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Embracing the Path God Has For You



When Melissa reached out to me and shared her story, I was stuck by the uniqueness of her perspective and yet, how relatable the twists and turns of each chapter were to nearly everyone. I've never met Melissa in person but she is one of the kindest people and is incredibly sensitive to the voice of God and the hearts of other people. Sharing this is long overdue and it is truly an honor to share Melissa's story with you today.



I love nature walks. I love the feel of the warm air on my skin and the sun pouring through the trees. I love the sound of the birds chatting and the breeze rustling and the leaves crunching under my feet. I love everything about it. Except maybe if I’m honest, I don’t love what I have to do to get there.

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I feel like my life is much like that; maybe you do too. I want the beauty of the trail without the work and time to get there.  In fact, at many points in my life, I plotted out the path I thought I was supposed to take before I knew anything about what the path was, what I would need to do to get there, or especially how the path could change.  I plotted my career of being a teacher at 12.  I decided on my dream college at 15 and made decisions about my family plans at 20.  I had it all figured out.  Until I didn’t.

The path I had foraged took some sharp turns that I couldn’t see. It gave me a rejection letter to that dream college, which then had me spending my first two years of college at home. Once away at college, it gave me a required class that I missed in scheduling, which resulted in a push of an entire semester, late graduation, and making me feel like a failure for having not finished in four years. As an adult, it gave me struggles for several years to find a full-time teaching job, and then more years desperately trying to prove my worth in my field. When I finally did get a job I enjoyed, my path of a family plan turned sharply before I was ready, and I was suddenly faced with no longer being a teacher, but a stay-at-home mom. None of it was on the path I designed.

My path took me to places I didn’t recognize and certainly didn’t choose. I was scared and sometimes angry; what I had always wanted, ended up being something completely different than I envisioned it to be. Sometimes I just wanted to sit and cry on the path.  And in fact, more than once, I did.  Then the real turns hit.  God changed my path in ways that shook me to my core, through tragedy, sickness, and death - ways that went way deeper than I was ever ready for.

In the midst of my emotions, the sunshine broke through and the breeze rustled the trees right in the middle of the path I never wanted to be on.  God showed me that even though I felt it, I was certainly not alone.  He had not abandoned me.  His path had beauties I could never have dreamed and He was with me every step of the way.


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You see, even though it often doesn’t feel like it, God puts just the right turns in our paths and comes in when His timing is perfect. He sits with you when you are rather sure you are alone. He makes things beautiful in ways we can’t even dream. For me, He has come in many times when I finally stopped trying so hard and was simply still in His presence. He came when I set aside the path I planned without Him and allowed Him to cut His path.

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After leaving teaching twice, and tons of other turns I never saw coming, including entering the field of photography, God gently began to use my second surprise child to change my focus.  He got me out of the director seat so that I could observe Him work in the most beautiful of ways. Then He whispered on the breeze. He called to me with the sunshine. He spoke to me with His movement through the child He had created. And so I listened and I took His path. Things I could have never, ever dreamed landed on the new path. Light in places I would have never seen suddenly showed me things I would have certainly missed. As I slowly began working to what I felt Him calling me to, He put me on a path I would have never gotten to on my own. I began to watch Him amaze me at each turn, giving me people that would motivate and encourage me on my new business path. People I would have never discovered on the path I was cutting and in ways I could have not dreamed or worked towards to get. All in His perfect timing.


Our God is amazing. He is the creator of all things. He knows those things He created better than anyone and He knows how they come together perfectly, when the time is right, to make the most beautiful story. Being still and ready to see and hear from God is so challenging in our world today. It requires not only a lack of movement but also a lack of planning. It requires that we set aside the path we thought was ours, in order to discover the path that is His. But the beauty of His path, through the sunshine and the breeze, is more than we could ever dream.  I pray you are able to be still today, to hear from Him, and be comforted on the path you are on.



Melissa Kayser is a documentary family photographer, whose mission through her photography is to get families reconnected to each other and abide in God's love.  You can find her work on her blog and her website. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Instagram

2 comments

  1. Beautiful! I love your perspective! God has so much good for us if we can only see the promises He has for us and the future He has called us to!

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    1. You are so right, Jenn! I love how you put that: He has promises for us!

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