The other night my husband and I were going to sleep and as usual, we were talking for a while before we drifted off. I'm honestly not sure how this conversation started, but we eventually got to the subject of my artwork. Then my wonderful husband does what he so often does - he got quiet for a moment and said in the kindest way possible the truth that was on his mind.
He felt bothered by one of my recent pieces - the one that says “Anxiety is experiencing failure in advance.” It wasn’t the style or the piece itself he was bothered by, but what the statement said. Now most of you are probably thinking, “How on earth could that bother him? It’s a poignant statement, another great cheesy quote.” And that’s how I took it, for nothing more than an inspirational quote to share with my little social media audience.
But he said something that struck a chord in me. It struck a chord that had already been humming softly for a while now, but in that moment God used him to bring it to the forefront and gave me the clarity that I needed.
He said that quote sounded like a piece of self help advice.
Now, as a Christian, self-help is a non-sequitur. It just doesn’t jive with the truth of the Bible. I know that I can never help myself enough to be good, or righteous, perfect, or whole. I am nothing without my Savior and that’s a fact.
My husband and I kept talking and he put into words what had been bothering me underneath the surface for some time now. I actually began verbalizing this in Blog Post #7, and I’d like to flesh it out more here.
Like the title of my post says, I’m finding my own voice. I’ve never been a public writer or shared my art so publicly either. (Social media makes that ridiculously easy). So this is all very new to me.
When I started writing my blog, I believe I was subconsciously thinking about what people would want to hear. I was trying to imagine what my audience would look like, and I pictured this massive audience of artists from all different backgrounds and walks of life. My goal is to help those people fulfill their artistic and entrepreneurial dreams just like I do. I was also listening to podcasts, one in particular, that I began to emulate myself after. We stand on the shoulders of giants, right?
But this individual doesn’t openly proclaim his faith, even though he personally told me he does confess to be a Christan. He hides it, even in the most deep discussions, ones that if you are a believer you can’t discuss without God being the foundation and driving force. He just won’t say God’s name or explain that Jesus is his strength in any of his public work.
This is what I was modeling myself after. He’s super successful, helpful, and everything he says makes a lot of sense. So I began doing a lot of what he does. After all, I want to be successful too.
Without realizing it, I was starting to leave God out of my writings and was only giving good advice just like this person. To be honest, I was having a hard time, and I didn’t know why. What I was writing felt choppy, incohesive, and just… not me.
I chalked it up to this whole thing being a new endeavor, so of course I’m not good at it yet. But truthfully, if it’s something that I’m passionate about, it should flow out of me. Yes, it will require thought, but from that thought, because I love what I’m doing and writing about, it should have a flow. Most of it hasn’t. It would take me a long time to write it… and I realize now that’s because I was subconsciously trying to say something without God that I only know how to say with God.
So, because God is good and always calls his sheep back to the fold, I will bring my writings back to where they belong.
Everything in life is a process, and through this process of writing and iterating, I’m finding my voice in a sea of voices. I’m a Christian. I’m an artist. I’m a nerd. I’m a goofball. I’m a wife. I’m a daughter. I’m a friend. I’m someone who wants to help other artists and share my art with the world because I love making people happy.
I do hope I have at some point made you, my reader, happy.
In the spirit of that effort, I’d like to give a gift along with today’s post; a free wallpaper download for your desktop or Apple device!
Tim Wright is an amazing, and I seriously mean amazing, photographer who captures memories in a super special way. He approached me and wanted to do a hand lettering photo overlay piece together. So of course I accepted!
The piece is song lyrics from Citizens & Saints, a wonderful gospel-centered worship band and features one of Tim’s beautiful ocean photos.
I definitely plan to do more collabs with Tim, so be prepared for more awesome pieces to come!
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
- Romans 8:38-39
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