It's been on my heart to ask you this,
I know that's super random and you're probably like, "Holly, what does that have to do with photography or learning how to shoot better?" That question and that same prayer is how I found out I was supposed to be a photographer!
Way back when I was about 16 weeks pregnant with our first baby, RyAnne, I joined a ladies Bible study group. Stacey, our group leader, asked us if we all knew what our God Given Talent was. I was sitting in a group of ladies ranging in age from about 24-50 and they ALL knew exactly what their God Given Talents were! Me on the other hand. . .UHHHHH, nope! Notta clue!!! It saddened me that I didn't have one single idea! So, I started praying and asking God to reveal it to me. Several months later and after I gave birth to RyAnne, I became very depressed. Postpartum depression crept into my mind, body and soul and took over my every being. It was one of the hardest times in my life.
In December, when RyAnne was about eight months old, I was still suffering through my depression. Two weeks before Christmas my husband surprised me with an early gift, my very first DSLR camera! I had no initial intention of starting a business at that time. Heck, I didn't even know how to turn on my new camera or even know where to put the battery!!! BUT two months after receiving that gift, God made it very clear to me that I was to open a business and become a professional photographer! Without hesitation, I DID IT! It's been the most incredible journey too!! I've been blessed with serving some of the most incredible couples and families over my SEVEN years as a photographer and I hope there will be many, MANY more years to come!
If you follow along with me on social media, Instagram and/or Facebook, you will know I have tried to be open about my PPD journey after having our son Rocco last June 2017. When he was about three and a half months old, it all came flooding back. This time even worse. It's been one of the hardest things to overcome, but I am finally seeing the light at the end of this dark tunnel! I started back working in the office this January. Although I have done some great things over the past few months for my family and work life, I have felt as though I was just meandering along. Doing but not really knowing the "WHY" I was doing it! So, I found myself praying again. . .
In March, my sweet neighbor Brittany, randomly sent me a text asking me if I wanted to join her that evening for a new workout class that had just started up. I was ALLLLL about it!! For one, any excuse to hang out with Brittany was a YES and two, getting to workout - YES and YES! The class was like non-other I have ever been a part of. Chelsea, our instructor, started off the class asking for prayer requests. I remember thinking, "Hmmmmm, that's different but I like it!" As the weeks passed and we all started getting closer and closer as a group of STRONG ladies, I asked the ladies to pray that God would give me guidance and make my path clear! They prayed for me several times this same prayer for guidance.
It's been on my heart to find a charity that I have a passion for. So, I started praying, asking that God would lead me to the charity that he knew I would be able to contribute to and also be passionate about. This past Saturday, while folding laundry, it hit me like a ton of bricks! God made it SO CLEAR to me. . .I need to find a charity that contributes to the research of Postpartum Depression!!! NEXT, I stopped what I was doing, grabbed my very empty journal and starting writing!! Chapters and excerpts and a layout for a book started flooding my mind!!! And there is was. . .I am to write a book about my postpartum depression journey and donate 10% of the proceeds to a charity that will help the research towards PPD!!! WHOA!!!
I wanted to just let it marinate and settle in before I announced to my husband that I am going to be writing a book! The next day, Sunday, I was ready to tell him. . .but for some reason I couldn't! I literally started sweating every time I went to tell him! I am not ashamed, just nervous that he thought I was crazy! EEK! AND, it was my first time actually speaking this to anyone. Several failed attempts and several chocolate bars later (YES, I was eating my emotions!!!), finally, Rocco was asleep, the girls were riding their bikes, Trey and I had just stepped into my office and I asked him to have a seat. Yep, he looked at me like, "Uh oh! What is it???"
I went into my story and he sat and listened. I cried and talked and talked and talked. . .Mostly out of nerves and excitement. Once I finally stopped talking, he said, "Holly, I don't care what you do. I support you no matter what!"
I am very excited about this journey and where it will take me AND others too. I'm so thankful for all of your prayers!! This feels like such a huge responsibility, writing about something that is so dark and deep. My prayer. . .
I hope my story inspires you to ask God. . .