Goodbye Doubt. Hello Gratitude. | Auburn Wedding Photographer

Today, I’m writing another one of those blog posts that makes me hold my breath when I push “Publish.” But do you know how sometimes God puts something on your heart? And then you can’t let go of it until you share it? Well…this is one of those times for me.

So I have a confession.

These last few months have been a giant challenge. I love everything about this journey Thomas and I are on. I love everything about being able to capture some of the most special moments in my clients’ lives.  I truly love my job. {Here comes the confession part.} But I still have days when I wonder if we’re crazy for doing this. The noises of the world are so loud…I turn on the news and hear more bad news about the economy. I walk past people in restaurants and hear them talking about struggling to find jobs. I speak to college students who are choosing majors based on what the job market currently looks like…and then? Then that dreaded feeling comes over me like a black cloud.  My heart starts to feel heavy. My palms begin to sweat. My mind races. FEAR. FEAR and then DOUBT. Fear starts to creep back into my brain. Doubt starts to take over my thoughts. I begin obsessing…questioning our decisions. “Were we crazy to leave our jobs and go out to pursue our dreams? Was it stupid to pick up everything and move to Auburn right when we were starting to make a name in Huntsville? Were we wrong? Are we going to make it? Will I have to stop doing what I love and go back to work and do a job that doesn’t make me happy? Are these changes that we’re making…are they mistakes?”

But then, just in the nick of time, God winks at me. He sends me a reminder…a little sign that we’re on the right path…a “God wink.” I see an old friend  at the grocery store who says she always checks Facebook to see our new work. Or a college student tells me she reads our blog religiously. Or I find one of those images that truly moves me as I’m editing. God always seems to send a reminder just before I let the fear completely paralyze me. He sends a little message, just His little way of saying, “Hey Kid. I’ve got your back. You and Thomas are on the right path. This is what I’ve planned for you. You are fulfilling your purpose. And I’m going to take care of you. And on the days when you feel afraid? Come to Me. And remember, that I am The Great I Am. I am your provider. Stick with me, and you’ll make it through. You’ll succeed. I want you to succeed. And you CAN do this, with Me as your guide.”

So today? Today I let go of fear. And I embrace gratitude. Today I say “Goodbye Doubt. I don’t need you in my life anymore. Goodbye Fear. You are no longer welcome here. Because God’s on my side. He has placed wonderful cheerleaders in my life. He has sent me amazing clients. He has my back. I am blessed. And I am grateful.”

Today I concentrate on gratitude. And to all of you messengers out there? All of you who send the kind words of encouragement? All of you who cheer us on? And to our wonderful clients who trust us with the most important moments of your life? Thank you. Thank you for being God’s messengers. Thank you for believing in us, and reminding us that we are fulfilling our purpose and traveling down the right path. You truly are a Godsend. And for you, we are grateful.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you,

plans to give you hope and a future.” -Jeremiah 29:11

This is one of those images that moved me when I found it. But not at first. At first glance, I almost cut it. It’s not one of those gorgeous images that absolutely took my breath away. But then the true meaning of it hit me. That’s Thomas in the background there. He’s standing there with a bride’s mother and friend. The bride is not in the image, but she’s right there beside him. And he’s laughing with them. They are all laughing together. When we book a wedding we don’t just gain clients. We gain friends…sometimes they become some of our dearest friends. And we get to laugh, cry and be present for some of the most important moments in the lives of these friends. That is pretty special. So now this almost-cut, ordinary image is one of my favorites. It holds a special place in my heart…because this image was a God wink. A little reminder from God…on a day when I was starting to let the fear creep in…of how blessed we are to do what we do.

And this guy is definitely a Godsend. He is my husband. My partner. My best friend. My cheerleader.  I find images like these, and they make me so thankful that I am on this journey with him. He has a beautiful heart. And for him, I am grateful.

First, I want to say thank you, thank you, thank you for ALL of the kind words. And because we’ve gotten such a beautiful response from you regarding this post, I want to be clear about something…and recommend a good read! A few weeks ago, my sister, Anna, called me and read an excerpt from “When God Winks” to me. So if you’re looking for a good book, Squire Rushnell’s book {via my sister} is actually what planted the concept God winks in my heart. She called when I was having one of those moments of fear, and it has resonated with me ever since. I haven’t read the whole book, but I definitely intend to…soon! {God winks have of course always existed, but I just want to be clear that I didn’t coin the term!}


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  • Ashley ScobeySeptember 19, 2010 - 5:08 pm

    I can tell you, with almost absolute certainty, that all artists have these thoughts. And all small business owners. And people who take risks. It is risky to do what you love, but it is also SO rewarding… and you guys will make it. You do wonderful work and you have a passion for what you do.ReplyCancel

  • Emily LeySeptember 19, 2010 - 5:22 pm

    Your post is beautiful and so authentic. I think everyone has those fear-pangs every now and then. I know I do too. Especially on the journey to first-time-motherhood. But I’m so proud of you both and enjoy following your journey to greatness. Thinking of and praying for you always! EmilyReplyCancel

  • Mary BethSeptember 19, 2010 - 5:29 pm

    I can relate! There have been times when I thought I was crazy for pursuing my passions and dreams and often wondered if I would ever get to end of the tunnel– no doubt that the road has been challenging, BUT knowing that God is with me every step of the way has made the journey worthwhile.

    It is a good thing to take a step back and remember/be reminded of why you do what you do and God’s calling in your life. Sometimes it’s hard to see the big picture and what’s really happening around us, but our Father in heaven knows and all we have to do is to trust Him! What a loving and faithful God we have!

    You and Thomas both have a talent of wedding photography and the Lord has blessed you so much! I have really enjoyed reading this blog. Thank you for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • LauraSeptember 19, 2010 - 6:35 pm

    Wow Sarah, what a great post!! I know this feeling all too well, especially now that I just leased a studio. You have those moments of pure excitement, then something creeps in and starts to take over. I needed to read this, and will come back to reread it every time I start to feel doubt trying to squeeze its way back in. Thank you!!! I know that you both have made the right decision. You two are amazing people and amazing artists!ReplyCancel

  • AshleySeptember 19, 2010 - 9:58 pm

    I love this post!! It was just what I needed to be reminded of as I start a new chapter in my life! As you and Thomas know, I just moved to Nashville a couple of months ago and started a new job! Sounds exciting, but little did I know it was going to be a HUGE adjustment. I have days too when I am filled with doubt and fear. Asking myself, did I jump the gun?, did I make the right decision? I am so glad to have read this post tonight!! I have been praying for God’s guidance and reassurance that everything is going to work out just fine!!! This post has reassured me that YES, God does have a plan for me and everything will be just fine!! I think y’all have made a GREAT decision! Sarah, you are a great writer, and you can truly see the passion you and Thomas share in photography!! Keep up the great work!! Love y’all! ~ AshleyReplyCancel

  • Anna BullingtonSeptember 19, 2010 - 10:59 pm

    I love you both! I am so blessed by you, your talent and love! I know I should try to make my comment sound professional and such but, a genuine “I love you” is what is in my heart! God winks at us all the time. Some winks just really stand out and help us remember to give thanks in all times!ReplyCancel

  • Amber M~September 20, 2010 - 10:39 am

    Awesome Post Girlfriend! This blog just made my day!!!! You two are doing an awesome job and I am so proud of both of you for following your heart & dreams. I can’t wait to see y’all on Sunday for our e-session 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Susan LeachSeptember 21, 2010 - 6:12 am

    Oh sweet Sarah…This morning as I take a quiet moment to check in on you and Thomas I find myself JOYfully overwhelmed by your words. Your gifts extend well beyond your photography and it is so clear that your faith is the cornerstone of your life….as it should be. As you know, we too are on a similar journey but much later in life. As I read your blog and the tears filled my eyes, I knew that through you, God winked at me this morning. Thank you! May God continue to guide you and bless you and Thomas richly. We are so proud of you!!!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa SchipanskySeptember 21, 2010 - 10:12 am

    Hey Sarah!!

    It is so scary when we find ourselves walking amongst uncertainty and doubt (the world). We, as humans do, want to know everything from one second to the next 20 years, and how it will impact our lives. We constantly compare ourselves to others and how great they are doing and we ask ourselves “man, when will I ever get there?”
    You are there. I found myself so mad at God one day, I mean I was literally yelling and crying at Him all at the same time, and then I was getting even more upset because I couldn’t yell at Him face to face?! Ha! Ha! But, then, I realized I loved God so much (as my husband and father) that I couldn’t stay mad at Him for very long, and the next day, He was giving me the “I told you so..” when all my prayers were answered…
    Something a lady shared with me one time: “God’s calculations are not our calculations, one day, even if you make less money, you will do more with it..” – I will never forget that, she was my “God Wink” that day…
    Keep fighting the good fight because you will never lose!! Me, Paul, and baby love yall very much and the moments that I cherrish, in the stillness of a line on my face, I am glad that you and Thomas are there to capture. 😉ReplyCancel

  • Laura ReauxSeptember 21, 2010 - 3:08 pm

    Thank you so much for writing this post when God put it on your heart! I had it in the back of my mind to come and read it as soon as I had a moment, and felt bad that it was days after you wrote it… but now I know why. God knew I would need to read these words TODAY. Just another God-wink. What a blessing you are to me. You’re an amazing woman of God, Sarah. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Robert FrenchSeptember 21, 2010 - 6:58 pm

    Someone with your talent and personality … can’t lose. ;o) What a great post. You and Thomas do have such great talent … it is easy to see that you will be embraced and find success. I so often use you as an example of creativity and initiative for the students in class. So, take heart. You’re appreciated and watched with positive anticipation for your future. Take care!ReplyCancel

  • Robin TaneySeptember 27, 2010 - 11:15 am

    Hi Sarah and Thomas,

    I am SQuire Rushnell’s (the author of When God Winks) assistant and I handle his mail.

    Thank you so much for sharing this post and for sending it to us. It’s people like you who truly “get” what this is all about. Godwinks may not always be an earth shattering event and they may not always be packaged in goodness. BUT, they are God’s way of letting you know that you are on His GPS…always.

    We may be interested in using this as a Wink of the Week on our website. Please let me know if it’s okay.

    Thanks again!

    Best wishes and winks,

    P.S. Your photos are breathtaking so you really are doing what you both were meant to. Also, here’s a little Godwink. I used to live in Huntsville. I was the 10pm producer for WHNT way back in 1989!ReplyCancel

  • LatriceOctober 10, 2010 - 12:26 am

    What an amazing & heartfelt post and its definitely something that we all experience. You expressed your feelings so beautifully! You two are destined for amazing things to come with your business & also as a couple. You represent yourselves with such a spirit of excellence & I feel blessed to know you.ReplyCancel

  • Latrice -OpulentCouturierMarch 23, 2011 - 10:54 pm

    Still one of my favorite post from you! So transparent & honest, I can relate 100%.
    So glad you two have each other to be on your journey to greatness together!


  • Joanie ClayMay 27, 2011 - 10:34 am

    Sarah I found your website by “accident”, and wanted you to know that this post was a God wink for me. I’ve been in business for myself for about seven years, but full time for about three. Recently, we’ve felt God leading us that my husband was supposed to come full time with the business as well. Even though it was a little scary, we’ve believed we were doing the right thing by walking in faith. He put in his notice almost two weeks ago, and we’ve been preparing for the grand opening of our new studio. At times, we have to remind ourselves that this is God’s plan for us, and that He will never leave us or forsake us. Today I found this post, and I know that it was one of those reminders that He gives us. Thank you for walking in faith and hitting that publish button 🙂 It’s so great to see other brothers and sisters in Christ being so blessed, and I wish you all the best! In His Love, Joanie Clay.ReplyCancel

  • Jenny TidmoreMay 22, 2012 - 5:50 pm

    Well, I stumbled upon this just now, and needless to say, I am in tears – in a good way. WOW! What a gift! It seems you too, have this gift of writing. I just told Katie Thornton Parrish this very same thing not long ago. What a precious gift this will be for your children, to go back one day and read your thoughts, your fears, your laughs, your tears, your faith and your journey. You and Thomas are going to be such attentive, loving parents. I loved this… And then God winked. Well, HE winked at me today – because it was meant for me to come across this today. My heart was blessed. <3ReplyCancel

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