I was complaining and bitter in my teenage years about my ‘lack of talent’, as I called it. I knew people that had so much talent it just oozed out of them. It seemed I had been passed over and was at the end of the line when they handed talent out. I had a secret yearning to be creative but was unable to express myself, so I became jealous and frustrated.
Then Jesus came into my life and I began the process of transformation!
‘From glory to glory, He is changing me’, became the thread of hope that began to weave through my being. Over and over it sang in my spirit until I believed it to be truth. I started to accept and then like the person that God had created me to be! (Believe me, that has been a process over the last 43 years!) I was living in the time when the sayings ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade’, and ‘God don’t make no junk’, were touted on posters you could put up on your walls. I wanted out of the prison of inability, shyness, and fear that crippled me from trying what I saw other people doing. Surely, God had not forgotten me. Surely, He had given me one gift. One gift to express all the feelings that I had inside that seemed to be in a locked box that I could not open.
Slowly I experimented with writing and started writing poetry and putting my thoughts down in a journal. Taking a class, I learned calligraphy and then I wondered if I could paint. It was scary to try but the yearning in my soul was so strong to create that I was almost driven to keep trying. Sometimes I was privileged to babysit for a friend that had an incredible way of decorating her home. After putting her children to bed I would walk through the rooms in her home and study how she put small arrangements together that spoke to my soul. I spent hours outside, looking at the sky, land, and plants, allowing them to settle deep into me. Taking long drives, just me and my car, I would take the back roads feasting on God’s creation. Even food looked beautiful to me, arranged tastefully on pretty plates.
I bought a set of oil paints and some brushes and decided I would learn how to paint. For a few years I painted, most of it was not very good, but my soul was happy. I learned to be patient with myself and I grew in my walk as a child of God as I communed with my Creator. I started learning more about Him as I created and became more peaceful inside.
Life took a turn and I put the paints and brushes away. For twenty years I did not touch them. During those years I learned crafts, flower arranging, tole painting, scrapbooking, photography, with a little of this and a little of that. Joys, sorrows, raising a family, pain, happiness, good times and bad, the years went by. After a particularly dark time in my life, I knew I was beginning to heal when I started yearning to be creative again. A good friend who is an artist encouraged me to come to her studio and learn to paint with acrylics. I was hooked! I decided I loved to paint and that I would put everything else away and concentrate on what I loved to do.
I will never forget the day when one of my students (I work in an elementary school) asked me if I was an artist.
I replied, “Yes, I am an artist”.
That simple statement cemented something deep in my spirit and I have been on a journey that has been amazing. It continues as I stretch myself to learn new things and with that, I learn a little more about who I am and whom God made me to be.
Editor’s Note: This is an incredible story, isn’t it? It’s so inspiring for those of us yearning to express ourselves creatively but perhaps haven’t tried yet. Or maybe those of us who “put the brushes away” and closed the cupboards of creativity, waiting for the day to open them again. What a reassuring comfort knowing that God doesn’t hold back His gifts, choosing who gets to be creative and who doesn’t. Creativity is for anyone and everyone who wants it! Exploring His love for you and your identity in Him through art (of any form) is so rewarding.
Can you find yourself in this story?
Can you relate?
If so, comment your thoughts down below and let’s talk about it!