Sometimes, there really is nothing better than affirmation, especially when it's coming directly from my Creator.
A few months ago, I received a random surplus of money and decided to upgrade from a Canon Powershot digital camera to a Canon Rebel DSLR. I researched, deliberated, and watched as prices went up and down for weeks before deciding to finally purchase it. I ended up then selling my Powershot to an old family friend, but felt quite guilty about my new purchase for some time. I am not one to usually drop a large amount of cash on a single item and I wasn't using my Rebel as much as I wanted to, thus the guilt. I felt like a bad steward of my money.
Not soon after, I was asked to take pictures at a friend's wedding, which was very exciting. Having this new camera would definitely be useful in that venture. Then, in a turn of events, I was asked to fill in as the Publicity Coordinator for Student Activities at my university for the upcoming '10-'11 school year - which meant taking pictures at school events and uploading them to our Facebook page (among other things). This, in and of itself, helped to affirm that my purchase was going to be worth it. Then, I was asked to shoot another wedding in July. Following that, I learned that my school's Chapel theme for the year was going to be "Exposed", focusing on the idea of light and photography, with our theme verse being Ephesians 5:13 - "Everything exposed by light becomes visible...". There was a photo contest for our Chapel calendar in which students were encouraged to submit photos that represented acts of service, light, and/or truth, so I entered a few photographs. Last week I found out that two of my submissions were accepted, and today I found out that I also received the "gold" award for one of them! :]
I just needed to type all of that out to say this: glory to God! Thank you, Lord, for giving me some minor talent for photography, for providing for it, and for affirming it in such amazing ways.
He is SO good.