He Is For Me

     I work in one of the busiest stores in one of the largest malls I’ve ever been in, so I see A LOT of people on a daily basis, and so often, I see people that appear so miserable and unhappy. They don’t smile, they’re yelling at someone on the phone, they’re screaming at their children, they’re wearing clothes that are so obviously asking for someone to just notice them-to let them know they’re not invisible, while at the same time, others are hiding in the corners of the food court wearing dark hoodies with their heads down hoping that no one notices them because they’ve given up hope that anyone could possibly care-and my heart absolutely breaks.
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     Every day, I want those people to realize that they, too, can experience what I have. The joy I feel every single day can be theirs. The choice that I make every day-to be happy rather than sad, to look for the good instead of the bad-is a choice that I’m able to make because I didn’t allow the things that I’ve faced in life to break me. People often question how it’s possible. How I continue to smile and be happy and continue on with life after so many things have piled up against me. It’s simple, really. It’s all God. It’s because of him and my relationship with him.
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     Those last two sentences made some of you immediately lose interest and consider closing this post and going on with your day, but hear me out.
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     The things I’ve come against could have ruined me long ago. The things people have said, the pain and hurt I’ve felt-all of that could have become too much if I had let it, but instead I choose to believe that my God is greater than all of that. 
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     Am I perfect? Heavens no. I screw up on the daily. I consistently make bad decisions, but I’ve also spent the last year of my life truly learning that God’s grace is so much greater than all of that. I’ve heard it my whole life and I know thousands of people that say it, but I also know thousands of people that don’t live their lives as though they actually believe it. They struggle every day with decisions in their past and regret so many things that they’ve done instead of moving past that and allowing God to use them and those experiences as a way to reach other people. 
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     I’m not writing this for you to agree with me. I’m not writing this for more re-tweets on Twitter and more likes on Facebook. If you disagree with me, that’s totally your deal. I’m writing this for myself more than anything else. I’m writing this to remind myself that I am a conqueror. I am strong. I am bold. I am loved. I am not defined by my past or my present situations. I am a child of the most high God and He’s got me. He’s holding me closer than I could ever possibly imagine. The reason I’m choosing to share this with you is because I’ve also learned that when I’m facing something, I’m not the only person in the world that’s currently facing that same situation.
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     I’ve always said that every thing I’ve faced and every decision I’ve made that’s turned into a learning experience will be used again to speak into someone else’s life. I’m so blessed to have had the opportunity to speak life into so many other peoples’ situations, but at the same time, I have to remember that I can speak that same life into other situations that arise in my life. Why is it that I can believe so strongly for God to do things for others, yet I struggle so hard to believe that he can do the exact same thing in my life and that he will take me through every struggle and continue to provide for me no matter what? 
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     One of the coolest things that God has shown me in the past year is that His strength is perfect even when I’m not. He continues to place people in my life that believe greatness and God’s provision for me just like I so easily do for others-and I’m incredibly thankful for that.
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     While writing, I was reminded of the Kari Jobe song “You are for me”. The lyrics to the song are as follows:
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So faithful
So constant
So loving and so true
So powerful in all You do
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You fill me
You see me
You know my every move
You love for me to sing to You
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I know that You are for me
I know that You are for me
I know that You will never
Forsake me in my weakness
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And I know that You have come now
Even if to write upon my heart
To remind me who You are
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So patient
So gracious
So merciful and true
So wonderful in all You do
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You fill me
You see me
You know my every move
You love for me to sing to You.
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Look it up on Spotify or Youtube if you don’t know it.
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That’s truly how I feel.
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     Tuesday morning, I had a breakfast meeting with a leader in our church. At some point during breakfast, hearing this man tell me his personal story, I was so strongly reminded that everything I am is because of God and because He is for me. He believes in me. He loves me. He desires so much for me. How can I continue to doubt so many things in life or continue to question so many things every day, when the only thing that truly matters is that He is for me? 
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Every question I have-He is for me.
Every thing I face-He is for me. 
Every time I win-He is for me. 
Every time I lose-He is for me.
Every struggle I have-He is for me.
Every time I falter-He is for me. 
Every time I make the right decision-He is for me. 
Every time I make the wrong decision-He is STILL for me. 
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There’s an incredible freedom in knowing that He is for me. 
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     The truth of this is that tomorrow, I’ll probably need to be reminded of this again. Tomorrow; and the next day; and next week; and next month; and next year; and 10 years from now. But you know what? That’s okay. Because now I’ve written it down. At this moment, in this instance of complete clarity, sitting in an incredibly comfortable chair in the back corner of Panera (Yes, I know you’re all surprised I’m in Panera considering my dislike of this place-breakfast is actually a much better experience here, but I digress) God has allowed me to remember that He is for me. 
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     I could continue writing all day, but I’m going to force myself to stop. If I don’t, you’ll never get back to doing what’s important in your life.
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Just know this:
1. I love you. 
2. I believe in you. 
3. He is for you. 
4. Nothing you do can ever change numbers 1-3. 
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     Smile a little wider today. Hug someone a little tighter. Love a little more today than you did yesterday. He is for you.
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Be blessed!
Bb

When you’re friends with a fashion illustrator, sometimes your favorite look from a recent show ends up getting illustrated. |

The photo on the left is one of my shots from this weekend’s fashion show. The illustration on the right is something @keirstenb whipped up on her lunch break today. |

I love my friends. |

#fashion #photgraphy #fashionphotography #illustration #fashionillustration #fashionshow #runway #cnymode #modelingagency #storylines (at www.brianbrister.com)

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© Brian Brister 2013 |

Jake |

Liverpool, New York |

www.brianbrister.com |

Photographer: @brianbrister |

Model: @jakeottman |

Hair and Makeup By: @jamison55 |

#fashion #photography #fashionphotography #men #mensfashion #hair #hairbyjamie #newyork #cny
(at www.brianbrister.com)

This girl absolutely KILLED. IT. in today’s shoot. I can hardly wait to go through the images. |

#photo #photoshoot #fashion #fashionphotography #fall #fallfashion #womensfashion #newyork #catskills (at Dundas Castle)

Dundas Castle |

The location for today’s photo shoot. |

#photo #photoshoot #fashion #fashionphotography #fall #fallfashion #womensfashion #newyork #catskills (at Dundas Castle)

Headed to the Catskills for a fashion shoot in an abandoned castle, but need to edit photos from last night’s fashion show on the way. |

Where there’s a will, there’s a way. |

Thanks to @keirstenb for being my chauffeur…and today’s model. |
#fashion #fashionphotography #fall #catskills #newyork #womensfashion

Thanks to the time lapse feature in iOS8, here is a very quick look at a portion of the CNY Mode Fall Runway ‘14. |

#fashion #fashionphotography #fall #fallfashion #cnymode #modelingagency #syracuse #newyork #cny

Front row for the CNY Mode Fall Runway ‘14 with @keirstenb. |

#fashion #fashionphotography #runway #fall #fallfashion #cnymode #modelingagency #syracuse #newyork #cny

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© Brian Brister 2014 |

Kristina |

Castile, New York |

www.brianbrister.com |

Photographer: @brianbrister |

Model: @ksubsara |

#fashion #photography #fashionphotography #fall #fallfashion (at www.brianbrister.com)

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© Brian Brister 2014 |

Kristina |

Castile, New York |

www.brianbrister.com |

Photographer: @brianbrister |

Model: @ksubsara

#fashion #photography #fashionphotography #fall #fallfashion