You are an incredibly talented photographer and a gorgeous mum to a beautiful family 😊 Thanks so much for sharing with us about your walk with God and how your faith impacts your everyday life!
- Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you love most about your job at Light and Shade Photography?
Thanks Gemma! I am a wife to my amazing husband Michael, a blessed mum of 3, a testimony of God’s grace and a former photo-journalist turned wedding and family photographer.
I turned my life back to God in my twenties when God revealed Himself quite supernaturally to me. I had sent up a few feeble prayers after having not prayed for many years asking that if He was real would He reveal to me whether I should marry my then boyfriend …. And He did. A series of events unfolded but the pivotal one was when Mike and I ended up in a church. We were dating and Mike had very limited background in Christianity. They ended up having an altar call before the message was even preached and little did I know but when I opened my eyes Mike looked at me and said – well are you coming…? He later told me that when he opened his eyes he looked up and his hand was in the air and he had not physically raised it so he thought he better respond. Ha ha – God is so good and we had a number of people praying for us! Anyway we went up the front, first in line, and the power of God came on Mike so strongly that he was smashed off his feet and was pinned to the ground for some time. I also felt like I was literally burning up with the presence of God at this time. That was the start of a turning point in my life in turning my life around and putting my trust in God alone and He has not disappointed.
The thing I love most about what I do now with photography is I get to capture the gold in people’s lives and set it before them for them to focus their eyes on. I used to think that just capturing the happy moments was a bit false but God revealed to me that whatever we set our eyes on we usually reproduce in our lives. So if we are setting our focus and our physical eyes on a daily reminder of the fun, joy and connection in our families I believe that will flourish. I think we are all too painfully aware of our shortcomings as well so the world is in desperate need of encouragement. There are also studies that show that children’s self-esteem and identity is boosted when they see photos of themselves around the home. So print those photos ladies – a reminder for myself more than anyone else!!!
- How do you approach family/work/ministry balance in your life?
I have felt called to put my personal relationship with God and my family before anything else in this season and that is why photography took a backseat whilst I was raising little ones. Now that my youngest has started Prep I know that the door has opened to pursue some of the other cries of my heart. Life is still really busy though and if I am ever losing my peace I try to stop and re-assess my priorities.
- Can you tell us about a specific word or call that God has put on your life?
God has done such a transforming work in my life so overall I just feel so called to spread the life changing message of His goodness. Through my journey He has given me a heart for the lost and for society. Recently, though, I have felt led to grow in the prophetic through several prophetic words spoken over me and words that I have released. It was something that I was uber not comfortable with so I knew it was the call of the Lord and I have just been learning and growing in this area as God is encouraging me to release what is inside of me and the way I see and hear Him in and through everything.
- How do you usually hear from God? Are you a ‘knower’, a ‘seer, a ‘feeler’, a ‘hearer’ or a mix?
I would say I am primarily a ‘hearer’ and a ‘knower’ but I have been asking God to grow me in ‘seeing’ as well which has been a fun adventure!
- Have you always heard from God or is it a ‘skill’/habit that you have developed?
I think I have always heard from God but often I didn’t recognise it was Him. Once I began to trust that I was definitely hearing Him, that I had a renewed mind and started stepping out and having the words confirmed, I realised that I could trust that I was hearing Him.
The verses that helped me the most in my confidence were…
“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:9-11
Therefore if we ask for the gift of prophecy God our Father is always wanting to bless us and will not refuse. And then from Psalm 139:17-18
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand…”
I realised that God literally has millions of good thoughts towards His children and all we need to do is ask how He sees us and how He sees those around us and we literally can’t go wrong.
Another way I have grown is asking Him questions all the time and being aware of what is going on around me. I take notice of things that happen in the physical and I am always asking God – What do you want to say to me or teach me through this…? He has spoken to me firstly through the Word, but also in my busy mum life through birds, petrol prices, number plates, places in nature, unusual happenings, art, ads, my kids, movies, the list goes on!
Thank you so much Michaela, for your willingness to share your wisdom! We are praying for you and may the Lord bless you and your ministry!
You can find out more about Michaela’s business on her website at www.lightandshade.com.au