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I have dreamed of words and of art. I even dabbled in painting, long ago. I wrote poetry and hid behind metaphors. However, I imagined these as hobbies irrelevant for adulthood, at least for mine. Art of any kind was not considered a career, a talent maybe, but not something to pour your whole life into. But I’ve since rejected that idea, entirely.
Art isn’t just the kind you hang on walls. There is art in every soul, the creative Force we carry, varied and vastly different in our own way. And when we are called His own, His creative Spirit living within us makes us alive to it.
I’ve learned to embrace this kind of art. I’ve begun to throw myself at the wind to be blown wherever my words lead me. I’ve made a choice to invest and expend right here, with myself. I will acknowledge and no longer deny (or avoid) what God wants to do with these very hands and soul. And I acknowledge the same in you too.
In a world where people are shutting down their blogs and walking away (for a season or forever?), where the whole writing world is in this weird place, here I am starting over.
No matter the medium, whether it be canvases, acrylics, charcoal, words, photos and images, blogging, or our own imagination, when we share them, we are open to scrutiny. And that is enough to shut us down before we even begin. For this reason, I spent years hiding my words in a black binder before I completely destroyed it. Eventually, I did go back to writing , obviously. But it took time.
Pouring ourselves into the art of living courageously takes baring parts of our soul. It humbles us. And when we decide to move forward, to make art anyway, to put ourselves out there to be seen, we can be paralyzed with fear. It can bring us to our knees and knock the breathe out of us. But also, it can be beautiful and Glorifying. Every leaving, dying breathe makes room for the Spirit to give back some holy air.
In time, we become aware of our insecurities, our self doubts, our fickle egos, until we finally look them dead in the eye. We realize these things have kept us prisoners in our own mind, fear behind every trick. But when we see them clearly, that is the first hurdle that enables us to be equipped for the art of courage.
As I considered a new direction, a theme began to rise to the surface. At first it was a nibble, bobbing up and down on the water, just enough for me to see it but not enough to reel it in. Every time I thought about what I enjoy writing, besides faith and the church, the bobber would bounce before being pulled under. It was like that, several nibbles, waiting, watching, then a tug, then another tug on the line before the bobber disappeared and before long I caught my theme. To confirm it even further, I perused my ancient blog posts and sure enough, the theme had been there since 2009. Nothing new.
What does that mean exactly? It means we get to hone in on fear, draw it out, bring it into the full light of day and see it for what it really is.
It means we’re able to join the living, breathing, art of courage. Let’s continue this journey together, shall we?
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What have you been called to do that quakes your core? What has nibbled at your insides, knowing and expecting, that is drawing you away from your comfort zones? What next step do you need to take?
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