I’m 41 years old and I have regrets. Serious regrets. The sort of regrets that are made in seasons of feeling
Insecure and lonely.
Inadequate and unpopular.
Poor and insignificant.
Recently I have learned that most of the regrets we have are generally made during a time of believing those negative thoughts as though they are true. I have often tried to fight myself out of my situation by using every worldly option made available to me. The enemy of our soul does that you know. He attempts to make us feel unworthy, or out of control, and then encourages us to find fulfillment and satisfaction outside of God. Which, sweet friend, always only leads to more despondency. My goodness - it’s such a destructive cycle. Blessedly, as I’ve grown spiritually, I’ve come to understand that God’s Word regarding His thoughts toward us should override our own. I’ve learned that if we want to know what God thinks about us or our situation, we need to read His Word. More importantly, we need to believe it. And THAT will change how we think about ourselves or our situation. And friend, that is good.
I want to help women to live lives with less regrets... I believe that can only happen by completely saturating our lives with the Word of God. And then choosing to believe what it says about our lives. God has a plan for our today. Right now. He has a plan. For that situation. That person. That circumstance. He has a plan - and IT is good!
Jessica Lauren Smith is a young gal that has captured my heart. Her love for God inspires me and so I asked her to tell me her story. She is, in fact, the photographer who took many of the pictures on this site. She is a precious 19 year old girl who has decided that she is going to follow God’s plan for her life. She believes that God’s Word tells her the truth about her life and she can trust Him with her future. No one can go back and change past regrets, but we can inspire those coming behind us that they can make less. And since I’m so convinced that young girls need to know Jessica’s story, I’m sharing it here.
“Hey there! I’m Jessica Lauren, a 19 year old wedding photographer saved by my sweet Jesus with a passion for dreaming big and living without regrets. I’ve been raised by the sweetest parents that taught me faithfully and exemplified Christ in their everyday lives - which is how I was first introduced to the Lord. On July 23, 2000 as I was sitting in the kitchen with my parents, I told them I wanted to accept Jesus into my heart - and that’s where it all began! I was baptized shortly after and though life at such a young age didn’t really change, I knew in my heart that I was His.
It was in my middle school years around 11 or 12 that I knew something needed to be different. I knew Jesus - He was my Savior - but He wasn’t my Lord. There is a huge contrast between knowing the Lord and choosing to surrender everyday to Him! I began to set goals for myself to read through God’s word and even though I was young and didn’t fully understand everything, the word was transformative in my young heart and life! I’ve always been an incredibly passionate person, and the Lord helped me harness my passion into things that edified Him instead of myself. Because of my driven and competitive spirit - it was good for me to set goals for myself that pushed me to read through God’s word. I began to realize the importance of reading ALL of the Bible - not just the “easy” parts, to be faithful to be in the Word daily - even when I didn’t feel like it, and to allow the Lord to transform my heart and life through the little things.
Life wasn’t without its hardships! I’m about as far from perfect as it gets. There were many moments of complete failure and blatant disobedience to my parents and to the Lord. I STILL struggle. Our flesh and the depravity of this world wars against the Spirit inside us - and it’s difficult. But the Lord has brought so much refinement through these “growing up” years. I realized that as believers, it’s easy to coast through and live our whole lives in ignorance to God’s radical calling. To live blind to the sovereign purpose He has divinely planned for us - but what kind of life is that? My heart’s desire is to live every single day in light of Jesus’ sacrifice and gift He has given me!
For me personally, the Lord has opened doors to start my own wedding photography business and love on couples in a such a pivotal stage of their lives! It’s the greatest gift and joy and I never want to take it for granted. I would be lying if I said I didn’t have moments of total loneliness, discontentment, or struggle. But above all else, I know this - He’s a good Father. God is the epitome of GOOD - and I can trust Him with my life. Every moment, every day, every year is His... and I don’t want to waste it.”
BLESS IT!!! Jessica made an intentional decision to follow Jesus and by following Him daily will, by default, lead to a life lived with less regrets. Don’t we all just want that for ourselves? Don’t we want it for our children and grandchildren? For ALL of our family and friends?
Friends, that is why this blog site has begun. You see, I believe no matter where we are in life we can start over. No matter how many regrets we bring to the table, God can enable us to make less, thereby HAVING LESS going forward. So whether we are 19 or 41 or 65 - may we all find ourselves living “Every moment, every day, every year His... “.