As you may already know, I am working on a new fine art design collection. At the beginning of the year I felt I was to go and explore my craft in a new direction from what was my "usual" go to ideas. I have BIG ideas and plans for this and I am confident as I go down this avenue it will only get better with time and practice.
When I truly decided to give my gift back to the Lord something changed.
First I heard "You giving your gift back to Me means that you are choosing to collaborate and display what My heart desires."
WOW, I didn't expect that.
Then I heard, "Ok, now that I have taught your heart how to heal through creating with Me it's time to truly share that with others and display my glory."
This was a scary but good thing. Scary because it has caused me to TRUST Him in a new way. Good because it is confirmation on so many levels spiritually and creatively.
I have always prayed 'give me Your eyes to see, Your ears to hear and Your mind to know'. I felt like this step in my art was another way for Him to challenge and answer those prayers. I truly want His desires to be my desires and I want His thoughts to be my thoughts.
I come to you today with this little snippet of what I have been learning in the process of co-creating this new collection with Him.
Let me stop right here and say the healing of our hearts is never at a stopping point. That won't happen until we reach heaven. But it is an ongoing process of becoming like Him. Weeding, tilling, seeding, growing and bearing the fruit there of. So just when you think you you're "good to go", be aware that the enemy is still out there prowling around seeking to destroy you, your purpose, and gifts. But more importantly the Lord wants to stir and cultivate our hearts to be more like Him. Maybe it's more of sanctification process than healing. None the less it causes us to become more like Him.
He has healed me from so much in this life and continues to do so faithfully as I continue to meet Him in my studio and at the easel where I may medititate, contemplate and execute all that I do with Him and for Him.
So as I have been engaged in this new work I am continually hearing Holy Spirit speak. Sometimes I write it down and sometimes I do not. It depends on what He is saying. If it is something that I want to remember or want to share to encourage others with then I will write it down. But a lot the time it is just Him spending time with me, teaching me and coaching through my process. I hear Him encourage my heart in that moment when my confidence eludes me. I feel the gentle nudges of a good nurturer and the challenges of a good coach. Then He is the one I hear say "well done" and affirms my heart and creative attempts. He is all of these things to me in that moment.
Over the past few days of painting the hours have flown by. I've been so lost in the process trying to execute the vision and my desired outcome. I am very pleased with it so far. This really was His inspiration because it is so far from my other work. But I keep hearing the whisper "Just trust Me". Gulp! Every time I respond "Ok." and then I keep going.
There are also times I hear Him tell me "leave it" or "let it rest", meaning it's time to stop. It is our human nature to keep working it and we can get impatient and then all that does is lead to a mess and frustration. Over the last two and a half years I've been learning to live unrushed. He gently pulls me back and reminds me He is orchestrating while I am showing up and all I can do is all I can do at the moment.
With my current work (and it has definitely been work) I'm quite close to finishing ( I think. LOL) but seriously I feel the end for this piece is near. I have almost 40 hours in this piece so far. It will feel so good to finish it.
I titled this blog "My Paintings TEACH me" for a reason and here is why.
Ultimately we know that Holy Spirit is our Teacher and He is absolutely doing that. But today it was the painting that "spoke" to me.
As I was putting in some details today with gold I realized I was holding back. Was I restraining for technique purposes? So I thought, until I saw and heard it!
“Don’t be afraid to apply the gold confidently!”
"Don't be afraid to be bold and shine!" I wanted to cry at this point.
I stopped and looked at the painting and the gold was bright, it was bold and it was center of attention. It was shining...
Why would this be a problem in real life? As long as I can remember I have been one that loves to live life to it's fullest but many in my life have tried to shut that part of my personality down. Squashing me down, making fun of me, silencing my voice and many times making me feel down right worthless. I know I have a big personality, It's the one He gave me and I'm told it "fills" the room.
For the longest time I thought this was a fault but I've been this way all of my life, this is the way He made me. This is like Him. He fills the room.
Which tells me that I am becoming more like Him. (tears are falling as I write)
Over the past few years I have embraced that even more. I have learned to love the person He created me to be and desperately want others to experience this freedom in their life. It truly is a freedom and it is wonderful. As well as I want my art to heal, inspire and create that desire in people!
Living a bold, bright and empowered life comes with responsibility. People are watching. Some to follow, some to compare, some to cut down. None the less people are watching and all I can say is, this is me and this new work is an example of what He has done in me and I believe what He is doing through me.
The Lesson I learned today was not exactly a surprise but an unexpected one. I didn't expect my painting to tell me "don't be afraid to shine." That is essentially what it was saying back to me.
Yes, it was the Holy Spirit but He used my painting to TEACH me.
Embrace who God made you to be. Embrace your gifts and use them for His glory. Don't be afraid to be bold and shine!