Hello lovely friends!
When I started this blog about. year ago and working with brands on Instagram, I really thought this was it. This is what I felt God told me to do. So that must mean God is going to swing open every door for me to walk right through smoothly. He was going to let me make some money from all of this so I wasn't so financially burdened. He was going to make me happy through this because I always felt so sad and unsure about myself and what I was doing.
Y'all. I was so, so, SO wrong.
I'm a pretty open person so I wanted to share a little about my journey with all of this blogging and instagram stuff and the path I went down. I know I'm not the only one that struggles with these things, so I knew I needed to let someone know they aren't alone in this.
These past couple of weeks are the first time I've found genuine joy in what I'm posting on instagram (and hello, first blog post since who knows when) because honestly, I've not put in a whole lot of effort or care. That might sound bad, so let me explain. I stopped trying to create this perfectly posed, edited, captioned photo because I was EXHAUSTED from doing just that. I was constantly beating up on myself for not looking like this blogger, not making money like this blogger, not having high quality images like this influencer, not working with these brands like this person. I. Was. TIRED. Mentally drained. I had no joy in this. I told my fiancé I was deleting my blog and I was setting my instagram to private, and I was done. No more. God wasn't making a way for me to do big things, so I wasn't going to do it all. It wasn't worth it anymore to me. He said "No. You need to stop doubting God and what you're capable of." I cried. No really, I cried and cried. Over my blog and my Instagram not making me feel good enough.
So, I didn't delete them. Obviously, since I am writing this. But I gave myself a good long break to really think and pray about what God wanted me to do. If He wanted me to stop, I would stop, If He wanted to me to keep going, that's what I'd do.
It took me awhile to find some answers, and honestly at this point I'm still not sure what exactly God wants me to do with all of this, but I know it isn't what I was doing before. I was so sucked into this online world that I was there to please people. not God. I was there to make myself known, not God. What I was doing was literally tearing my relationship with the Lord apart, because even though I wanted my focus with all of this to be Him, it wasn't. Thats hard to admit, but it's the truth. I wanted all these perfect photos and to make some money... THAT was the big thing. Money. It's something I've always struggled with. I wasn't raised in a rich household, I've never had some nice, high paying job. All I wanted was to be able to make some extra money so I could comfortably pay my bills and save for a house and maybe go on some trips. I truly let worldly desires get ahold of my outlook and my mission. I was just exhausted.
So, I gave it all up (besides deleting everything and falling off the face of the planet). I stopped putting in so much effort and just let things happen naturally. I felt like God told me that me doing small things is maybe me doing big things. It doesn't matter if the world thinks what you're doing is great, it matters that God thinks what you're doing is great. So, that's what I'm doing and going to continue to do, find JOY in what I do. I lost that before, and if it doesn't bring me joy, I don't want it. I truly don't want it. I asked God to send me the people He wants me to work with or clearly show me, versus working with everyone and their mama like I was before and not having any passion behind it. I asked that God would humble me, because I was getting real self centered y'all. I asked that He would lead me in this, because I truly cant do it without Him and I don't want to, not anymore. I asked that He would heal my heart from brokenness, because I was really feeling broken- seeing so many people succeed can really hurt when all you want for yourself is to be successful. I asked that He would remind me daily that success isn't money, or where you work, or where you go. The success I truly want is that from Jesus, I want joy and kindness and to be a light in a dark world.
So... my pictures may not be perfect. My life may not be blogger enough. My finances may not be enough to work from home and travel the world and live this unrealistic life. I may not have thousands and thousands of followers, But that's okay. My small things are big things to God. That's all that really matters.
After this heart check, let me tell ya...
I got an email from a company asking me to run their social media account. ME. I don't do that, that's not my job, I don't have a degree in that stuff... but they essentially said they felt like God had His hand over this and that I was the one they were to hire. WHAT???
I've had companies that have awesome missions and background and that I genuinely love reach out to me and want me to take photos of their product. WHAT??? Before I would have emailed myself and probably been turned down...
I've loved the pictures I've posted regardless of how blogger-esque they are. They're me, they're what I love. I'm having fun and I'm finding joy. This is SO important for people, especially if you deal with mental illnesses like me, finding joy and having God is so important.
To wrap this up, God is good. And if you read this and felt it because you've been there, I hope you are able to find joy in all of this too. I know how hard it can be. I know how literally soul-sucking social media can become. I know how easy it is to get lost. If you are struggling, let me pray for you. I want you to know that God is going to do BIG things through you, even if the world thinks they're SMALL. You are worthy. Your creativity is worthy. Your passion is worthy.
THE NAME 'BACKPACK + A BIBLE' ORIGINATED FROM WHAT FIRST SPARKED MY IDEA TO START THIS BLOG. I LOVE THAT IT REMINDS ME OF WHERE IT ALL BEGAN - MY LOVE FOR THE LORD AND HAVING A BACKPACK ON MY BACK, WHETHER THAT BE HIKING OR BACKPACKING OR HOPPING ON AN AIRPLANE. I PRAYED GOD WOULD USE ME TO BE A LIGHT AND HE LED ME TO THIS. I LOVE BEING ABLE TO SHARE HIM THROUGH EXPLORING HIS CREATION. BUT EVERY NOW AND THEN HE NUDGES ME TO SHARE MORE THAN JUST A PRETTY MOUNTAIN PHOTO, AND THATS WHY THIS PAGE IS HERE -
HERE YOU'LL FIND THE WORDS GOD HAS PUT ON MY HEART TO SHARE WITH YOU. THE MOST IMPORTANT PAGE ON MY BLOG, I HOPE THESE POSTS BRING ENCOURAGEMENT, LIGHT + LOVE IN YOUR LIFE. THESE POSTS MAY NOT BE FREQUENT, BUT THAT IS BECAUSE I WANT TO SHARE WHAT GOD HAS GIVEN ME TO SHARE, NOT SOMETHING FORCED. I HOPE WHEN YOU READ THESE YOU ARE ABLE TO SEE THAT THEY TRULY COME FROM THE HEART.