I’ve been a photographer for over 30 years and love capturing the beauty of God’s creation. Everything I see is framed through an invisible camera lens. When my life encountered a huge change 14 years ago, suddenly nothing looked familiar anymore. My camera lens developed a new filter of fear, loneliness and pain.
In January of 2009, my life took an unexpected turn and I ended up in a pit of debilitating panic attacks. A few weeks prior, I had lost my job from a small company with major financial issues, a favorite kitty died a horrible death and my credit card was stolen online – all within ten days. I was already struggling with grief and major depression so the additional difficult events pushed me over the edge. By summertime, I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue and the fall brought chronic fatigue syndrome. It felt like my life was over.
As the years went by, the chronic fatigue was worsened by continued daily panic attacks and I lived much of my life in bed. I became a prayer warrior, interceding on behalf of family and friends. God’s Word became more real to me during that time. I learned to crochet Prayer Shawls and did that until painful tendonitis permanently put an end to that ministry. I was lost without crocheting – especially the ministry part of it. The days and nights were lonely and long. I needed a purpose.
I continually asked God what I could do to bring Him glory when my energy was so limited and the panic attacks still so frequent. Finally, He gave me an idea for Christmas gifts. I chose a photo of my old barn and added “Great is His Faithfulness” to the image. My dad built frames out of the old barn wood and the gifts turned out beautifully. That following year, I began creating images that partnered my photography with God’s Holy Word.
On the first few images l created, I used the NIV version of the Bible because it was so familiar to me. But because of my education and background in communications and a nudging from the Holy Spirit, I began to wonder about copyright infringement.
After much research, I discovered that I could not freely use most versions of the Bible. I knew it wouldn’t honor God to break man’s laws, so I began to search for scriptures that were public domain or not under copyright law. I found a version that was being reworked and was free for use so I began to create cards with the OEB version of the Bible. Later on, I also used KJV and WEB.
It was a time of true worship for me as the Holy Spirit and I worked together, sorting through my thousands of photos and matching them with verses. It was a wonderful time of creating and I loved spending hours working on these beautiful cards. Each new image became my gift back to the Lord.
I had created a new product so my thoughts turned to a ministry business. Was this the answer to my prayers to earn some income? How could I sell the photo cards, photo magnets and prints?
I had 65 photo cards ready when I decided to start a business and sell them online. A wonderful friend, who is also a website creator, was key in helping me launch Photos Of Faith in 2015. I continued to create images and ended up with over 250 different options throughout the years. I spent many, many hours preparing the digital photographs and building each product for the store. I eventually added gifts made with the images and then the Armor of God jewelry collection I created (which is currently available in my Etsy shop).
While crocheting Prayer Shawls, I spent time praying for the one who would receive it. I carried this practice to my new ministry and prayed over the cards as I made them. I designed the cards to encourage hurting people. The Bible says that when the Word of the Lord goes out, it never returns to Him void. And that’s been my prayer for this ministry business.
Earlier this year, it became apparent that it was time to close the online store*. Even after a new design and offering free shipping, the business couldn’t support itself. As I began the process of shutting it down, my heart began to grieve. Photos Of Faith has meant so much to me over the years. I felt like I was losing a part of me.
As I sought the Lord in my grief, one night He gave me an answer. He said to write about the stories behind the photos and verses. It would be a way for the photos to still be seen so that’s what I’m doing.
It’s my prayer that the Photos Of Faith pictures will continue to glorify the Lord and minister to hurting hearts through Photo Notes.
*The online store closed in February 2023. A note card pack is currently available in my Etsy shop, Eternal Hope Artistry or click on any Shop Now button.