Reflections of My Heart!
Please be patient with me today as I digress from the devotions.
I hope you have discovered challenges for your spiritual walk in my writings. My desire is to create space for you and meditations that will affect both your life and your art/ creativity. Personally, I don’t think one can be separated from the other. (Being a Type Four in the Enneagram explains that.1 ) Do you look at your creative adventure with God as a sacrifice of praise? Can you see your writings through the eyes of worship? This calls for intentionally spending time with God to see what is on His heart for you. In other word using a form of spiritual discipline to seek God’s face for your art, for your life.
The devotions are also meant to bring up a few questions in your creative approach you might not have considered before. For example: is art involved with justice, how does God express His heart today through creativity, is God seen in secular art? Response of your thoughts and discussion are encouraged.
Now to today’s post. I am stepping into the vulnerable waters of my personal space. Come and join me.
At the end of each post I draw you into a time of contemplation. I ask you to:
RECEIVE, REFLECT, RESPOND,
to the devotions I shared and the time you spend with God in the genre of your choice. I think it is only fair for me to share with you how my creative journey is going. ☺
First and foremost I know- God is Good, all the time. This includes the times my words do not flow. This is true when the photo app does not work as my mind’s eye envisions the art. This is true when I can’t understand certain requirements to upgrade my presentation. This is true when my mind feels as though everyone else is better at things then I am.
It has been on tough on me lately. I have been trying to see life through the Lens of God’s grace and acceptance. I know My Creator loves me, but sadly, through my tears, my anger, my pain, loving myself was/is very hard.
I analyzed. I prayed. I wrote. Finally I reached something tangible because even though I don’t completely feel out of the forest, I found two constants running through the debts of my emotions.
Type Fours get ready (small drum roll)——–
Envy and Comparison.
For me, these two sins are a deadly duo. Type Fours are not the only ones who experience such an emotional attack on our walk in life, but it does seem that we do have a tendency to be a bit more susceptible to this upset.2 (Creatives of all types, how do these two enemies of our art and life show up in your walk?)
In my case the attacks come:
- from looking at other peoples’ accomplishments in creativity (and my lack),
- how quickly something is understood by people in my field but I am really slow to catch on.
- I see myself surrounded by “shoulds”. This comparison comes as I draw out expectations to meet certain standards and everyone else is whizzing by with their accomplishments. Where do I see myself? Still on first place or wondering why I need to do the activity in the first place?
If you identify with any of these, you are not crazy. You do not need to handle the internal battle on your own. These natural battles and more will arise on your journey in creative expressing/ living. This is the time where the deeper/ closer walk with God comes in.
The words of the Sunday School song—
Yes Jesus Loves, Me-The Bible tells me so.
are filled with absolute truth. I don’t want a theological debate here, but I need something in the words and beyond words to run its course in my soul when Envy and Comparison are battling for my peace of mind.
What is my course of action?
I need to stop and allow TRUTH to sink into my heart. I have to ask the Holy Spirit to move in my heart. I can’t just say “get out”, and brush my hands with a finished flare. I have to ask the Holy Spirit to clean out my heart and remove the rubbish so Truth is what I Breathe. This may take time. This is what needs to happen to move my words. I cannot try just having the words move my words.
This post is a time to stop. I do not mean stop creating. I am asking you to stop and breathe. If there is a nudge from the Holy Spirit, take time with a friend, go out for coffee and confess. Confess where everything or anything out there is having a bigger affect on your life than God.
If the creative “calling” is chaotic and it’s yelling is louder than the simple truth of “Jesus Loves Me”, consider a time out with Jesus as a possible next choice.
Does the stopping and asking mean the change will happen quickly? Sadly, there are no guarantees to an immediate difference. I will say, if you do not stop and talk to God it may never happen.
Is it important to you for people to stop and take the time to listen to what you are sharing? How do you respond when God asks you to stop and listen to the Words of Life He shares with you?
1 If you are interested in finding out more about the Enneagrams Type Four of Nine Types, you can read THE ROAD BACK TO YOU by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2016)2 Referring to Type Fours being susceptible to ENVY and COMPARISON :Ibid.