This past week we experienced our first (of hopefully many!) high school and college age photography P31 retreats. Better known as Shine. Honestly, I’ve been trying to find the words to say for this post for quite some time now. And to be honest, I’m speechless. Last week ten of the most amazing girls I have ever met flew into Birmingham from all over the states (and Canada!) to attend Shine. For high school girls to have the boldness and audacity to walk into something like this not knowing a single person, said a lot about their expectations and desires for the week.
Every single one of these girls walked in with desires. Every single one wanted to see God move. Every single one wanted to build a strong business. Every single one wanted to make life-long relationships with girls who “get” where they are. And to say that these desires were met, is almost an understatement.
I was truly blown away and in awe at how God could take us 15 girls, and as we laid our desires at His feet, HE came in and showed us HIS love, power, and the calling of God on our lives.
It was an incredible week full of laughter, love, and LOTS of tears. Through one-on-one mentoring, in depth group sessions, worship, bonfires, and a whole lot of laughter, we saw Jesus and built foundations for our businesses through a week that we will never forget. Here’s what some of the girls are saying about it…- Elizabeth Ann
“If I could sum Shine up in one word it would be: risk. It’s a risk to fly solo to meet 14 other girls you’ve never met before, to try to be yourself around peers, to allow God to break you, to spend a good chunk of your savings, to be completely honest & vulnerable. But you know what? You’ve gotta leap before you can see where you land. I didn’t know what would go down when I got there. So many doubts were running around in my head, but He blessed me beyond belief with lifelong sister-ships, a renewed sense of where I am going, and a revived heart for Him (and a bunch of inside jokes!). Leaping is always worth it. Always.”- Bethany Aleshire
“The Lord far surpassed my expectations of what SHINE would do to me as a Christian, as a photographer, and as a woman! He picked out just the right group of gals that He knew would challenge and motivate each other. And He used social media to do it (which just blows my mind). Suzy and Elizabeth-Ann are not only incredible photographers, but they are women of God who weren’t afraid to follow His calling. They weren’t afraid to confront us. And they weren’t afraid to love on us when we exposed our brokenness to them. Personally, I learned that I need to surrender my identity to my Father. I’ve been living with a fear of man that is bigger than my fear of God. This is sin (and Suzy wasn’t afraid to tell me this! I appreciate that!) Photography-wise, I was encouraged to not give up my dreams of owning my own business, just because I’m afraid of the legal side of things. I learned about the power of good lighting and setting boundaries for me and my clients, for my own benefit. I have come away changed and with more sisters in Christ than I had before. Friends and lessons for a lifetime! I’m ready for SHINE Retreat 2.0! ” – Amy Hamilton
“Words cannot describe how God has worked in my life this past week. God has sweetly broken me and guided me into His will for my life. I took away the sweet redemption of Jesus Christ, friendships that will last a life time and fulfillment and joy in Gods plans for my photography business. I feel so blessed to have been apart of such an amazing week.”- Sarah Owens
Also a huge thanks to our amazing sponsors: Organic Bloom and Showit!
Check out our recap video here:
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