Written by Lisa Hanash
Thoughts that go through my head: Are they going to see I am really not that deep? Did I make the right decisions up until now? How did I even get here? If I am a Christian, can I have these doubts?
I have pondered these questions over and over. While I still believe, the answers are not always quite clear. I don’t want to be like Job in the Bible. Did he even have answers to his questions?
What has triggered some of these insecurities lately are my dreams to facilitate art workshops. My desire to see others come to know the loving God who has brought me to a point of striving for this reality has caused me to simultaneously resent and embrace my art practice. Yet, denying myself the joy I have felt through art over the years would be a disgrace.
There was a time when I would create for the purpose of giving myself a space to explore and rest in the presence of God. However, over the past few weeks, I have started to feel discouraged. How do I explain this art or even help others express themselves? Can I even express myself?
And as a result, I have left God out of the equation. These thoughts have weighed me down because I forgot the simple part—remembering who I am. This can come through three concrete ways: where I’ve been, where I am, and where He is.
Where I’ve been: Remember
I remember why I started to paint. I expressed what I saw as beautiful, and it provided reminders of tangible hope. I explored the beauty of what was around me. I could take the paint and move it around the canvas to make something. I’d get paint on my hands and in my hair—completely forgetting what time it was as I sensed God’s pleasure.
Having focused so much of my attention on what I was doing wrong and the pressure to perform, I had forgotten what I had to be thankful for: a history with God.
Where I am: Surrender
I sensed satisfaction and refinement through the joy of surrendering in worship to my Creator. However, when I faced difficult life circumstances, moments of hurt, and seeming rejection, I started to feel bitter. Worship became work instead a place where God could speak to my heart.
Yet, through words on a page, God spoke to my heart anyway. He reminded me of who I was and revealed that I needed to forgive others and forgive myself for trying to work for my worth. From there, I learned to surrender to God’s process for my life, something I am still learning.
Where He is: Hope
One by one, I started to hand Him my thoughts, my fears, and my trust. I gave him my preoccupied thoughts about my career, relationships, and art. I was reminded of how gracious He was and is, even as I wrestle with what I want to become and still try to find purpose and meaning in the process.
Working through my insecurities about the future, I was reminded of hope and found the answer. Job still had a glimmer of hope despite his questions and suffering (Job 17:13). God was still Sovereign and gracious over Job’s process (Job 42:7-8).
Whatever you are doing, Christ is in you, He is behind you and before you. No matter where you find yourself in the journey, remember you are not lost. The God of the Universe is Sovereign over your process and loves you. The invitation to lay your burdens down, including all your questions, is always there. He beckons for you there.
Prayer: Father, I have read your scarlet letters and I remember that you are writing my story. I declare that Christ is the light that lives within me and you are guiding me. I trust you.
Verse to remember: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).