Thursday, February 14, 2013

Courage to Paint

You and I, we are walking together, each of us in all postures of joy and pain, beauty and suffering, often intermingling, flowing simultaneously through our lives. The current sweeps us through our moments flowing into days, carrying us somewhere, we are certain, even if we cannot dictate our destination

"But awakening to joy awakens to pain. Joy and pain, they are but two arteries of the one heart that pumps through all those who don’t numb themselves to really living."
                   - Ann Voskamp, 1000 Gifts

The realization of this fact has paralyzed me in this space. I have grown so accustomed to needing to keep many things quiet until God brought about the proper time, that I found I no longer knew just quite how to share. Afraid to share joy, for fear of wounding a hurting heart; afraid to share pain, so much in ministry must be kept between one's own heart and God.

And so I just stopped writing.

But I have been praying for God to show me what he would have me do with this space, this voice, this megaphone to share with a few the story God has given us, for His glory. I began blogging here mostly as a way to share life with our family, who though separated by distance and quality time, might still know our kids and see them grow. But as time went on, I found I had more to share than cute pictures, and that God, for some reason, chose to use my feeble words to encourage and inspire.

He has been pouring out His Holy Spirit in ways I have only dreamed. But I read it here:

"If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" Luke 11:13
 
And how I have asked. He is rocking our world and blowing our minds with His faithfulness, pouring on us his love in so many ways. When you tip toe to the edge of a leap of faith in life, the "what if's" race wild in your mind. The "losing your life", the losing control, so counter intuitive to everything this culture teaches. But in the closing of eyes, heart pounding and fear racing even still, the holding of breath, and in the trembling wild jump, you can only hope that the fall you experience is one right into the net of his love. That no matter height or depth nothing will separate you from Him, and that is enough.

God has been gently pointing out in my heart the ways I so desperately desire the approval of others. The thought of being misunderstood or misjudged plagues me, and so I've coiled back, to self protect and self insulate. He is calling my bluff, showing me that a hidden life smothers the light within. I often fear in this wide wide web of egos and self worship, people will read about our 2-d world on this screen and make assumptions about our life that are simply unrealistic. In order to avoid painting an inauthentic portrait, I've stopped painting all together. It seemed better to say nothing at all than to cause anyone heartache or longing or frustration if somehow in my sharing, desires unfilled were stirred. There are so many who ache so.

God has reminded me, though, of my own aching. The moments when others' words, completely innocent in intent, but enemy shot right to the heart, bleeding out longing, sending me to a pile of broken tears in the unguardedness of home. We are all so fragile, so beautifully fragile. And you know what, God made us tender that way. And he is showing me that despite any circumstance, He is faithful, even in and especially in our longing. We just have to hold on long enough to see him work the promise of our good through it all. And his faithful love is a story worth sharing.

So I lift up hand now, and begin to paint. The words my brush and our story the canvas. But the art - it is all God. His story. His glory.

He is pouring out too much not to share.

Deep breath, brush to palette,
ejk
 
 

1 comment:

Amanda Schrieber said...

It's about time you picked up that paintbrush! He gave you a voice, melodic and bleeding in the color of His gentleness and truth. He's gifted you with words that spill out in a beauty I've never seen before. A blessing to all who come close enough to view. And when we do, we catch portraits of Him that encourage, challenge, and spur us onward toward Him. He has written your story indeed. His faithfulness bleeds through it all and paints it in splendor. Sharing you is sharing Him. He's recently moved in my heart something fierce...struggling with those same insecurities of needing approval, I hesitated to share. Not wanting to self-promote or steal His glory (or come off as stealing His glory). But, He's told me it is more self-serving to keep Him to myself. That He is worth sharing at all costs. He's poured out an urgency and a boldness to share Him like mad! And as the prophet Jeremiah cried out, "Your message burns in my heart and bones and I cannot keep silent!" (Jeremiah 20:9)...and "Make the most of your chances to tell others the Good News..." (Colossians 4:5) Part of His Good News is right there within the story He's given you. And, "you will tell everyone about me..." (Acts 1:8). And "God has given you each special abilities; be sure to use them to help each other, passing on to each other God's many blessings" (1 Peter 4:10). And "My life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the LORD Jesus- the work of telling others the Good News about God's wonderful kindness and love" (Acts 20:24) And oh! There are simply too many more verses He's given me that confirm the eternal purpose and importance of "picking up that paintbrush" and sharing your journey with others. For in your journey His faithfulness is beautifully displayed. Paint on my friend! A masterpiece is underway if you continue to let Him use you in this way. I love you e!