My birth name is Jacob. Given to me by my mother and named after the character in the Bible. For 12 years, I went by it, until middle school, where the nickname "Jake" stuck around. In the Old Testament, Jacob was a jealous type. He was jealous over his brother's given birthright, as the first born son. He was a liar, a cheat, and a deceiver. He had at least 13 children, with multiple wives.
For 34 years, I have been the origin of my name. As afraid of becoming my own birth father as I can be, but beyond that, I've been very similar to the person I was named after. I've completely tried to not become these things, but for as much as I run from it, I've felt that I've only fallen deeper and deeper into the persona that I never wanted to be.
Jacob wrestled with God, and boy, do I ever. I've fought for my own selfish gains in life, I've lied, I've cheated, and I have deceived, because I was selfish. But I was given a few talents in this life that weren't the product of these things I just mentioned. And without these talents, I would just be a very tattooed man, driving a crappy car, with no job and not much ambition in this world. As this project started, I knew that I had to take it a step further than my last one. I was really trying to listen, rather than simply act and all I kept hearing was ... "Go. Use this talent and honor Me with it." So, I started it. 24 days in, and as each day goes by, I'm peeling these layers back, trying to not just tell a story, but lead even a single one of you to a place where you're wondering what it is about me, that makes me, me. This project is so much bigger than a photo and some words behind the image. It's not just a pretty face or some interesting landscapes. And that, is why I do this. I'm not trying to run from my calling anymore. If I've got a voice, I will use it. If I've got a talent, I will use it. If I can help save one of you from drowning, I will do it.
I, like so many of you don't see myself in the ways that God does. I beat myself up, time and time again. I fail, I stress out about it, I wrestle, and I definitely do not always win. But as this project started, as it continues, and as it will keep going, I have heard something else.
I'm not just Jacob, the liar. I'm not just Jacob, the deceiver. I'm not just Jacob, the guy who fails but gets back up. I'm Jacob, and I am forgiven. #UntilWeMeetAgainProject Day 24.
Photos of Hanna, shot with my Nikon D800 & D700. Sigma Art 50mm and Sigma Art 35mm. Assistance on this shoot, by her friend Brooklyn.