Artist.

art handsI am an artist.

That has taken me years to say, let alone believe, but say and believe it I do.

I’ve been reading a book by Seth Godin recently called Linchpin. He speaks to the creative soul in each of us and brings up so accurately the fact that as children we are constantly dreaming, imagining, believing that we can defy the forces that seem to constrict us in this world. The forces that keep us from doing things such as flying by jumping off of a couch. How dare the world stunt an imagination that believes in such things! But stunt it does. Over and over and over again as we age.

The fact that my heart leaps and I feel a little bit like crying when I think of that sense of freedom we have as a child shows me that the desire to leap and fly and defy worldly constrictions still is at the very center; the very core of who I was created to be.

We were creatively created by a creative Creator.colorful trees

He created beauty simply because He loves beauty. This world would have still functioned without the vibrant colors of a sunset or the way that dew settles on grass in the early morning hours. He could have made it that way, and yet He chose to create an art piece more incredible than we could ever know.

And He has created us to continue to create. To bring our own artistry to our lives. For many years I have seen that as a childish desire, one that is not responsible or maybe one that is prideful. After all, who am I to declare myself an artist? What if no one ever reads what I write? What if the art I pour out into words is bad or wrong or too simple or too theologically incorrect or…or…or…
I’ve been trying to re-phrase the questions in my heart lately. What if instead of seeing every constriction that the world and my conformed-to-the-world thoughts remind me of, what if I chose to allow that artist inside of me to jump off the couch and dare to fly again?

kids jumpingJesus calls us to be like children, and I have heard many analogies about this topic, most of them wonderful ones. Children are trusting, children come to Jesus just as they are, children have the faith that can move mountains.

But children are also artists. They create in every way possible. They create with their minds and their hearts and they are exactly who God created them to be without trying to prove anything to the world yet. Ideally this energy and this thirst for life and the impossible would reside in our hearts always, but we have to search for it more intentionally the older we get.

I have been searching, I have been longing deeply for that freedom again. For the freedom from the labels that others have put on me which I wrote about earlier this month. I have been searching for the beautiful dialogue between my heart and God’s.  I have been searching for healing and for true love to replace the tainted, abusive and harsh ways of pacifying pain through false love that the world offers.

And I think I’m finding it you guys. And it feels good.

 

And it feels selfish.

 

I have been looking at the world through new lenses lately and have found myself overwhelmed regularly by the pain that others go through; by the enormous amounts of injustice in this world. I feel helpless most of the time to use my life in any way that would help alleviate this suffering and injustice. And I feel selfish when I focus on my own heart and my own life when it seems as if my struggles are so miniscule in comparison with the pain of this world.

But then I remember that there is an enemy out there who is the greatest identity thief color throwthat ever was and ever will be. And his greatest desire is for you and for me to be less than who we were created to be. His greatest desire is to steal, kill and destroy us (John 10:10). He hates who we are, and he fears who we are becoming. To focus on our identity; on fully allowing the creative artist in each one of us to flourish by being renewed day by day by the miraculous love of Jesus, is the greatest thing we could do to bring the healing power of Christ to this broken and hurting world every single day.

To create through words, relationships, numbers, jobs, churches… is to continue bringing the flourishing and miraculous work of Jesus to this world every single day. We are His artists, we are His art. We are His beautiful workmanship and this world needs beauty. The enemy would have us neglect ourselves at all costs in order to pour out to others, but the enemy is a deceiver, a master manipulator, and by selling us this lie that it is selfish to focus on our own hearts when there is a hurting world is one of his greatest attempts to stunt our lives so that we will painfully dull ourselves day by day in the process leaving us tired, burnt out and completely unable to pour out beauty that we so long to pour out.

color handsI lived this way for so long. And I’m done living this way now. I am worth just as much effort and love and healing as every person in this world is. And I know that the only way my life will be able to pour out the colors of joy and love and peace that Christ created me to pour out is when I am living in those same colors daily.

I am an artist. You are an artist. You and I are worth the freedom that comes when we embrace the fact that we were created to create in our own beautiful way.

 

The world needs our color.

Advertisements

He Will Do It

IMG_1944I am moving to Washington D.C. one month from today. One month from today I will take a suitcase, my cat and every ounce of courage I can muster up and fly across the country into, well, the unknown.

Many of you have asked me why I’m moving, what’s out there and why D.C.? And honestly I have no good answer for you. Well actually I have a great answer for you but it’s one of those answers that you’re embarrassed to give because it’s the one that induces shocked and confused looks from others, which is usually at the very least a minor shaking of your confidence, and at the very worst a look that causes all of the doubts and voices that you’ve been keeping locked up quite nicely to come springing out like one of those creepy Jack in the Box’s which then leads to you being in a puddle of tears on your kitchen floor….not that I have experienced anything like that.

But the truth of the matter is that God and I have this dialogue going, and I have worked for years to be able to hear Him clearly and I am still learning every day. And back in November I heard Him quite clearly tell me that it was time for me to move forward into something new, and that the new was not in Portland. And that’s all I knew. And so I did what any strong Christian woman would do. I doubted and I feared and I questioned and I gave into the fog of confusion for a few days and then I prayed and I had others pray and I sat on my bed one night and spun my globe and asked Him,

Where?

And all I can tell you is that I have a peace about D.C., because that’s all I knew then, and that’s all I know now.

That’s all I know about where I’m going, but I do know more about the one who’s sending me.

The one who’s sending me is the one who’s going with me, and He is. He really is going before me. I could tell you a million little ways that God has partnered with me in this, letting me know He’s with me at every turn, but what I will tell you now is that He is awakening my voice in this move. I know He is releasing a side to me that I have had hidden for years due to abuse, conformity, fear and insecurity. And it is time to break the silence.

I know that His heart is that I would love Him, love myself and love others in entirely new ways this next year. That I would speak up and out for my worth and for the worth of others. That I would find courage and learn how to be bold and respectful at the same time. And that I would never fear adventure, authenticity or advocacy again. These things will come bubbling out of this Brooke a million different ways over this next year and beyond, and I’m just as curious as you are to see what that’s going to look like.

My conclusion is this, for now: that I seek God with literally everything I have. With my voice, with my thoughts, with my body, with my mind; and then let Him take it from there. When He opens my mouth to speak may it be with the boldness that only comes from being soaked in Him. When He tells me it’s time for my fingers to move over this keyboard than may it be done with the respect and faithfulness that any art deserves. When He tells me that it’s time to go for the “more” that is out there for me, first stop D.C., then may I go with courage and surrender that can only come from having the power of the Holy Spirit truly being the one in charge.

It’s a beautiful and terrifying and confusing and exhilarating partnership, mine and God’s. I believe with my whole heart that He’s called you to a partnership in this life that is just the same. Be bold with me?

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.” 1 Thess 5:23-24 NIV

So we must be blameless through and through…spirit, soul, body…and yet the one who calls you is faithful, and HE WILL DO IT.

So I submit. And He does it. I ask for courage. He provides it. I offer myself as best as I can every single minute to surrender, repent and receive all of who He is.

And He will do it.