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Faith & a Plan

July 31, 2010

Hi, I'm cilla!
I am a loved, incredibly imperfect, storyteller of life, love, and joy. Photographer to some of the most genuine and beauty-filled people in KY.
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A couple weeks ago, while editing and listening to something unexpected (a sermon), I felt the need to start writing this post. Considering I was editing photos, and though I am excellent at multi-tasking, I really needed photoshop open and at least one hand free to push the keys, I decided to jot down my thoughts. They flowed so easily then. I felt inspired. Inspired by something outside of me. I’m not sure that the writing had a purpose or a planned outcome, but I am sure I did not see it taking the turn it did. I happen to be quite wonderful at starting projects and not finishing them, this has sat on my desk, unfinished, since then. Not sure what kind of ending will come of it, but the beginning and the middle should be the same.
I sat. I listened. Letting every. word. soak. in.

“Where ever you are, where ever you live, where ever you work, live out the legacy which Mary Magdeline lived: preach, teach, and proclaim the miraculous acts of our Savior. Live your legacy!”

“Whether you work in the White House or the warehouse, God has a plan for you.” Bianca Juarez

Legacy. It’s a word I’ve thought a lot about over the last six months or so. Bret will say, “It’s okay. We don’t have to have kids. We can be happy just the two of us.” Most of the time I believe him. I agree. I know this is happening for a reason and all will be okay. But I would be lying if I said I didn’t think to myself on more than one occasion, “but who will tell our story? What kind of legacy will we leave? Who will tell the next generation about our love, the way we tease each other, dance around the kitchen, or even ‘slap box’? Who will even care?” I fear there would be no stories of how Grandma and Grandpa (aka…us) met at Red Lobster when they were in college, how our love was strong enough to make it through the toughest of times, about our unwavering faith in each other. In God. I wish I could say I never worried about those things, but in an effort to “keep it real”, I have to admit that I do. The thoughts hit me like a ton of bricks. They make a sneak attack and sink into my soul when I least expect it. I’m not strong enough to hold them back and they’re strong enough to knock me down. I’ll be happy with everything, and understanding, and then BAM, I’m lost again.

Everything happens for a reason. This sentence has seen me through every single trial in my life. I was constantly reminded of this growing up (often times it was hidden with the sentence “if it’s the Lord’s will”) and Bret and I have had to remind ourselves of it a lot recently. I was reminded today as I was listening to Bianca speak. She said that it doesn’t matter where you are, you are there for a reason. You do not have to be in a third world country to make a difference. We all can change the world. When I was a child this was my driving force. Mommy just knew that I was meant for great things (although I’m not quite sure if that was through a modeling career, singing, the church, or reading/writing. These are all things she saw in my future. lol) She raised me with this feeling that I could do anything. Over the years this feeling has weakened, my definition of success has changed, my definition of changing the world has shifted. Bianca speaks of the many women through out the Bible, through out history, who we know as changing the world and we speak of their legacy. Did they realize this? Did they feel like they were making a difference, let alone changing the world? Did they know their legacy would be told time after time? Sometimes one simple act of kindness can make a difference in a way that you can’t even imagine. Let me see if I can get this right. Biance said something like this…You change yourself, you can change your home. You change your home, you can change your community. You change your community, you can change your state. You change your state, you can change a nation. You change a nation, you can change the world.

Even though our life hasn’t gone as we planned (heck this blog entry hasn’t even done that). We don’t have a house full of children. I’m not the little football Mom that I always imagined I would be. God has a plan for us. God has a plan for you. Our house IS filled with love, laughter, and all that dancing I was talking about. As my friend Andrea and I always say, we are not content on waiting and seeing what is to be. We want to KNOW what’s going to happen. I can’t stand not knowing the answers. Over the last month or so Bret and I have gone back and forth with our options. What does God want us to do? We searched and searched for the answers….and so did friends (thank you Dawn and Andrea). I tried to read every sign. Want to know what I realized? I really suck at reading signs. You know why? I was asking too much. I wasn’t listening. I’m not saying that I’ve seen the light and know the answer. We still have no clue. But our options for having children are narrowing some what. You would think this would depress me. I thought it would, but it doesn’t. I feel closer to the answers. I know that no matter the plan “all things work for good for those who love God”. It may not be the plan we have in mind, but it all happens for a reason.

Please don’t feel that I am sitting here preaching to you or saying everyone should think the way I do or even that I always feel this way. I know I don’t have the answers. I know what’s right and what’s true for me is not that way for others. The fact is that I have struggled lately with how I feel about organized religion and my faith in general. Truth be told, I’ve always struggled. Not really with my faith. I know how I feel in my heart, but is that the way I SHOULD feel. There’s so much hateful rhetoric lately. Seems like everyone’s judging, spitting out words from the Bible to defend this or that. It just all feels dirty and negative. It just doesn’t feel like that’s what was intended. Where is the love in that? Then I was listening to Part 3 of this Women’s Series: The Scandalous Message of James (you can find this podcast on iTunes. I just did a search for Calvary Chapel Montebellow. My favorite is Chapter 2, Part 1), where Bianca reminds us to speak truth with love. You can be speaking all the truth you want, but if it’s in a hateful manner, to prove a point, and is empty of love, than it means nothing. This doesn’t spread the love of God. It can make the person think “Is this what God would think of me? Is this the way God would speak to me?”

So many of the messages from this series have stuck with me. You should see my poor desk. I have post it notes every where with little quotes. “You never know God is all you need until God is all you have.” “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” “Mercy triumphs over justice.” “When we demean others, we are demeaning the image of the Lord.” She speaks of accepting everyone. Loving everyone. Living out Gods message through our lives. THIS is the God I know. I needed this. I needed to be reminded that what’s been in my heart is still there. It’s real. That God does have a plan. We can live a life of meaning, even if it’s not the one we intended.

Since I can’t have a blog post with out a pretty photo, here’s the topic of my next blog entry….my baby cousin who’s off to college very soon!

  1. I feel as if I could have written this myself. Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. Jess says:

    I love this post. I feel like I just connected with you on a personal level like never before. It is the desire of my heart to have children running all over the place. However, because of my medical condition, that will never ever happen naturally. So I too am seeking and searching. Some days I am frustrated and angry. I have learned that life hurts. It’s hard to be happy on the outside, when my heart is breaking on the inside. I don’t understand why either of us has been placed on this path, but I am learning to sit back and let God have control. I can definitely pray for you.

  3. Bianca Juarez says:

    Love it!!

  4. andrea says:

    Seriously, Cilla. You should do more blogging like this. 🙂 Very cool… and so real. So you. I love it. Great job… you, as always, inspire me. 🙂

  5. Peggy says:

    Let me just say that everytime you take a photo, You are touching someones heart, it may be a parent, a friend, a stranger.You are capturing a moment that can never be relived!
    You are giving the world a picture of GOD’s Creations!
    You are doing all that…sounds like part of a plan/legacy…it’s you…
    my precious daughter (aka inlaw.
    I love you from the bottom of my heart and always will!!!!

  6. Andrea says:

    Cilla, I guess my head’s been stuck in the sand, but I didn’t realize all this was going on. Oh! The legacies that you are already leaving, yet, I know it’s not just about that. Wishing you PEACE throughout your uncertainty. May the joy that you bless others with come back to you 100 fold. Thank you for sharing a piece of yourself.

  7. nick says:

    You are so brave dear. I cold never openly share my thouughts and feelings like that. I am glad you did though. Your words brought life into perspective for me. I thank you for that. You are blessed with Love and happiness. You may never know it but you have already changed the world with your kindness and your love. dont let anyone tell you any different. God Bless you darlin!

  8. Sharon Fesmier says:

    I, like my daughter, Dawn, can be soooo private about things. It is easier to be private for me…no judgements or unkind, negative remarks, or using the bible as a tool to prove a point that someone wants to make. Your journey has touched so many lives, mine included. I needed to find the answer, right along with you. I knew what I felt in my heart was the love of God and I initially spoke that love…but then I needed to find that love in print, not trusting my heart anymore. I needed to make sure it was indeed God and not my dream-filled heart at work. I read and prayed and agonized and then started all over again. Everything I read was too antiseptic or technical or biblically unsound…until I found an article by a Christian Woman who is a Medical Doctor. She spoke so lovingly, using the bible the way it is supposed to be used…with love…not judgment. She brought me back to knowing my heart was true to me. You already have the answer, Cilla, to continue to look to Him for direction each day and to continue to trust and believe that His plan for you is that all things WILL work for good in your life…because you love Him.

  9. Jackie P says:

    Bless your heart, Priscilla. I, too, have traveled down the uncertain path you’re on. The unfortunate part of my journey was it’s absence of faith, peace and hope. I’m so glad you have that… even if it comes and goes. I now walk with God on a daily/hourly basis. All because I heard enough people speak the truth in a loving way that finally broke through the hateful delivery I was used to. The world needs more loving truth. And your writing is a legacy. You’re doing just what you need to do. Keep it up.

  10. Wendy Marani says:

    Love these photos…I am interested in getting some headshots/bodyshots done for registering with different agencies. I live in South Beach, would possible like to do it there. Wendymarani@gmail.com

  11. Wendy Marani says:

    Wendy Marani · Works at Emerging Miami Beach Artist

    Love these photos…I am interested in getting some headshots/bodyshots done for registering with different agencies. I live in South Beach, would possible like to do it there. Wendymarani@gmail.com

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