Recently, my friend, Michael, asked me if I'd photograph him. He wanted to document the way he has been feeling lately, in an effort to let it all out, move on and have something to look back on and say, "this is where I was and look how far I've come." The shoot was inspired by a very moving photo blog by Jeremy Cowart, in which he photographed John Schneider in a moment of deep pain.
After a few minutes of shooting, I knew we had the photos he needed in order to put this behind him, so I put the camera down and hugged him for a long time. I am so proud of Michael. This takes an enormous amount of bravery and vulnerability. The things he is going through aren't mine to tell, so I asked Michael if he'd like to say anything to those who may be in a dark place, searching for the light... and below is the message he wants to share:
There are many types of pain and they come from many different things in life. Physical pain from cuts, scrapes, bruises and broken bones are obvious. Our emotional pain can be created from things that have happened in our lives and even things that have happened in the lives of others. Sometimes the pressure of the world events, combined with our own life challenges can lead to a broken heart. To me, that is the worst pain a person can experience. Give me a broken bone any day!
It’s the emotional pain that is often hidden from the view of others. It’s that pain that many of us keep locked inside, afraid to let the world know of it, for fear that we may seem weak or too emotional. Usually, most of us want to heal from the pain so it will go away and we can move on and forget about it. While that is great for broken bones and the likes, what if we aren’t always supposed to move past the emotional pain? Let me explain…
Maybe we need to savor the pain to learn from it. Maybe we need to hang on to the memory of it not so we can dwell on it, but so we can remember what we conquered. Have you ever been on your knees, begging God to release you from the pain and anguish of what you were going through? When He brought you through it, do you try to forget it and move on? I did that so many times. Looking back, those times were actually victories and I want to not only celebrate them, I want to remember them so I can never forget the things that God brought me through. These pictures show my raw emotions of what was going on in my heart, mind, and soul. By having these memories, I will never forget what I went through at this point in my life. I will never forget what I prayed for and for what I will always be thankful to God.
These pictures are a reminder to me, and hopefully anyone who is going through a tough time in your life for whatever reason, to learn through the pain and never forget the victories that sometimes only God can get you through.
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