But what this year brought me three great lessons:
The first was the lesson of Acceptance. I had struggled long with my real calling. And all the searching brought me back to my one true love, which is art. And I have accepted the challenge, to be an artist. All the way. To put the talent given to me into good use, which is well, to preserve memories for others. The real reason why I photograph is because I want to help people remember. That they will have something to look back to and say, "That was beautiful." And they will say these words with warmth in their hearts. With tangible memories through images, they will remember the meaningful relationships with family and love ones. They will remember the feeling of being gifted with a child when they were pregnant. The smiles on their young children's innocent faces, their baby's cries, the excitement of getting and being married, to remember what success felt, and what being beautiful truly means. I don't want to be doing anything else. I have always wanted to do something meaningful, and through taking photographs, I have found my true calling.
The second lesson was the hardest to learn: Surrender. To surrender everything to God. That even if you plan things down to the smallest detail, but if this is not the true path prepared by God, then there will be no trail. The only thing to do really is to give it your all, but to also raise all your bruises, triumphs and struggles to the Lord. He will show the way. Sometimes it is so difficult to accept what is happening to us at the present (the discovery of cancer, a miscarriage, a death in the family) but soon, the reasons why these things have to happen will surface, in time, in God's time.
The third lesson: Gratefulness. To be thankful for every waking hour that we can reach out to someone, for every minute spent with loved ones, for every second of being alive. Sometimes we just take time and our relationships fore granted. Sometimes we are not careful with our words, with our actions, or how we spend our time. We are wasteful. We are tactless. Sometimes we are ungrateful for what we have with us now, because we're always busy looking at what others have when we really are rich, with love around us. God gifts us with abundance, that we sometimes fail to see.
I am thankful for this year, and I'm looking forward to the gifts that the coming year will bring and the new lessons that it will teach. I pray that you have been blessed with a meaningful year, and that 2014 will be grand for you, and for those you care about. I pray for happy moments, for the quiet, for the calm. I pray that your minds be open, your hearts filled with love, and hope, and all the good things that it deserves. Happy New Year to us all!