“Senior” Portraits

I couldn’t find a single picture of myself without other people in it.  Well, there was one of me in Vegas, from about five years ago. But I’ve used it as my profile picture on Facebook for years.  So I didn’t want to use that for my website and blog. And I kept reading that I needed professional looking pictures. Which sent a bit of a panic through my entire being.  Pose for a photographer?!? But my body doesn’t really look like I want it to look yet. And these pictures would be public. I mean my blog could get like two followers or it could get two million (I can dream).  But people would definitely see me. And some would be people who already love and accept me, but others would be strangers. And strangers are notoriously hard on other strangers on social media. I’ve heard horror stories of strangers picking people’s looks apart.  And I’m already a little sensitive about how I look. Or more accurately how I know I can look better. Could I handle the scrutiny? Could I truly live unmastered? And show my true self? How I look today? Before I get my body into shape? Before I lose those last fifteen stubborn pounds?  Without putting on any extra makeup? Just wear what I wear on a day-to-day basis (eyeliner, and mascara when I’m trying to be fancy)? Just me?

And then God stepped in to help me. Why does that keep surprising me? Of course He did. He wants me to do this. And He wants me to show my unmastered self in the best way I can.  This past week, He sent me a budding photographer ( Anthony Panacci) in the friend that my son brought home from college to spend Thanksgiving with us. A young man willing and wanting to take my picture. So. I took a deep breath, and I said yes. Yes to the pictures. I packed my little bag with my laptop and my Bible, and a change of clothes.  And I felt somewhat like a girl heading off to have her Senior Portraits done. Except I left “senior in high school” so far back in the rear view mirror I can barely see it. Now I am much closer to “senior citizen” out the front window. But still I went. To a coffee house with this group of my son’s college friends, and I let myself be photographed.  Alone. Unmastered. With people watching me. So many people watching me. And wondering who I was. Why I was there? They strained to see if I looked familiar. If I was famous. But I’m not. So they eventually went back to their lattes and cappuccinos. And we took some pictures. And my cheeks pinked with excitement as I thought about how God was going to use this.  Use me.


“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  ~Ephesians 2:10


When we finished, I got to sit with these amazing college students and share the story of my “still a work in progress” website and blog.  About how God was reaching out and helping me. And how He kept sending confirmation that this is what He wants me to do. And they listened wide eyed.  And they got chills when they heard how God was speaking to me through others. And they offered support. And advice. And most of all love. And I realized that no matter what stage of unmastered my body might be in, I can do this.  Because He is doing it right along side me.

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