Thursday, October 18, 2012

not your typical artist

(stolen from Annie's instagram)

Have you ever noticed how lies from the enemy hold us back from fully, passionately following after Jesus?

Have you ever noticed that believing those lies isolate us from others? 

That believing those lies is like putting back on the shackles we've been freed from? 

Maybe that's just me. I've been letting myself buy into some lies and this entire past week, God has gotten my attention. Even before Influence, the messages in chapel and the content of my quiet time started to break away my strong grip on these lies. 

At Influence, the first session I attended was about being an artist with Emily Freeman. Now, I would never consider myself an artist and sometimes, with this blog, I struggle because of just that. I don't really have a strong writing style. I'm not funny or intellectual or poetic. I just have my story, and sometimes I feel like it's not enough. 

So Emily starts speaking and immediately I am encouraged and affirmed by the Holy Spirit and convicted of believing lies. One of the very first statements she made struck such a chord in my heart.

"An artist is a person who is brave enough to move towards what makes her come alive."

By Emily's definition, I don't have to be able to compose lovely melodies or dance gracefully or write poetically... if those aren't the passions that God has placed in me. 

Maybe it is administration, organization and checklists that make my soul sing. Maybe it's holding a sobbing student in my office as she sorts through hurt. Maybe it is making cupcakes for someone when I have no idea what else to do. Of course those things don't sound like art. But then Emily said this-

"A God who turns ashes to beauty can turn lists into lyrics, a program into poetry, and management to music." 

And that might have been when I wondered why the heck I hadn't brought tissues with me because the tears just started flowing. 

Can God really take things that are mundane or seem insignificant and use them for His glory? Yes. 

"being small and ordinary isn't a flaw. It's actually a prerequisite."

And of course I knew this! It's echoed all throughout scriptures in the stories of Moses, David, Rahab, Ruth, every single disciple and so many more. But how powerful is it to realize that the Creator of all things can work through us more powerfully when we are ordinary and humble? 

Our God is creative. He began with an act of creation- full of depth and purpose and beauty. We were made in His image and are to be imitators of Christ. We are God's poema, His creation, His masterpiece (eph 2:10), and I think that God values creativity and art, especially as described above. That understanding of who God is and who I am in Him is enough to drop those chains of insecurity, fear and doubt. Because my God creates, loves and wins. 

"What could be more dangerous to the enemy than to be fully awake to the Creator?" 

Right now, I'm taking some steps to pray over and really seek out what it is that makes me come alive. Emily had some great suggestions in her session. Whenever the audio becomes available I highly recommend that whoever missed the session listens to it!

Was anyone else in this session? I would love to hear how God spoke to you through it.


  1. Wow! Thanks for sharing! I'm super excited to listen to this session now! =)
    Alesha <3

  2. This is so good. I went to the strategy session during Emily's talk and I'm desperately awaiting the audio of her talk. I love reading your thoughts about what she said. She had such powerful words. Thank you so much for sharing!

  3. It blows my mind over and over again how quickly and easily we can forget that the small and ordinary so often were integral in the stories of the Bible. But it's true. I feel like you got me right in this post. Maybe it's hard because we see so many others doing such amazing things with their talents and we feel like we will never measure up, that we cannot be artists by comparison, but I do believe it's internal workings that matter more than those comparisons. And while I struggle, too, to put that together, at least we know that God knows it and will continue to hammer it into our brains + hearts.

  4. Wow, oh, wow, did this post move me!

    I wanted so badly to be at Influence. Unfortunately, it wasn't in the Plan for me this year, but I hope that it will be in the future.

  5. i love love love this Chelsea. I can't wait to listen to the audio session. I'm so glad you shared this!

  6. This was so beautiful! Thank you for sharing. I do consider myself an artist in the traditional sense, but this is such a deepening, broadening way to look at it!
    xo Alanna


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