Thursday, 10 November 2016
Returned in spades
About 23 years ago, I quite distinctly heard God tell me to stop painting. At the time I was using oil paints on slate roof tiles. I hadn't been painting for very long, knew nothing about it, but I was having fun. It was a wrench to give it up, but in obedience I did.
I had always been creative - knitting, crochet, sewing, embroidery, tatting, batik - so there were still things that I could do. I found that during the next 15 years or so, I added more strings to my bow. I made cards, started rubber-stamping, bookbinding, marbling, and a host of other things that I tried out and decided weren't for me. Then I came across art-journalling. It involved using paint, but when I started, I didn't feel any pushback from God. It felt right to continue to explore, so I did. I learned about stencils and monoprints, made my own stamps and journals. I grew in skill and confidence, and I learned how to listen, pray, pour out my heart, and make my art journalling a spiritual exercise.
A couple of weeks ago one of the passages for the day was Luke 18:15-30. Towards the end of the passage Jesus says that there is no-one who has left something for the sake of the Kingdom of God who will not receive it back in more abundance. It suddenly struck me that this was exactly what had happened for me. I gave up a single branch of creativity, only to have it returned in spades with a brand new focus. If I had not been obedient in the beginning, I would never be where I am today.
Have you ever had to give something up, only to be blessed further down the road with its return?
Don't forget to check out all the fun at Paint Party Friday.