As an artist, I have questions about my art. How do I know this isn’t my own desire? Am I making this up? Am I being selfish by pursuing this desire? I tend to run from the questions though, skipping around them, not really asking them, because I still don’t feel qualified for the task. But God does not call the qualified; rather, He qualifies those He calls.
So the question I must ask myself is this: Am I willing to trust God to bring me to where He has called me? And If so, do I believe that He will give me the ability to do what it is He has called me to do?
What does it look like for the artist to move into her world fully alive and available? Reject the temptation to believe you have to wait for a new set of circumstances, a different job, or a new setting. Being who you already are no matter the circumstance of your life is what it means to release the art you were made to live. Respond to God where you are as you are. - A Million Little Ways.
The first thing we must do is show up.
Perhaps you are trembling at the thought of stepping out with your art. Perhaps you feel stuck, unable to move, frozen at the thought that maybe your art won’t be accepted by others. Or maybe you don’t feel ready or fully prepared to release it.
As a prophetic painter in my church, I often feel unprepared or ill-equipped for the task. But I come. I show up. I offer God my hands and my heart and I partner with Him to release something beautiful through my unique offering of worship. I may not feel equipped. But I show up. And He delights in it.
In her book, Emily lists eight statements that keep us from showing up, from releasing our art. I am going to list the four that I struggle with the most.
- I’m not cut out for this. We may not feel cut out for it, but that’s okay. The truth of the matter is, we aren’t. Only with God are we able to lay hold of it and release it.
- Someone else can do it better. This is a big one for me. And perhaps this statement is true for you, in some ways. Maybe someone can do it better. But there is no one who will offer our art to the world like you or I can. There will alway be someone else who can sing better, write better or paint better. But there may be a first time when the art we fearlessly release touches the heart of another and brings hope, life and healing like no other’s art can.
- I have nothing to offer. This can be another huge stumbling block. But if we are honest, we must believe that we do, in fact, have something to offer. The God of the universe uniquely fashioned each one of us with a purpose.
You were made in the secret place, woven together on purpose with threads made from sacred longings that come not only from you but from the heart of God — He wove you together with a personality and you bring your own you-ness to the table. – A Million Little Ways.
- Who do you think you are? So often when we show up, there is that voice in the deep, dark places of our minds that ask, “who do you think you are?” If you find yourself asking, “am I really a singer”, “am I really a writer”, “am I really an artist”, chances are you are. The question “who do you think you are” comes from a place of self doubt. So, let’s fight that question with answers before it takes over.
You are a poem written inside the person of Christ and exist to carry out his inner desire. You are an image bearer and you have a job to do. Don’t let that question derail you. – A Million Little Ways.
As the beloved of God, let’s release our art out of the overflow of our relationship with Him. Let’s show up, just as we are, with what we have been given. Let’s not allow the voice of doubt, fear and discouragement hold us back.
Even so, we must recognize that it is possible to uncover the art we were born to make and show up to release it, only to be met with silence, closed doors and a seemingly impossible artless road ahead. The lack of movement isn’t because of fear, sin or lack of belief. Sometimes it’s simply God asking us to wait. – A Million Little Ways.