our story | ANDREA + LYNSEY
When I was least expecting it, God handed me a best friend, a new passion and a business that He chose just for us.
Christmas morning I opened up a generous gift from my mom - a “professional” camera to document my new life overseas - or at least that was the plan. The next day I broke the news to her that I wouldn’t be moving, my entire life was shifting, oh and um, that my daughter and I would be moving in with her.
The first day of the new year, I went to the only place I knew I could find a glimmer or hope - church. I showed up every week alone and one day decided to volunteer. I took that new camera and I joined the photo team with no idea what was really in store for me. The fire inside of me was officially lit and it burned greater than I could have imagined for this beautiful new gift of mine.
I have always been an artist - but this new medium - photography - this was it. God is funny like that. He took this tool that was meant for something completely different, something that was ripped away from me and used it for His purpose and His promise for me.
The Elevation Church photo team is where I met Lynsey. I wish I could say we were fast friends, but we would just casually work along side each other every weekend until one day, she asked me to collaborate on something. We didn’t have a plan on what but we met up, did what we do best - ATE and just talked for a while. Then she did this weird thing that people in 2017 didn’t do anymore. She called me. Like just to talk. Weird, right? Well, from then on we were best friends and pretty much haven’t hung up the phone since. One day we got on the phone and shared with each other the exact same idea that had been dropped into our minds separately about a unique direction for our photography and boom we were going into business together and #levelupCLT was born.
At our first “business” meeting, we came up with a plan, created websites and crafted up this totally random tagline - “Level UP!” It got us both so fired up and we knew that was it. The very next day, we went to church together and Pastor Steven preached a message about “Making Moves”. As usual, he was preaching hard and speaking major truth but this particular moment I will never forget - he is climbing up the stairs, stomping his feet and screamed at the top of his lungs, “IT’S TIME TO LEVEL UP!!”
Lynsey and I looked at each other and just started crying. We both knew immediately that God was screaming at us to stop standing still, stop letting our circumstances keep us from His promise and to get out of our own way and LEVEL UP - together. I think this is the key part of our story. God spoke to us both separately and merged us together for a purpose that we are meant to pursue together.
This has been one of the hardest and most rewarding years of my life, both in business and personal life and without God’s unmatched grace and favor, my best friend and business partner, I was sure to crumble but I did not.
Every single time we have trusted God in this business, every time we let go of things that did not align with Him or with us, He has proven over and over again that this is OUR calling, OUR purpose and that it is to be used to minister to others.
This all stirred up from a piece of equipment meant for another purpose and my desperate pursuit of God. I know that as I continue to chase Him, everything else just clicks. This is only the beginning.