An Unexpected Plan

Sonya Ruth Photography Announcement

       One year ago, I closed my photography business.  I knew something needed to change. I had been exchanging God’s glory for my own glory, pursuing photography with passion, while neglecting my ministry as a mother and wife. I was escaping my frustrations by being busy instead of stewarding the family, husband, and home he had blessed me with. One day it just hit me, I needed to empty my schedule to allow God to move in my life. For him to move those mountains I was holding onto.

As I gave up planning to make my life better according to my own plans, I also turned my desires to God, and I pursued Him. I pursued desiring Him, instead of the instant temporary satisfaction this world offers, and I began to treasure and trust Him above everything else.  This was incredibly difficult to say the least; it is not easy to break old habits, but when we trust and submit to God, He delivers us from ourselves in His timing. I walked away from photography a year ago, not because I didn’t enjoy it, but because I needed to simplify my life, and reorder it. One year later, I feel such a peace about that decision and I’m so thankful for what God did in my heart during the time away. It’s amazing to know how God takes something old and broken, and can use it for His will and purpose, in His timing and not ours. So with all that being said, I’m excited to announce my husband Steven and I will be reopening Sonya Ruth Photography together! He will be resigning from the Marine Corps active duty component and will become a Marine reservist. And just to clarify for those who have followed my story, we will not be becoming farmers ha ha. I wasn’t sure how to announce such a huge surprising decision, but this is something God has provided and we never even realized it.  We stopped focusing on how we could improve our lives and began focusing on being content in Him. He had bigger plans for us. It has been beautiful to watch Steven grow in Christ, in a way I had prayed for but I never knew how it would happen. This past year, the Lord has blessed us tremendously with a clear focus and a unified spirit, and I’m excited that he has allowed me to share his testimony with you! Let me first introduce him a little first.

 My husband, Steven, is a very quiet man. That’s what I liked most about him when I met him. He listened to all my babble and never ever seemed annoyed (what a catch, right?). But over the past year, God has been growing him in boldness and humility.  Here is his perspective about how we both agreed to this new chapter in our lives:

“Sonya and I ultimately decided to leave the Marine Corps because we both had a growing desire to serve our local church and to live life on mission for God.  A little over two months ago we both were overcome with the wide array of emotions that take over when you feel the burden of your personal sin in a new way. During our walk as Christians we have always felt the weight of sin in our lives as we battle it daily.  But this was different. We had finally come to recognize on a deeper level how our sin can impact everything around us. While this was difficult, and the emotions were powerful, it was far surpassed by the the profound love, joy, and redemption that we could find in the gospel of Christ. By experiencing his love and forgiveness in a new and deeper way we both felt like a spiritual shift had occurred in our lives. We had a new, urgent understanding of the gospel and how it can transform lives for God’s glory. 

Through this experience we also came to love and cherish our local church body on a new level. This group of believers now more than ever represented the hands and feet of Jesus in our lives. We fully felt the purpose of intentional discipling and how God could use it to mature us spiritually. We could savor more fully the illumination of God’s word to the nourishment of our souls through faithful expository preaching. Above all though, we could now see with a bit more clarity how God had providentially worked things out in our lives for His glory and our good.

This cascade of thankfulness, and clarity in seeing the full depths of what the Gospel could do in our lives gave us a fresh realignment towards God’s kingdom. We know now what it meant a year ago when I  initially resigned and we were going to be farmers. We were merely pursuing our own dreams of success and trying to make ourselves the kings of our own little fiefdom. But now we know that our purpose as Christians is to serve the church we love so much and to join God in his mission which is to reconcile sinners to himself through the power of the Gospel.  

For these reasons we decided to pursue photography again, but together as a team, as we allow full flexibility for God to use us in anyway. We will be taking on portrait clients, planning workshops in the DC area, and a handful of weddings a year.  I’m excited for this journey, and excited to share our story of God’s redemptive grace. I will continue to do Marine Corps Reserve, helping with our church, Pillar Church of D.C., and managing the business side of the photography business. And Sonya of course is thrilled to jump back in using her God given talents of capturing amazing moments.”

If you’re reading this and have been following my story, thank you. I’m humbled that people even want to know, but I am thankful to share God’s grace and redemption in our lives. I am excited about meeting new families and clients in the DC metropolitan area with Steven alongside on this journey. I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue staying at home with the girls, homeschooling them (extra prayers, please!), to continue being faithful servants at our church, and watch Steven follow God’s will in his life while doing photography! I’m so thankful for God’s provision and the refocusing of what is important while we are here on this earth: To love the things that are eternal and to glorify God and not ourselves. “The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.  The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.”- Pslam 16: 5-6

Photo credit- Heather Robinson

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  • JomarieFebruary 9, 2017 - 12:42 pm

    Hi Sonya,
    I’m so blessed by your pictures and even more with your openness and your story! God has been doing a similar work in my husband Christion and I and it has been a long tough road but it has certainly refocused us to Him. I have said a prayer for your new endeavor that it would be led by God and blessed by Him. Thank you for being His servants and finding His voice. I hope to attend one of your workshops this next year if able.
    God bless you and your beautiful family.ReplyCancel

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