My Hiding Place
I find it ironic that I chose to do such a "serene" shoot in the midst of what seemed to be the most hectic week ever. After countless all-nighters and a fair share of Netflix binges; my school year has officially come to a close! I can't wait for summer, but it still seems far away. As of this moment, I am in my apartment reluctantly trying to convince myself that I should start packing. (FYI: I loathe moving). First of all, I hate clutter and when packing you can't help but to have things all over the place. Secondly, I have way too much stuff making it almost impossible to figure out where to begin. Plus, after finals the last thing that I feel like doing is packing up boxes. Nevertheless, I am learning how to find peace in the middle of chaos.
I think it is so cool that when I start to get overwhelmed with life I can tell whether or not I've been spending time with Jesus based on the way that I respond to situations. This week I had countless opportunities to loose my temper and/or get offended at people, but thankfully what was in me came out of me. For a while now God has been ministering to me personally on the importance of worship. Many people assume that worship is just a precursor at church that is used to get people excited about the the service before the word is brought forth. Although it does have a way of stirring people's hearts, it is not and should not be used as a "hype man" for the things of the spirit. Worship is what ushers us into the presence of God and allows us access to Him! When we worship we are setting the atmosphere so that the word of God can penetrate our hearts and change us. Worship is not just for the four walls of the church. We can worship anywhere and everywhere.
There's a peace that comes when you start your day in worship. I feel prepared for whatever may happen because I've set my atmosphere in worship. I give God control of the day and find joy in knowing that He has it under control. One of my favorite songs right now is Hiding Place by Kevin Levar & One Sound (link below). It is my theme song right now because through all of the craziness and stresses of life, when I wake up in the morning I am purposefully declaring that God is my hiding place. It doesn't matter what may be going on around me. I am safe in Him and there is so much joy in knowing that nothing/no one can keep me from Him. This past week, whenever my days would get crazy and hectic I would find myself humming the words to this song. It was instinctive because when my mind and my flesh would get weak, my spirit would remind me of my heart's song to the Lord that day.
This week I knew that I wanted to shoot somewhere that I hadn't been before. Some time ago, a friend of mine found an article about Chicago's most beautiful places and this just so happened to be one of them. Right outside of the Lincoln Park Zoo is this gem; the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool. As soon as I got there I felt like I was no longer in the city. I wanted to set up a picnic, bask in the beauty of it all and read until dusk. It felt like my "hidden place". Funny how God will show you outward expressions of what He's been ministering to you inwardly. It was beautiful and I can't wait to go back.
This week I encourage you to seek God on your own. You don't need a choir or a praise team to lead you into the presence of God. Find your voice in Him and watch how it shifts the atmosphere around you.
Photography by Mike Hammond