A year ago, some of you may remember that I went with a group from my church (itown church) to the Dream Center in Los Angeles, California. I think, like any good adventure, I didn’t quite know what I was getting myslef into in signing up for this.

Throughout this week last year, we worked alongside the Dream Center to go into communities they have been present in over the last two decades. Our job was to simply serve, have meaningful conversations and connections, and continue to foster the relationships they have built with these communities. Some days, it looked like going to the Veterans Hospital and throwing a carnival for those who have served out country. Or maybe it looked like walking down Skid Row, passing out toiletries and inviting people to catch a weekly ride to church at the Dream Center, offering to pray with them and simply share love and hope with them as we went. One day, we went into a housing area called the Jordan Projects, where we invited families to an antique car show at the Dream Center, and then played kickball in the park with the children we came across.

I was so amazed at the work the Dream Center is doing in Los Angeles, and am so excited to get to go again this year with a whole new group of people. This trip took me way out of my comfort zone, but in it, I found the grace to have conversations with those I might, if I’m being honest here, usually overlook with a guilty conscience.

I am so beyond thankful for those of you who partnered with me as I prepared for this trip last year, and I would love for you to consider both prayerfully and financially supporting me again this year. The total cost of the trip is $1100, and the date that all funds are due is April 1st – if you would like to donate, you can send your contribution to my paypal or thru Chase Quickpay via the email address abigailrfloyd@gmail.com, or I could send you my physical address. All checks can be made to itown church with Abby Floyd LA Dream Center in the memo line.

Again, thank you SO much for your support, and for taking the time to consider joining me in this journey! I am so excited for what’s ahead.


February 27, 2017
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Recently, I found myself thinking back on different seasons of relational pain. Family members, friends, coworkers, guys…the whole spectrum. There’s an extent of inevitable confusion that living side by side with other humans can sometimes bring. The pain, the disappointment… and in certain relationships that perhaps had a sour ending, choices have been made, and there have been times where I’ve felt cheated and betrayed. I’ve beenmad at people — and I mean maaaad. I don’t find myself to be a distrustful person, but like anyone, you expect that there are certain things invested into a friendship (time, confidence, laughter, tears…) that would make someone appreciate that bond the way you do. I have wanted the worst for people who seemingly didn’t meet my expectations of what it means to “value my friendship”. I have wanted God to “catch” them and put them in their place. I’ve wanted people to be humiliated in the same way that my trust in them was.

My bitterness had to eventually come to terms with the fact that that’s not the Jesus I serve. You see – he has this way of exposing the nastiness in our own hearts when nasty things happen to us. And I had to come to a conclusion – I had to decide that the way that God handled those who have hurt me was none of my business, that he’s my advocate, and he (cliches and all) always makes things work together for good. I had to come to this place of the reality that those people were not and are not my enemies. They didn’t owe me anything because the way they treated me had nothing to actually do with my value as a person.

 

 

There’s this certain dying off of the flesh and a “see ya” to the ego that has to come for forgiveness to work its way into our lives. I’ve had to give up my right to closure or a final word, or letting someone know just how deeply they’ve wounded me. Truthfully – I could be as articulate and pin point exactly what it was that hurt me, and that would never in a million years mean that another human could fix it. Forgiveness is looking Jesus in the face and saying, “God, you know them much better than I do. Be what they need, be what I need.” And, like many things, I believe forgiveness is not a one time choice, but an everyday mindset to step into and see out of. “Believe the best”, is something my dad has hammered into my head over the years. I used to find it so painfully obnoxious. Eye rolls for days. I’ll believe the best when they show me the best. Thank you, Jesus, for not saying that on the cross. Bless. Now, if I were to hold any type of picket sign up, it’d probably say, “Believe the best.”

I’ve had to fight to find a place in my heart to trust Jesus in this way. And what I’ve found is that maybe his justice looks like making things right in relation to himself, not vengeance as I would expect it. Whatever was going on in that person’s life was only going to be made right (in context to Jesus, not me) if they discovered the expanse of his grace on a real level. And not in a, “Oh honey, bless your heart,” kind of way. My bitter heart was only going to be made whole if I could hope for that grace to be extended to them, and receive that which was extended to me. And it’s a lens. It’s a lens you can carry with you throughout the day, or leave on your bedside table and let your eyes get wearier & wearier as you just see everything for face value. It’s a lens you can constantly clean and refine, or a lens you can forget to tend to and accept every little scratch as “just something that happens”. Be diligent in your forgiveness.

 


February 9, 2017
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I met Alec early this Summer on a trip our church took to the LA Dream Center. He’s got the most genuine spirit of anyone you could meet and a humility about him that makes him easy to be around. We spent some time at the Indianapolis Art Center and got some shots of him with a mural he collaborated on (insane, right?). Being the artist that he is, he even had a good grasp of how he wanted this senior session to go. I had such a great time getting to shoot him & I love what we came up with.

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November 29, 2016
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THIS GIRL. She’s so lovely and has this gentle spirit that you can’t help but feel comfortable around. I love the sweetness that she brings with her and she has a really cool idea of where she’d like to go after high school. Can’t wait to watch her dreams unfold.

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October 13, 2016
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Being a photographer, you have this unique role of making sure your clients are comfortable in front of the camera – an intimidating place to be for some. Meeting Michael and Lindsey, I immediately knew that my job was going to be quite easy; they are already so comfortable with each other, and it just overflowed through the lens. I was thrilled we were able to make this session happen. While we are all three from the same town, they just recently moved to Baltimore, MD, and we weren’t sure if we’d be able to get an engagement session in! Thankfully, they planned a quick trip into Indy and we squeezed in a super fun evening in Broadripple. I am so excited to be shooting their wedding in 2017!

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October 4, 2016
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