All of us have a story. We have experienced life that has probably thrown us curve balls and challenges to who we are, challenges that have marked us in our creative journey.
In my life, I suffered with a high level of religious abuse, where I was taught that taking care of myself was selfish and that God wanted me to sacrifice everything- and I mean everything- so that I could please Him and live a God-filled life.
This meant that pleasure, fun, and enjoying life was a rarity and doing “good works” to make others and God happy became the daily staple of my diet, as well as the lens that colored my world.
Sometimes it’s hard to realize how tainted we have become until we see others living differently. Literally, I had to walk into another room (church experience) where I began to understand that God really is a good Father through teachings at Bethel. I began to understand that I am already accepted and loved for who I am as His child and not because I have been good or have performed well. Let’s explore these concepts further.
Our View of Life Makes the Difference in How We Create
You may ask yourself, how does this impact my creative identity?
Do I have permission to be me?
Are you free to have fun with God and create as His child, rather than to create to earn money or please others? Do you try to copy other people in order to feel that your creative expression is good or meaningful?
If you do, then it’s time for you to spend time with the Father and ask Him to re-parent you, so that you can be a child who knows they are valuable and loved not because of what you create, but because of family (study Romans 8).
Do you worry about what others think of you?
When you think of creating, are you more concerned about pleasing others or are you at peace and feel free to create in a way different than what is accepted or is the norm? Do you constantly worry about how your creativity will be received and stay up late worrying about how you did and if others liked it? ( study Matt. 6)
If you struggle here, then the best way to break this pattern is to realize that no one will please everyone. The most important person you need to please is God and the second is yourself. Jesus learned to do only what the Father showed Him, which caused many to dislike Him, but in the end, the Father backed Him 100% (study John 15).
At the end of our lives, what will really matter? That we created from hearing the Father’s voice and followed His lead, not what the popular culture thought about our work.
Do You Silence the Passion Within?
I think if we are honest, all of us know deep down what gives us pleasure or what we most want to pursue. Many of us just don’t trust it. So, we need encouragement, we need others to come alongside us and give us permission to fly (Hebrews 3:13). So here are some encouraging stories to help you to become free in your creative identity as I have learned to be free.
Our Journeys Converge with Others’ Journeys
One of my greatest desires is to creatively express Kingdom truths through my speaking, writing, and paintbrush, bringing healing to others as they discover true relationship with the Father who loves them.
Once we see God’s limitless power to create with us, we will see the power that transforms us, as I shared in my story, and transforms others as He brings them along our path.
Here are some testimonies from my team and I about what happened at a Bethel Women’s Conference recently. I hope to encourage you to break off constraints and create because you are in a family. If you are not a painter, imagine what you can create for others in whatever creative expression you want to pursue.
My Creative Process
As I painted on Wednesday night at the Women’s conference, I kept seeing this painting of a heart in the clouds and entitled it “Leap” for women to jump into their destiny and break off constraints that have held them back.
As you can see, the last thing I created was her hair in worship and I was conflicted because I was painting blonde hair when I felt it was for an African American woman. So, on Thursday night, Tiffany James messaged me that the painting was all about her journey in that she just finished her book to set women free and that she was a storyteller. After I found out she was African American, I changed her hair color and presented it to her. I mean the resemblance was so close it looked like she was my model! She was so visibly touched because she knew that God had spoken to her about her ministry of healing hearts through my painting. You can find her book here.
I painted another piece for the conference called “Come Away my Beloved,”which is reflective of our journey as women who move forward in following where He leads.
Elaine Border, a trauma therapist from Anchorage, Alaska knew that this painting was for her and that she would hang it in the reception area where women and young girls who are traumatized can receive hope. I felt it carried so much healing and I knew my painting wasn’t just for one person to find Jesus, but for many who had suffered abuse or trauma.
One of my artists, Rowena Ednilao made wallet sized prints of her artwork and gave it away to women who began to weep because the art meant so much to them.
Lyn Rosenthal who teaches classes with me and is one of our Create Academy coaches created this abstract piece and so many women came up and said that as she was painting, they were getting emotionally healed. One woman had had a miscarriage and felt God healed her as she watched Lyn paint!
Yolondo Lupoe, my former intern painted a flower and as she did a woman was overcome by the Holy Spirit and her body began to tremble. In fact, her friends had to keep her from falling. She said right then that God was touching her and bringing her into renewal. And then she found out that the painting was entitled “renewal”.
Why do we create?
We have a loving Father who invites us to enjoy the process of creating with Him to transform other people!
So, what are you waiting for?
Take some time right now and create in whatever way you like and touch someone today, someone who needs to understand His love. Remember, my story of breakthrough can become yours!
You are born to create!