With Kristy Yates Photography #ThroughHisLens
Who are you so connected to that you don't function the same when that connection is lost?
Connections are essential. We thrive on our connection with others. When a person is not receiving the connections necessary, they react in many different ways. Children sometimes misbehave, adults may slip into a depression, and some people may start randomly inviting new people into their life, hoping one of them fill the void. Connections are different with each person in our lives. Some are surface level while others are deeper, but all are necessary. What happens when we suddenly lose a connection that is important to our soul?
My favorite connections are with those friends that I can go without seeing for months and months, but as soon as we get a chance to speak, it is as if no time has passed at all. Our friendship falls right back into place, no matter what has happened. No judgements, no hurt feelings from not having time to see each other, we just pick right back up where we left off. Those connections take a while to form, but once that relationship bond has happened, nothing can break it.
When I was a tween (let’s just call it that because I don't remember the exact age- sometime during middle school years), I distinctly remember a time when I lost a connection with my friends. I’m sure that you remember that age well. Everything revolved around your friends and what their opinions were. I had stayed home from school because I was sick. When I returned the following day, something was different. I couldn’t quite figure out what it was, but I felt it. Everyone still spoke to me, but not in the same way. The tone was different, as if something was going on that I was not a part of. Finally, I decided to ask one of my friends what was going on, why everyone was treating me a little different. She was honest and told me that they had all talked about me yesterday while I was out. I can’t quite remember what it was I had done to offend them, but I do remember how it felt. I was obviously upset and my feelings were a little hurt. Eventually, things returned back to normal. After that, I tried to be more aware of what I said and did, wanting to make sure I didn’t have that situation again. When we lose a connection to someone or something that is important, it hurts and confuses us.
As an adult, my connections with friends are still incredibly important to me. Once you're my friend, we are connected. End of story. You may do or say something to hurt my feelings, but you better believe we are gonna talk about it. I’ll let you know how I feel, then we will move on right past it. If I unintentionally do something to hurt your feelings, I expect the same. You’re my friend, you are important to me…we are connected.
Let’s think about the most important connection we have. The one that you absolutely cannot live without. I’m not sure what yours is, but mine is Jesus. His spirit lives in me and it is something I will never lose sight of. However, that connection is not always what I would like it to be.
Recently, I’ve been going through a connection situation. I have been so busy with work, my children, my to do list, my social life, and everything else, that I felt a change in my connection with Jesus somewhere along the way. It reminds me of that time when I was a “tween”. I realized a few weeks ago that something was a little off. I wasn’t hearing Him speak. Something was different, almost a little fuzzy. He was still there, of course, but something was just a bit different. I would do my daily devotions, I would pray, I would listen to worship music. It was all great…but something just wasn’t right. I knew there was a problem with my connection and
became frustrated. I just could not figure out why I felt disconnected or what to do about it. I prayed. I asked God to help me figure it out, but still nothing.
John 14:16-20 NIV
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him not knows him. But you know him, for he lives in you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.”
I knew this time of disconnect would not last, because He lives inside of me. That will not change. He is always teaching us, just not always in the way we expect.
Several months ago, while praying and asking God what my gifts and talents were and how to use them, he told me to share. He wanted my time and he wanted me to write. I'm not a writer, it just isn't something I have ever had the urge to do. He had other plans. I also felt led to leave my job, so I took my part-time photography and transitioned it to full time career. He had been very clear to me in his instructions before starting out on this new journey. The order of priorities were to be - time with him, writing, and then photography. I was terrified but excited at the same time, knowing He was in control. He gave me the instructions: I was to remain in him, He was to remain in me, and things would be just fine.
John 15:5-7 NIV
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you.”
So, I jumped on board, gung-ho, ready to write. I joined a writing group, wrote my first two pieces, and was pretty proud of myself. Then life happened. I booked triple the amount of photoshoots I had planned for the month and became completely consumed with editing photos and keeping clients happy. This was the only way I would survive financially to support my family, right? I had work to do! Well….the most important work is relying on him first. He will help take care of the rest.
I’ve been *happily* working nonstop, having so much fun taking photos, helping clients make memories, carefully editing each one, wanting to turn them into a work of art for each special client. Loving every minute of it. But something has been missing. My connection with the most important one. Disconnected and not sure how to fix it. I knew that my priorities were not in order according to the instructions He had given me, I realized weeks ago. Today I took TIME to think about it…to SEEK him. I reflected on how my spiritual life had been lately. I had been reading my Proverbs 31 bible studies, reflecting on the verse of the day on my YouVersion Bible app, trying to keep up with my yearly bible reading plan, and praying. It seemed like my spiritual cup should be pretty full by all of the things I was making sure to check off each day! None of that was working. But wait…THAT WAS IT. I had become so busy with life that I had unintentionally started a checklist in my head.
Daily Bible study: check
Verse of the day: check
Daily reading: check
Connection with Jesus: uh oh.
How does that even happen? I LOVE Jesus. I know I need him. I know that I need him so much that he became a part of my checklist so that I didn’t skip Him. But he doesn’t want to be part of a checklist. He wants my undivided attention with no distractions. He wants time with me, but not just as something I make myself do each day. He wants me to need him, to connect with him. How do I keep this from happening again?
Be careful not to fall into temptation. Even when work piles up, don’t forget my priorities. Remain in him and He will help me figure out a way to accomplish what needs to be done.
Pray without distraction.
Seek him. Don’t put a time limit on your time with Him.
Mark 14:38 NIV
“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Nothing can fully separate us from Him or His love. But we can become disconnected, letting things become a little hazy. It is important for us to recognize and acknowledge when this happens and find a way through it. He is there waiting for us, knowing that we will eventually figure it out. I like to imagine the look on his face when we do, His sweet smile, proud of us. He uses these things to teach us, his chosen children, because He loves us so much.
Romans 8:38 NIV
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
James 4:8 NIV
“Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purity your hearts, you double-minded.”
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