Collaborating with the wonderful people at Austin Ridge Bible Church was a special experience in lots of ways. I got to talk about the spiritual concepts behind my artwork, hang out with the creative geniuses who filmed me while I painted, and participate in their vision for a series of sermons talking about when our hearts and the truth of the gospel collide and what happens when we follow Jesus in those moments.
After a few hours of filming, I packed up and went home and didn't think about it again--until I decided to write a post about what I learned through this experience. Here it is:
When I look at the things I want for my life, as an artist, as a wife, and as a twenty-something, I can see that at my core I’m just grasping for achievement, approval, comfort, and control. The enemy always convinces me that these things are what’s most important.
And these idols, if and when I let them rule over me, collide with the plan that God has for me, because He is sovereign, and I am not.
So, what transpires once this collision occurs, is that I will either continue to believe the enemy’s lies and let doubt or anger or misery creep in and take me down, or, I can circle back to God’s truth.
The first scenario is most often the case.
But in those moments, if I follow Jesus instead, I can inspect my thoughts, pick out the lie that I am believing, and redirect them to the truth.
For example, if I think I’ll never succeed, the lie I’m believing is that success equals earning people’s respect or admiration. But the Truth says that all I must do is rely on the Lord’s promise, and delight in it. Earthly success has no eternal value.
If I feel anxious about a particular season in my life, I am believing that it’s probably too much for God to handle also. But the Truth is that he loves me, he has a valuable role for me in this life, and He is not trying to trick me. He is in control and He is good.
If I’m self-conscious about my body, I’m believing that I have to look a certain way in order to be considered beautiful or desirable. But God tells me He knitted me together and designed how I look with precision and passion. Like an artist and his masterpiece.
If I feel worthless, all I have to remember is that Jesus was crucified and overcame death to demonstrate that I am worth everything to Him.
The Truth is where everything finally makes sense. When I am reminded of the Gospel, I feel relieved, I feel hopeful, and I feel God’s presence near me. The collision of my sinful life with the pure and powerful love of Jesus is the essence of my journey as an artist, because of the undeniable ways He uses it to bring me closer to Him.