you may be laughing at this point, or you might be taken a back and possibly thinking, “wow this girl likes her toys…” or “she doesn’t need that…” or... "is she just all about prosperity or something?!?" and honestly, if you’re there, I don’t blame you, but please, keep reading… it gets good..!
I wrestled on the different types I could get, knowing full well they were probably all too expensive for me to purchase but wanted to trust that the Lord would provide the money if this is how I felt He was leading me. I had already made it clear with the Lord, having even told Him, “God I don’t expect this camera for free… so don’t worry! I’m willing to buy this one…” as if we can make deals like that with Him…
I didn’t start praying about it until I met a sweet friend at a writing conference the weekend after I finished my final term at OSU. It was a Christian Writing conference that I attended in Redding, CA and it seriously rocked my world. I realize that my desire to mix two of my passions, photography and writing was something that I was ready to pursue and I couldn’t help but continue to brainstorm and wonder what camera would be best to invest in.
After the final session, my new friend and I were standing in the parking lot saying goodbye and she asked me how she could be praying for me. She knew I was getting ready to go to Costa Rica and then hop on a plane to the DR a month later. She knew my passion for the written word as well as visual arts… and when she asked that simple question immediately my heart screamed, “the camera.”
I told her the story of how God had unmistakably provided my laptop, a testimony that continues to encourage, and then, reluctantly, I transitioned into what I felt like was a “shameful” prayer request. I explained to her the camera I wanted, a canon 6D, and told her that I had already told God, “Don’t worry Lord, I’m not expecting this one for free."
As I shared she listened, and for the first time her response began to instill a greater faith in me. She was believing the Lord for the camera more than I was and told me that she would pray and seek the Lord’s heart for this desire that I had and believed that He would provide.
After we finished our goodbyes I got in the car and began driving home for the next six hours. I felt a burning conviction in my heart… If I asked someone else to begin praying about this for me, I knew this was something I also needed to commit to the Lord in my own prayer time with Him.
I didn’t necessarily know where to start, and I didn’t get those same words that the Lord had spoken when I began praying about the computer, but I did ask for another name, another starting place…
The Lord put a certain friend on my heart. His name is Griffin Lamb.
We’ve known each other a little over a year now. I met him in San Francisco last summer, he was passing through, photographing up and down the west coast with one of his photographer friends and I was there as a travel nanny exploring the city on my day off. It was the end of my first week and I was feeling incredibly weary, discouraged, and ready to spend my day adventuring and enjoying my time as best as I could. I got in contact with the only person I knew in San Francisco, an emerging photographer himself, and long story short we ended up at an “instameet” with a group of dudes that had been making it big on Instagram. I was totally clueless as to who they were, which is a funny part of the story that Griffin and I still laugh about.
Many know him as an incredibly talented landscape photographer, and he just recently got back from three weeks in Africa shooting for Storysong with Mark Wagner. When I met him last summer he was a year into his photography endeavors and we hit it off talking about world missions, college, and encouraged one another in our faiths. A group of us went to Inn and Out Burger after photographing for a couple hours and I got to hear more about this incredibly complicated world of the “insta-famous” that I was just being introduced to. It was great, I loved spending time with them and was grateful to see how down to earth Griffin was in the midst of his recent attention on various social media platforms.
We stayed in touch throughout the year, writing on each other’s photos from time to time, Griffin was an encouragement when a few of my articles were published and I always admired his presence on Instagram and felt privileged to know the man behind the lens that thousands upon thousands were inspired by.
When he went to Africa I loved following His journey with Mark Wagner, an artist that I had admired and have listened to since High School when I first saw him at Young Life Malibu club up in Canada.
It made sense to me that the Lord would be laying him on my heart, encouraging me to reach out to him. He must have so many contacts, I thought, people looking to upgrade and a potential for me to buy the camera used.
Of course, still fighting against flairs of doubt and fear, I wrote Him a message on Facebook when I got home from the conference, asking him if he knew anyone selling a camera, told him what I was looking for, and my dreams for how it could be used in the DR and beyond. I shared with him that I would TOTALLY understand if the message was strange or caught him off guard but that it would be awesome if he had any resources.
And I wish I could say what came next didn’t leave me shocked…
I should have known the Lord was already working it all together…
But, unfortunately, Satan likes to feed us lies and tell us we are undeserving when in reality grace has already washed us... He tries to make us deny the truth that as we step into relationship with the living God he names us as His Sons and Daughters, further propelling us into the abundance that He as our Perfect Father has to offer us. Instead of identifying with Christ in me, I struggled to comprehend that the Lord would have anything to do with what came next while the whole time He was the one accomplishing EVERYTHING in my midst…
After an encouraging greeting, an offer to look around for potential owners that might be selling, in Griffin’s reply he shared with me that he was in the midst of negotiating a job that if finalized in the next two weeks would enable him to get a new camera, and finished his message with,
“If it happens, my 6D is all yours!!”
Oh… I thought… My God…
He is at it again!
And the beautiful thing was, the Lord proved to me again that He was capable of supplying my every need. That the dreams I had for this camera currently stirred up inside were being blessed by a God that wants to purpose our passions for His glory. I was simply a recipient of His impartation to go and labor and use His provision as a tool in working towards bringing heaven to earth.
This time I didn’t begin doubting…
I began celebrating.
A chain reaction of belief took place, and I saw that the Lord was at the center of the possibilities ahead, for Griffin and for myself. We agreed to pray for one another and ask that the Lord would give Griffin this job and in doing so supply us both with new gear in order to continue to fulfill dreams and plans the Lord is still setting before us in this very moment.
What’s interesting was, those two weeks went by and I didn’t hear from Griffin.
I had continued to pray throughout the negotiation process, trusting in God's provision, and committing all things unto Him. I asked the Lord if I should go ahead and get in touch with Griffin and ask if the job had been secured but didn’t feel confirmation to send the message.
I waited another week and still not having heard from him prayed again asking if this was the time to get in touch. Again, I didn’t feel the Lord leading me to do so but continued praying for Griffin and the situation in front of me. Discouragement hadn't yet began to sink its teeth into my growing faith, and I knew the Lord was calling me to continue to trust that He was working everything together.
Finally, around a month after Griffin and I had first started talking about the camera, I asked the Lord if this was indeed the timing to shoot him a message and felt the Lord giving me the “go”. It felt a little funny having not heard from him and almost began wondering if it was going to actually work out in the end, but after I checked in and told him I had been praying and asked whether or not he had received the job, I got a reply later that afternoon proving even more of the Lord’s orchestration through it all.
He explained that he didn’t receive the job, but that in the morning, probably right around when I had messaged him, he was commissioned by another company, enabling him to move forward in getting a new camera and finished with, “I just feel super reassured right now from God about giving you this camera, and this provision is a testament to that.”
Needless to say, Griffin’s obedience paired with God’s ability to work in and through every circumstance left me in a daze of glory and gratitude. I was suspended in a state of awe, knowing that the only one I could even think to boast in was God Himself, proving that He is King over my life and an active participant in each and every circumstance I find myself in.
Last Saturday I was able to finally meet up with Griffin in Seattle at a coffee shop in the Ballard district where I not only received a camera but also got to spend time with an individual that leaks humility and a heart that is actively seeking after a very real God. I loved hearing what the Lord has been up to in the last year of his life and was encouraged to learn that before I ever messaged him about the camera in the first place, he had his heart set on giving his camera as a gift when the time came to upgrade, and I just happened to be the recipient of His tremendous generosity.
I share these stories…
Because I truly believe they are directly from the hands of God.
I couldn’t make these up. I couldn’t have dreamed them up if I tried.
Only someone who knows me inside and out, who can see my future and all that inhabits my surroundings and life could give in such a way that my Father choses to give to me.
I share these stories because I know, as I stated before, God is truly the only one I can boast in, and I also have the desire to honor the individuals he uses along the way because of their willingness, obedience, and character that is a direct reflection of my Father’s.
I hope this instills in many the confidence to truly, “Not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:6-7
It is when we are ushered into this perfect peace that God’s blessings are able to rush in and instill a greater dose of faith and grow a greater trust in bringing EVERY request to the Father and believing that He will come through in the way that He sees best fit. I am grateful for a perfect Father that sees me, that intimately knows me… He knows what I’m capable of and incapable of, He knows what is ahead, He has plans that far exceed what I dream of and desires that He continues to reveal for the person that He is calling and shaping me to be.
I am delighted to walk with this God who provides for His children, who looks after us and takes care of us because we are a people of His possession.
Equip me Lord, continue to shock me, I want to be amazed…
I loved to be blown away by you.
I love it when you get all the glory.
I trust you today, tomorrow, and all the days following…
You’ve proven yourself to be my JEHOVA JIREH… Through these stories and many others in my life.
And I pray that the world would join me in believing you for more.