Struggles Turned to Growth

When I was younger, I was really insecure. 

People made fun of me for my wild, curly hair that I didn't know how to tame. People teased me for my last name, my forehead, my shyness, and even my clothing. I honestly can't think of one thing I wasn't teased for!

Although those experiences were hurtful and I wouldn't want to go through them again, I'm thankful for the experience. Because of them, I have had to struggle to find out who I am and who God has created me to be. These experiences made me who I am today. 

One piece of who I am that I've uncovered so far, is photography. I've mentioned this on my blog before, but I feel like I glorify God when I use my camera. Photography has been a tool for me to express how I see the world. It has brought a way to express messages that words can't for me. 

Although we all have our struggles and none of us will ever be exempt from the ones to come, I do hope that your struggles or issues don't define who you are. Mine did for 12 years and it restricted me from doing anything valuable. I couldn't imagine myself doing anything with my life that was purposeful. The crazy thing is that I didn't see my self worth (or lack there of) as restrictive, but who I was. Wow, I was so wrong!

It wasn't until 2008 when I began working through them did I find the freedom to see myself in a different light. The same year I began my part-time business, taking photos. This never would have happened if I didn't go back and work through past hurts, habits, and hang ups. My struggles wouldn't have allowed it.

So friend, what are your struggles? Are you willing to work through them, no matter how painful? I'm no psychologist and I don't know your past, but I do know there is freedom available for you. And besides just experiencing freedom (which alone is amazing), this freedom will allow you to do the things you love. 

What experiences have made you who you are today? Feel free to share them below in the comments!

-Ashley