The BE Project – In a world where you can be anything…. What will you be?

Meet Shelbi – her word for the 2023 BE Project is Connection

What word did you choose and why?


I chose the word Connection. There is purpose in connection. I can love and serve others through connection. I’m connected in the lives of my children. I don’t have to worry about where I fit in, because the Lord is the one doing the connecting, for His Will. I have a responsibility to steward the connections around me. 

  My word this year actually came from a dream. The Lord began to show me images of how he’s connecting things, countries, people and families in a broad view. Then the dream zoomed way in and I began to see how I fit into parts of those connections that He is making. It’s a reminder that He is the one doing the connecting, not me. I don’t have to worry about where I fit in, or force myself into anywhere I don’t feel welcome because I am already where I’m supposed to be, forging the connections that need to be made. There is Peace in knowing that I don’t have to strive, and a confidence that I really am important to God’s plan, I just need to steward the gift of connection. Every day reveals a little piece of that puzzle, and at the end of the year I’ll get to see how it has all connected to something greater than myself.

If you could go back and talk to a younger version of yourself, what would you say?

            If I could talk to younger Shelbi, I would tell her to go find Andrew as soon as you can and don’t waste any more of your time. Aside from that, I’d tell her that she is amazing just the way she is, and she doesn’t have to try to be like those other girls. I’d tell her to love her body, to love her biracialism, and just how unique and incredible she really is. I’d tell her that she has real reasons to be confident and she doesn’t have to fake it. I’m not sure if there was a specific moment where that shifted for me, but over time through the time I spent reading, working on myself, learning how to live vulnerably and from that really learning how to help people, I began to live truly confidently. 

            If my kids hold on to any piece of advice from me as they go through their own life struggles, I hope they remember that it always comes back to Love. Perfect Love casts out all fear. Through everything they can hold fast to the Love of the Father, which transforms to love for others and even for yourself – you can solve any problem that way. 



What is The BE Project?

Have you ever stopped to think about who or what you want to be?  Most often there is a word that drives you.  If you sit in the silence and really think about what type of person you want to be… there will be a word, sometimes more than one word, that will guide you along and push you to keep being a better version of yourself.  This photo project has become something that has touched my heart and hopefully those that have participated. I chose to shoot all of the images in black and white because I wanted the least amount of distractions.  Just the human and the word.   This project is the stories of some amazing people, their stories, and what these words mean to them.  Some have participated each of the 4 years we have done this, some are new each time.  It’s an amazing honor to follow along in their journey and document who they are becoming.

Want to read more stories from others in our community and their BE words?  Head over to the BE Project Page and read the stories of the amazing humans that have participated. 

I challenge you to find a word that resonates with you.  Who do you want to strive to be?  What word leads you day to day?  Join us in our project – what word will describe who you want to BE?

Waiting List for 2023 BE Project – Click Here