"Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes."
Romans 12:2 (The Passion Translation)
These last few weeks have seen me fine-tuning my purpose and artistic medium with Father God. At the end of June I felt exhausted from learning, striving, pushing forward into new creative territory, so much so that I began to have doubts about whether fine art was really my “Gift” like I had thought.
Father is so, so good: no matter what we ask, so long as we ask Him, He’ll answer.
Identity is a tricky thing. The world grabs us every. single. day. and yanks us around with messages about who we are, what we should be doing, how we should be thinking. If we aren’t spending enough time with Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, it is easy to find ourselves lost in the weeds.
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2, NLT) The Bible is pretty clear: in response to any questions of identity, we should be running to Christ and asking Him who we are... and then letting His opinion of us overwrite what we or the world may have written in our hearts.
My “creative angst” did not last long — Father immediately answered my questions and brought peace to my heart beyond what I asked for. (Isn’t He so good?!) And once I was reminded of who I am to Him, suddenly, the path forward didn’t seem so murky. When we have our identity solidly rooted in Him, we can speak confidently and walk with authority. In Him, we have a voice of Truth and Light:
“If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.”
John 1:6 NLT
These last couple weeks I have been keeping a sketch-journal of my walk with Jesus, sketching and journaling the prayers and revelations and encounters I have as I walk with Him in creation. I feel like I am far closer to Him, but also closer to the truth of Who I Am. I’m not trying to paint like other artists I admire, or design works in popular fashion, or jump on the latest marketing wagon — I’m simply chronicling my relationship with my loving Creator in a way that feeds that little spark in my heart. It feels more honest, more vulnerable, more deeply personal, as I gain courage to share with a wider audience the rough pen sketches, doodlings, and creative thought processes. Every step of the way, Jesus encourages me: be You. Speak Your unique heart. Sing Your unique song back to Me.
"I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear, falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses
And He walks with me
And He talks with me
And He tells me I am His own
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known.”
(In The Garden, C. Austin Miles, 1913)
Guest Blogger - Heather Stearns
Heather Stearns is an undomesticated Christian woman delightfully sketching the wilds of rural Washington and gifting others with Holy Spirit-led artwork. A self-taught artist, she works primarily with fountain pen and ink, colored pencil, and watercolor. You can see her latest sketches on Instagram @hsnakeart or buy selected work at her Etsy shop: http://hsnakeart.etsy.com.