Updated: Jun 16
One of the most surprising things that has created growth, maturity, and boldness as a person as well as increased communication and skills as an artist is instructing, teaching, leading.
It has also been a key element in increasing my faith.
I was terrified! I'd never done that before, I had absolutely no desire to do that...and frankly, I was enjoying life in my lil studio creating as I pleased. I was doing commissioned work, creating in freedom with no judgement, privately mentoring others, and going my own, under the radar, way.
I did my first packed out event, totally winging it, dreading the moment, and filled with all the human emotion and anxiety that happens when you stand before others being filtered through their experience and expectations. Being encouraged to give God my yes and just show up, nearly 4 years of those classes taught me what I needed to learn and lead me to what is being created now.
What I know now that I never would have learned had I said no is that when you step into new territory, the first thing that happens is opposition.
Looking back, the first and worst opposition came from the most unlikely source...it came from me! The narrative was quick, strong, and effective like the snap of a whip that leaves a slash wound.
"Who am I to lead?, I'm uneducated, untrained. What do I have to share?, Why would anyone listen to what I have to say? I don't look good enough to stand in front of a group? They have no idea how flawed I am, but they will see Why would anyone listen to me?...and on and on..."
Every body issue, every insecurity, every flaw was on display as I stood in front of the mirror in the restroom hearing all of the crowd noise on the other side of the door...and then I took a deep breath and a word of truth came over me..."You do not see yourself the way I see you...be grateful" I suddenly did not want to miss this moment. If someone had opened that door and said "you don't get to do this tonight", I would have been devastated! What a contrast! Right?!
I opened that door and did a new thing. It wasn't perfect. It had a lot of moments of fear of failure and feelings of frailty and inferiority...But...BUT!
That was a beginning that I marked as a beginning that was connected to several other beginnings...
*like stepping onto a plane and landing in a foreign land to speak to women who spoke another language about sexual abuse and overcoming before I could really call myself an overcomer...
*like driving South by myself to submit and learn in the midst of those who know more than me about art and creativity even though I felt I didn't belong...
*like teaching a few semesters about creativity in a ministry school to future pastors, missionaries, and upcoming leaders about the importance and depth of creative communication...
*like being invited to speak to the art community in Savannah, GA (home of the Savannah College of Art and Design) about my self- taught work...
AND this is just a few!
The great revelation that motivates me to keep stepping is that it's NOT about me! I actually get to do this! Weakness and flaws are still on display, but God uses all of that and I wonder would His use of me be as effective for me and others if I were a bit more polished?
So, my knee jerk, opposing narrative doesn't last as long as it did that day. I still look in the mirror and remind myself that I don't see myself the way the Father sees me. I put on the warrior spirit He gives and walk onto the battlefield clothed in His armor and still shaking and turning several shades of red (everyone who has ever taken a class or heard me speak is familiar with this)
He just wants my yes and to show up as me.
My desire is to create an atmosphere in my studio for these small group workshops where people just say yes and show up as their authentic self.
Opposition is squashed with gratitude and knowing that we GET to do this!
to be expectant of an opposing attack who's goal is to stop that first step toward a dream... Opposition is certain and it comes when we take a step in new effective, influential territory that has the potential to have an eternal impact.
Choose gratitude, say yes, show up...and remember, we begin from the victory line and we have the honor of running the race.
In Christ, you are enough...and He doesn't call the the perfect and polished, He equips the flawed called.
Blessings to you