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Dave Shonfelt | SovHope Spotlight Blog

Adam Vinson


I believe it was Will Shonfelt’s blog that I gave my sentiment on not having a defined date of changing, but that it’s small changes and growth over time, until one day, piece by piece, you have left the old you behind completely. It’s funny to me that that was my first thought when sitting down to write this blog about Dave as well (and it's not just because of Dave's long hair). I rarely can remember the very first interaction that I have with someone that I met over a decade ago, but I do remember the first time I met Dave. It was in the top room of the pool house at Tyson’s parents’ house back when he was unmarried and it was a bachelor pad of sorts. We used to meet there for accountability as young teenagers, and I remember Will brought his younger brother Dave, who was probably twelve at the time, to these meetings. I remember having conflicted thoughts, “Why is he here, he’s only twelve! He’ll probably blab everything we say to his mom,” as well as, “I’m so glad I’m not the youngest one here anymore.” Of course, this is the depth to which I thought at the high and mighty age of fourteen. We’re both older now at twenty-two and twenty-five, and as I sat and listened to Dave when we met, I recalled this memory of a twelve-year-old kid that had been brought by his older brother to that upper room, and I had a different thought this time, “Man. Look at what God has done.” The wisdom and perspective coming from this now twenty-two-year-old as he discussed his life and how he’s become who he is now was both encouraging and humbling.


Most everyone wonders what we are going to talk about at these Spotlight Blog dinners, and to be honest, I never know. I may have some questions prepared, but I never really know where the conversation is going to go. So, when we met with Dave, we spent a lot of time talking about the usual stuff. I got to learn about what life is like at the guys house now, his job at the coffee shop, and a surprising amount about Dungeons and Dragons, which I could write a whole other blog on. But what really struck a chord with me when we talked, was what it was like for him growing up. He used the very specific words of, “…a mix of pain and gracious love.” Dave spent the majority of his life living in Thomaston, Georgia, with his mom and stepdad, as well as four other siblings (himself being the youngest). I’m sure that we can all imagine what it’s probably like to be the youngest of five. There’s probably a lot of teasing and noogies (the art of grinding ones knuckles into the top of another’s head). He was also home schooled, which he really struggled with. Left to his own devices, prioritizing school was extremely difficult and he quickly developed a hate for learning, fell behind, and had to scramble to finish. I bring this up because I think it’s so cool how people’s perspective and attitude can change based on different experiences and circumstances. Dave just finished up another semester of school, and now only has one year left until he completes his associates in business. He admittedly never wanted to go, and Tyson practically dragged him to visit colleges. Since choosing a school, Dave has had the exact opposite experience he had with homeschooling, and is doing well in college and really enjoying it. He’s putting in a ton of effort, both working a job to afford it, as well as taking the time to be diligent and make good grades; he’s not just skating by for a piece of paper. He’s found that he actually enjoys learning now based on the experiences that he’s had, whereas before, he would break out in hives when looking at math equations. And that’s not the only area he’s grown in through his college experience. All throughout our discussion there was a theme that came up over and over again about his interaction with his classmates. Dave’s personality, specifically in the area of confidence, has grown as well. I heard a psychological theory the other day, that as kids, the personality we develop is based mostly on the foundation of survival, a defense mechanism of sorts. Examples would be becoming a jock to fit in, or the funny guy to alleviate social pressure, or becoming a recluse to avoid others. We all know those people in high school that when we think back, we say to ourselves, “Man that guy was a jerk.” And you know what? He probably was a jerk back then, however, he may not be a jerk now. It’s very possible that this person developed a jerk personality as their defense mechanism. Some of you reading might be thinking, “Yeah, I was the jerk.” But over time, as we leave those teenage years behind, those pieces of our personality start to leave as well, as they are no longer needed to “survive” those social situations. We really start to become who we actually are. Of course, this didn’t come straight from the mouth of John Piper so it probably isn’t true, but the connection I am making is how college gave Dave the opportunity to start to break out of his shell a little bit. The confidence he started to build in his ability to learn and interact in these new social situations has deeply affirmed his abilities and personality. We started to connect this when he discussed initiating study groups with classmates or hanging out with other guys he never would have before, playing D&D. He’s created a lot of strong relationships and memories through his time in college so far, and he would tell you that just because you’ve had a bad experience before, doesn’t mean it will always be that way. A different set of circumstances can completely alter one’s perspective.


One thing that becomes evident about Dave after you’ve talked with him awhile, is that he has a genuine heart for people. He’s always had an attitude of service and stepping up to the plate to help even if he has zero experience in the area he’s serving in. Just think about it. Do you think he’s going to school for an audio engineering degree? Heck no! But that didn’t stop him from taking the time to learn how to work the sound board to make all of the music sound good. And he’s not just doing it just to do it. He is really invested in it and wants to make it the best it can be. There are plenty of times where Dave is legitimately concerned that we will make those who sit closer to the front go deaf, and so he is always testing the levels to make sure that the music can serve you guys the best way possible. Dave also records and edits our podcasts, which took some time and training as well. He saw a need, and without any prior experience, he stepped up and learned what was necessary to fill that need and serve the church. He put it pretty perfectly during our discussion when he said, “There are plenty of jobs that need to be done, but rarely is it the most qualified person who usually fills them, but after some time, they become the most qualified person to do the job.” This mentality is evident through his work with the Serve Senoia Events. The elders saw the passion in Dave to serve, and so they recommended him to serve on the Senoia planning committee for the events. Dave had a total prior experience equaling the equivalent of zero when it comes to sitting in a room with an events team trying to figure out the logistics of an event. The point I am making here is that Dave is great example of being servant hearted to the point of doing whatever it takes to make things better and to serve others. Very often we get caught up in wanting to serve in ways that fit with the skills we already have. That isn’t a bad thing, I don’t need to start singing to add a new vocal range to the band, but could there be areas where we could serve or have a more open heart to service even if it isn’t in our specific area of talent? I think he said it best during our time together, “I go to church to serve, not to be served.” This statement certainly had an impact on me, as I double checked my heart to make sure I had the right attitude and perspective about my service.

I mentioned earlier that Dave said that growing up was a mix of pain and gracious love. Dave has gone through a lot of hard experiences, which is partly why I think he has so much wisdom at his age. It’s hard to not just quote him directly for the majority of this blog because most of what he said is very true. He talked a lot about his perspective on trials and how we all go through them, and that in time, God will bring you through them, and God’s purpose is for you to learn and grow through those to become who He wants you to become. God will always give you what you need. And so, when he was asked what had the biggest impact on his life growing up, he said that the people that surrounded him have had the biggest impact on him. Having godly counsel, being around other believers, and just enjoying fellowship have grown him the most into becoming who he is now, and has caused him to want to have a big impact on others. I think that this perspective is evident in his desire to serve others and work towards the betterment of everyone he comes into contact with. I was so encouraged by the end of our talk. To see the work that God has already done in Dave’s twenty-two years, and to know that He will continue to do a good work makes me very excited as well as very humbled to know that we as a church are benefiting from this work that God has done, as he continues his selfless acts of service for us and those he comes in contact with.

The McClouds | SovHope Spotlight Blog

Adam Vinson

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You’ve seen them and their kids at church, all blonde haired and perfect, and you catch yourself. You say, “Pff. Nobody’s perfect. Right? I mean last I checked, Jesus hasn’t come back yet and I don’t have my glorified body. Trust me, I would know if my body had been glorified.” And yet, you may still have wondered, “What’s it like to be a McCloud?” Well let me tell ya, it is perfect. Okay, I’m embellishing a little…but only a little. Over the last year and half, I’ve really gotten to know the McCloud’s; how they act, raise their kids, live their lives, and I have to say, I’m impressed. Or maybe it’s conviction? Probably both. Let’s just say that after eleven years of marriage, they’ve got life working like a well-oiled machine, but it didn’t all just happen by accident. They’re normal people just like me and you. Well, you might hear more “Dad Jokes” around Adam than normal, but really other than that, they are just like us. But then again, after reading this, it may be harder to make you believe that’s true.

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Jen is now in her fifth year of homeschooling, and the challenge isn’t getting her kids to do the work, it’s how much more work can they fit in. After years of instilling the importance of discipline into her kids, they are finishing their school work ahead of schedule, and have the capacity to do more, so now the question is figuring out what that “more” is. I wasn’t surprised that this was the problem they were facing, and so this is where I pause and tell you things that you already know, but that need to be said anyways. Jen McCloud is one of the most disciplined people that I know. The example that she lives out of how important discipline is in her own life, especially spiritual discipline (she’s pretty much an Old Testament expert), is a source of encouragement for me in my own pursuit. I have seen the fruits of her labor and benefited from them greatly. Now, we all know that she would rebuke title of Old Testament expert if you said that to her face, but this is a safe place people; we can be honest here. Back to my point. What I found interesting was that in my mind, Jen seemed built to homeschool, but she actually felt the opposite before she started. During our time together, she recalled that period before homeschooling, and she felt very strongly that she did not want to take that path. However, in humility, she did something that I don’t know that I do often enough, she prayed a bold prayer that God would change her heart towards homeschooling if that was what He wanted her to do. Well, I think we all know how that turned out! From her perspective, God has really used homeschooling to grow her in ways that she couldn’t have expected, and allowed her to have an impact on her kids in a way she may not have been able to. All in all, she’s very thankful that God changed her heart.

For Adam, the story is not that much different. Sure, the setting is different, the people are different, the job is different, and the food is free, but that’s not what I’m talking about. When asked what he feels like contributed to going from the working in the café, cleaning dishes every day, to being over the budget of development, it was living a bold life and praying bold prayers. One thing he talks often about is flipping the equation, meaning, out of all the good that Chick-fil-A does for him, how can he do more good for Chick-fil-A to where they are getting the better end of the deal by employing him. Unfortunately, Chick-fil-A has set up their company where this is impossible to accomplish. However, that in and of itself is a good way to live, but it wasn’t something that he learned from a class or a professional development day; it’s caused by the work that Christ has done in his life. The opportunities that he’s had, the perspective he maintains at work, is all because of Christ and living faithfully for Him. And I would say that really defines who Adam is, that after the time I’ve spent with him, his ultimate aim and goal is answering the question, “How do I live faithfully to Christ?” I would define Adam as intentional. That seems to be a theme that we talk about often, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of you picked up on that at his last Discipleship Night talk on traditions. Everything Adam does, whether it be working or eating at the dinner table with his family, he takes captive every moment to intentional live faithfully to Christ. When Jordan and I came to eat supper with them, they did not change their routine just because we were there. Instead we got a glimpse into the life of the McCloud’s. Adam lead the family through reading a Psalm and then a time of prayer before we all devoured some really good burgers. He could have easily dismissed the routine for this one evening, but he was intentional with the time that he has with his family despite the circumstances, and ultimately I benefited from watching his faithfulness to Christ in action.

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Alright, enough about Jen and Adam, let’s get to the cool McCloud’s. I think it was in the Moore blog that I highlighted all the benefits of having a sibling that is also your best friend, and that goes for Maggie and Jack as well. Despite a three-year separation and gender differences, they are about as close as one could hope for. They pretty much do everything together, and from what I can tell, they like it like that. For starters, they are both getting some exercise in gymnastics. Maggie’s favorite part of gymnastics is performing on the beam, and I’m pretty sure Jack said his favorite part was jumping in the foam pit. I find that I relate better to Jack on this one. Even at their young age, they recognize a lot of the benefits that come from gymnastics. The one they talked about the most was how important practice is, which started to make a lot of sense after Jack had been summersaulting through the house. When asked about their kids, Adam and Jen said that their favorite part is that Maggie and Jack are old enough to go to places like Six Flags and Whitewater, but that the kids also think it’s cool to be going with their parents. We’ll be sure to call Adam and Jen down to the front and lay hands on them in prayer when all that changes.

Adam and Jen have been faithful to instill the importance of disciplines into their children and I’m ashamed to say that these 10 and 7 year olds have better discipline than I do! Maggie and Jack both do three nights of Bible study with Adam and Jen leading them, and then two mornings out of the week they wake up and do their own Bible reading. Oh yeah, they are also memorizing Romans eight, Jack is spreading the Gospel to his friends at gymnastics, and Maggie is faithful to talk to her accountability partner…who lives in Alabama! Yeah, I’m just going to stop there and let all of that sink in. Now, I know the last thing that Jen and Adam would want is for those of you reading to put them on a pedestal, so to help those of you struggling to not do that I’m just going to remind you of the passage that Paul wrote for moments like this, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” It may be out of context, but we need all the help we can get.

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One of my earliest memories of Adam and Jen was back in youth group at Mount Gilead. We were all driving back from a Disciple Now event and the van we were all in passed the McCloud’s, and as it did, they turned, singing along to some weird song, bobbing their heads back and forth, and making funny faces at all of us. I’ve known Adam and Jen since the ol’ Mount Gilead youth group days, but I would say that it wasn’t until this past year and half that I really started to know them. Adam reached out to me to start meeting together for discipleship, and I’ll be honest, at first, I was a little hesitant. I didn’t have a very strong relationship with Adam at the time, and wasn’t sure we would be able to connect the way I felt that we needed to connect. Does that make me a terrible person? Probably. Why do you think I needed discipleship? I will forever be thankful for the relationship that we started back then. There would be so much that I wouldn’t have learned; whether from the times that we have spent sitting and talking, or from just watching them interact with their family. From that relationship, Jordan and I started meeting with the McCloud’s every other Monday night for discipleship together, and the fruit that we have seen in our lives from these meetings has been incredible to experience, but I know that it’s because of the fruit that Adam and Jen have experienced through their own relationship with God and each other. I feel like throughout this blog, it feels like I’ve been promoting some self-help book, “Living On Mc-Cloud 9: A How To Guide of McCloud Like Living”. That was my attempt to honor the mad “Dad Joke” skills of Adam McCloud. Not quite as good. Earlier, I talked about their discipline and faithfulness, and now I want to highlight one more of their many attributes, commitment. The McCloud’s are people who are extremely committed (just look around at all of the Chick-fil-A cows in their house) but more importantly, they are committed to things that matter most; God, each other, their kids, the relationships they are invested in, and Sovereign Hope. We could not be more blessed to have this family in all of our lives living out a Gospel centered life.

Anna Mitchusson | SovHope Spotlight Blog

Adam Vinson


Anna Mitchusson. The Woman. The Myth. The Legend.

After looking at this picture, you may be thinking, “Wow, I didn’t know she housed a foreign exchange student with a striking resemblance to a young Jeff Goldblum.” That’s actually my brother; the eldest (and favored). I’m calling your attention to this picture because I believe that from looking at it, you can gather information about this woman. Obviously, my father is not in this picture, and neither is my brothers’ (we don’t have the same father, which is unfortunate for this sunburn waiting to happen). That’s important because it already communicates something to us about who she is. I don’t point that out to dredge up the past, but to call to attention that life has happened to this woman, the worst of it, and, from these smiling faces, the best of it. How would I describe Anna Mitchusson to you all? Strong. I have personally seen and experienced some extreme hardships in life with this woman, and I can tell you all that she is not the same person I once knew. Isn’t it interesting how, through trials and hardships, we become stronger? It’s like James says about considering all trials as joy because it produces steadfastness; they grant us the opportunity to be planted firmer in what we believe. She’s been through a lot, and the beauty displayed by what she’s been through is the testament of what James is talking about. Like I said, she is not the same woman that I knew at a younger age, she’s better. She’s more disciplined and determined than ever to become stronger spiritually, mentally, and physically.


Alright, I know that intro was a little heavy. Let’s all just take a breath, and move on to some lighter material, shall we? When I was growing up, my mom was always the “cool mom”. I was never nervous about having friends over, or having her chaperone a field trip because I always knew that other kids would ditch their lame moms and hang out with us. She never held back and was always herself. On a field trip, a kid played a car driving game and wrecked, and she jokingly told him he better stop smoking crack. He was eleven. She was the kind of mom that took a serious interest in what you enjoyed. My brother performed in a lot of plays that she would volunteer for and sometimes also play in. Something that she pins on me as being “my fault” is her being a Falcons fan (because when you’re a Falcons fan, you have to blame someone for getting you into this roller coaster ride of emotions). But that’s what I mean, she really took an interest. She wasn’t a fan of the Falcons until I was, and didn’t just watch it because I did. Heck, I moved out without cable for time and relied on her to text me the scores. What other mom would try to beat Castlevania X on The Super Nintendo before you could, adopt listening to your favorite bands to the point that she became a bigger fan, or scream lyrics to Beatles Rock Band and make you play the drums for 2 hours? Only the most dedicated and coolest. Yeah, there’s no doubt that she was definitely the kind of parent that I hope to become.

But alas, she is slowly putting away her wild side (she hasn’t called out any eleven-year olds for crack use in at least 10 years) and has picked up some new hobbies. One of those hobbies that some of you know of is crocheting. It’s not knitting so don’t call it that. What you may not know, is that she just became a co-creator of a crocheting group in Senoia that might possibly meet at the Anchor. I can see some wild times happening at a few of those meetings. I’m thinking a heated debate on whether chartreuse is considered a yellow or a green that ends with mom saying everyone is on crack. While crocheting isn’t a hobby that I would personally pursue, it does have its benefits. Like how she’s knit…(cough) crocheted me and Jordan a snuggly blanket. I’m all for a hobby that ends with free gifts. Her other main hobby is something that she’s been doing for quite some time now. Exercising. She probably started around the time I entered the 10th grade, and she has yet to quit. She may have turned 55 and have hair that can acquire an unsolicited senior discount at the grocery store, but she can do an hour-long workout full of burpees and donkey kicks with the best of them. The only thing I can do longer than an hour is binge watch Netflix. But you know what they say, we all have our crosses to bear. It’s obvious to me that exercising has become more than just a hobby; it really has become a way of life. I can’t tell you the last time I’ve been around her for less than 30 minutes and she hasn’t brought up a new workout that’s really been “kicking her butt” (her words). In all honesty, it wasn’t until we sat down to talk that I really started to appreciate what she’s been doing. It isn’t easy to stay motivated in doing difficult things by yourself. And while I know that her motivation is to be able to stay in shape so she can physically do anything she wants, like spending a whole day at Six Flags (I did say she was slowly putting away her wild side) the benefits have reached far outside the boundaries of just physical fitness. The discipline it takes to consistently come home every day after work, and immediately exercise takes hard work, but it also challenges how she thinks about her spiritual disciplines. Growing up, she was always the spiritual leader of the home. She consistently took me to church, and even was in a praise band. Oh, how I miss the Sisters In Grace days. But in the recent years, she has grown exponentially in her faith. I think she would say it’s because of a mixture of what has happened in her life, attending SovHope, and also these disciplines that she’s developed through exercising, helping her grow in spiritual discipline. She has committed numerous books of the Bible to memory, and is currently working on Colossians, so next time you see her, ask her to quote some of it. Watching her commitment to growing physically stronger and seeing the correlation to growing spiritually disciplined has challenged my perspective about my discipline and commitment.


To be quite honest, I’ve been dreading this one from the moment we started the Spotlight Blog series, and what better way to come back after some time off than with facing your biggest challenge. How was I to articulate Anna Mitchusson to you all without bias, separating the personal from factual, mother from fellow church member? It took me some time, but I realized that I didn’t need to worry about all of that because there is nothing to separate. In all actuality, most, if not all of you have experienced her the same way that I have. At the beginning I talked about how strong she is, but I think it is only fitting to end with her most important trait, caring. This is evident by the fact that some of you in the Sovhope early years referred to her as “Aunt Anna”, a name that was given to her in the beginning by her association with the Brewer family (being their actual Aunt), but it eventually turned into a feeling rather than a title. To some, she kinda was like the Aunt you never had. A little quirky; unashamed of who she is. She possibly embarrassed you by something she said. Am I talking from personal experience? Maybe. But in the recent years she’s taken on a new role at Sovhope, which is why I felt no need to separate my experiences from her as my mother from being a church member. You all have experienced much of her motherly instinct as I have. Making the coffee, cleaning the windows, sweeping the walkway, taking out the trash, she is working behind the scenes taking care of us by doing the menial tasks that if not done would surely be missed, just as she did in my home. She also greets everyone at the door with a smile and a warm embrace, as if welcoming you into her home as an honored guest on Thanksgiving (but unfortunately without the mashed potatoes). Her warmth and care projects to others what it’s going to be like worshiping with this family of believers, and that’s exactly it. No matter your relation to her, with subtle acts of service and a tremendous amount of care, she makes us all feel like family, like we’re home.

Rachel Brewer | SovHope Spotlight Blog

Adam Vinson


Let’s be honest. Most of you look at the Brewers and think, “Wow. I bet they all got along so well growing up in a Christian Family. They probably sat around, held hands, and sang Kumbaya. Or they woke up every morning and did a family bible study. Yeah. I bet that’s it.” Anyone with kids knows that ain’t happenin. Reality is, when you have four kids under one roof, it doesn’t matter whether you singing Kumbaya or Ozzy Osbourne, things are going to get crazy at some point. Such was the way of life for Rachel Brewer. Life wasn’t always easy for Rachel growing up. I’ll be the first to admit that, mainly because it could be argued that I was partly to blame for why it wasn’t. Listen guys, when you’re young and you’re hanging out with two older cousins who always pick on their sister, you just follow suit and hope you don’t get extricated from the Nintendo 64 play time. It was the natural order of things for us kids. You don’t hang out with the sister. Ever. Unless the older cousin isn’t around. Maybe then you would, but you would definitely never play dress up with her! And even if you did, you would never admit it. You’ve got a reputation to uphold! In all transparency, what I am saying is that growing up, my relationship with Rachel was extremely shallow, and because of that, it stayed that way even into adulthood. I always knew what she liked to do, play dance-dance revolution, or animal crossing, or cutting people’s hair, taking pictures, or calligraphy, but I never knew anything about who she was as a person. I thought I did, from the immature view of a kid who didn’t “play with girls” (especially not dress up!) but I never really knew her, and that’s a shame because over the years I have really grown to treasure my relationship with Rachel, so much so that I have such a regret for not pursuing a relationship sooner. It really started when she moved into Jesse and Courtlynd’s house, and I know what you guys are thinking, “Wasn’t that only like 2 years ago?” I know okay! It wasn’t easy at first. I had obviously carried over some of my preconceived notions about who I thought she was as a kid. I’ve never been more happy to be proven wrong in my life. What I discovered, is that Rachel is so much more than I ever thought she was. To see who she was back then, and how Christ has molded her into who she is now, is incredible. It turns out Rachel and I have a lot in common, from movie genres to our use of sarcasm. Some people have even said we look like brother and sister, and have the same mannerisms. I’m still not sure about that, but I won’t deny it either. What I am sure of, is that while growing up, I didn’t take advantage of really getting to know Rachel, but now I want nothing more than to move on from the past and make her feel valued and welcomed as a person I now deeply cherish.


“Do you work to live, or do you live to work?”

-         Adam Long


Rachel has tried her hand at a lot of things. She’s cut hair, become a Photographer, taught herself calligraphy, and she even used to play the drums. I bet you guys didn’t even know that the drums I play at the church were originally Rachel’s did ya? At one point or another, all of those things were her main source of income – except for drumming, that one never panned out – and now none of them do, and that’s a good thing. There’s the old adage, “It doesn’t feel like a job, if you’re doing something you love”, however, for some people, you should tear that 90’s motivational poster off the wall and throw it in the trash can. For some people, when what they love becomes their job, it seems to suck out the very reason they loved it in the first place, and just becomes a job. For Rachel, she really enjoyed cutting and styling hair. Then she started doing it as a job, and all the fun was sucked right out of the process.

Rachel: I think it would look really pretty if we did this with your hair.

Customer: I don’t care what you think! I want you to make me look like 2007 Britney Spears!

The same thing happened with photography.

Rachel: I think it would look really pretty if we took the picture over here.

Customer: I don’t care what you think! We’re all going to wear denim overalls and sit on this guard rail in front of the Piggly Wiggly! It’s tradition!

And with calligraphy…okay I don’t have a good calligraphy analogy, but the point is that everything Rachel started out doing because she enjoyed and loved doing it, and then decided to make it her job, became a chore and took out everything she loved about them. She never had time for friends or family, she never had time for church events, and she never had time to pursue what she loved about each of those passions. So, what is she doing now? She’s working as a bank teller. A job that pays the bills, gives her a consistent schedule that allows her time to be with friends and family and attend church events, but most importantly, supports those passions that she loves without the pressure of it being her job. Thankfully I told Adam “No thanks,” when he said the church wanted me to quit my job and pursue the blog full time. I really dodged a bullet on that one, because what Adam Long said really resonated with me. Some people do have the dream job they always wanted (cough…Adam Vinson…cough) where they go into work every day and it still is a job, but it’s a job they love and are so excited to be doing. Other people have jobs that allow them to do what they love outside of work. The job isn’t anything fancy or something to talk about at cocktail parties, because a lot of people at Sovhope go to cocktail parties - don’t act like we don’t know who you are - but what you will talk about at those parties is what you are passionate about, what your job allows you to do outside of it. That’s what Rachel is really loving about her job at the bank. It’s nothing flashy, but it doesn’t have to be. She has finally set herself free from the feeling of her passion vs. the job. Now the job serves her passions, and that’s exactly how she wants it to be.


Some of you might be very familiar with Rachel’s work as a Photographer because you paid her to take some pictures of you by a nice tree, or a calm stream somewhere you don’t live to give the impression that you’re cooler and more sophisticated than your coworkers…no? Yeah…me neither. Unfortunately, as I stated above, photography fell into that place where the passion started to really feel like a job. She never had time to pursue it creatively and on her own terms. So, she quit, and that was the best decision she’s ever made because her passion as a photographer has reignited and most of the credit is due to selling the digital and going traditional. I’m talking about film here. That’s right, Rachel is not getting paid to take pictures anymore, she’s paying to take pictures. I can already hear the haters saying, “I shot on film before it was cool.” No, you shot on film because that was all that existed, Grandpa. Shut it. I’m actually surprised there hasn’t been a bigger resurgence into film. It does have its pros and cons. Like I said before, Rachel is now paying for her own pictures because she has to send them off to be developed, but that’s a minor cost compared to the joy that comes from the process of shooting on film. It feels more like an art form when using a film camera. There are no redo’s. No looking back deleting the bad shots. No unlimited amount of chances to get the right shot. If you blinked, oh well. Happen to sneeze during the last shot I had? Too bad Grandma. Should’ve taken your Allegra. It takes precision and work to master film photography. Every shot has to be precise and intentional, with a thorough knowledge of lighting and its effect, which sounds like a pain in the butt, but the payoff is incredible. That’s why Rachel loves shooting on film. There is nothing like the feeling of sending in her film, not knowing if any of the shots she took are even worth a scab, and then receiving back some of the most incredible pictures she’s ever shot. I’m not kidding here. I’ve seen the pictures, and they are truly incredible. Sure, it may be harder than using a digital camera, but that’s part of what makes it so enjoyable for Rachel. The hard work she’s putting in is paying off, and she’s not even getting paid for it. That’s when you know you’ve found a true passion.


If you had told me that Rachel and I would be as close as we are now, I probably would’ve thought the rest of the human race had been wiped clean off the motherland. I mean how could I even be that close to her? We never even played dress up together! Not one time! And certainly not with someone else who could confirm whether or not we had! Unfortunately, I could very well see a reality where we aren’t as close because I thought that was going to be my reality, but thankfully, I was proven wrong by the undeniable fact that she’s an incredible person. What I appreciate most about Rachel is her independent spirit; the fact that she is stable, grounded, and does not bend to anyone’s will except for the Lord’s. When I’m with Rachel, I always know I am getting her real authentic self. There are no cover ups. There’s no fake smiles or laughs. If you’re not funny, she’ll tell you. Trust me. I know exactly what I am going to get with Rachel, and I would hate if I got anything other than her authentic self. I also love the work that the Lord has done in her heart. This is something I get to witness first-hand, since she has a discipleship relationship with JuJu, and through that, I see her determination to exemplify Christ and glorify her King. My eyes had been closed for too long to the reality of who Rachel Brewer truly is, and I am so thankful to finally be cherishing her as one of my closest family members, and as a church, we are certainly blessed and fortunate for Rachel being a part of our faith family.