How Illustrating My Faith Has Changed My Relationship With Jesus

I want to start off by saying He was always there. It was me that was lost, confused, searching. He stood steady waiting for me to find my way, waiting for me to put the world’s expectations aside and find my own way. The way He had created for me, the way that was uniquely mine. He was waiting for me to find my way back to him, and this is the story of how I did that.

 

I wanted to just take a moment and really touch on the heart of what we are all doing here. What this whole “journaling bible” movement is about and why it has sparked a wildfire in the Christian community. We are here because we are believers, seekers, lovers of the word of Jesus. We are here because we are creatives, dreamers, and makers. We are here because those two things combined set us on fire, excited to see what’s next, excited to dig into the word. Excited for Him.

I wish I could say since I became a Christian at 16, on the bottom of my apartment steps with my then boyfriend (now husband) that I have always been on fire for Him. I wish I could say that I have always known that personal relationship with Him, but the truth is that would be a lie. I think as with most Christians we hit a natural ebb and flow in our walk. Sometimes we get to a place of pure love and dedication one where we promise to read the bible more, get more involved and reach out to those around us. With the hustle and bustle of our lives we often can become watered-down in that dedication. It may be because we are human, but what if it was for a different reason all together?

What if the whole time we were trying so hard to draw into God we were going about it the wrong way? Let me explain! When I would attend Christian conferences or small groups I would see women gobbling up the latest Christian book, or reading their bible at break and I looked at them with adoration. I wanted that. I wanted to CRAVE my bible, I wanted to need that personal connection, to dive in deeper, to learn more. I really wanted that. The problem is I was doing it the way that I saw them doing it. Their gifts were to learn through reading a testimony, or talking in a small group. Maybe they learned best by reading through the bible straight through in a year or listening to Christian worship. While all those things helped me learn more about God they never really pulled me in like illustrating my faith has done.

Since I started using my journaling bible a year ago it’s been completely different. Now I am using the gifts HE has given me to GLORIFY Him. Through that, I am able to understand what he is teaching me even more. Now I am able to use all the tools we are given in a personal matter. I can now read the bible in a way that sticks with me, sinks into my heart, sets me on my path. I am able to hear worship music and see it come to life in living color. I am able to use a devotional in a way that really makes a difference in my every day life.

Now that I am leaning into the word my relationship with Jesus is radically different. I find myself in constant prayer, talking with Him about things I would have never brought to Him before. Now when I pray it’s more like I am picking up in the middle of a conversation rather than reintroducing myself.  I feel this intimate relationship with Jesus, one that I had always craved. It was sitting right there in front of me just waiting for me to discover the path that was made for me.

If you find yourself in a similar situation of wanting more from your relationship with God I encourage you to not give up! Keep going! Learn more! If illustrating faith is a new idea to you and you want to learn more, I encourage you to grab a journaling bible, sign up for our newsletter and check out our resource page! If illustrating your faith isn’t for you that is ok too! Find your path, the way God made you to be. It’s perfect, and waiting!

xo- Shanna

46 Comments
  1. april crosier 2 years ago

    YES, girlfriend. so many yes yes yes-es here! thank you for encouraging the rest of us creative women to run after the very God who CREATED us!

  2. Robin 2 years ago

    “And this is my prayer, that your love may abound more in knowledge and in depth of insight so that you may be able to discern what is best and pure and blameless until the day of Christ Jesus giving all glory and praise to God…”

  3. Janie 2 years ago

    I saw this link in my Facebook newsfeed and clicked right over. I love the way you write. Your words speak to my heart and you seem like a “real” person – not just someone putting up a blog post. I love everything you said. I am a member of a couple of Bible Journaling FB groups. I have wanted to get a journaling Bible, but then I pray, “God, just because I get a Journaling Bible does not make me an artist. I can’t draw like they do. Then what? I’ll have an empty Journaling Bible.” But I still oooo and ahhhhh over all the photos I see of women journaling in their Bibles. What caught my eye more than anything when I saw this link in my FB feed, was that you didn’t draw people or animals or nature, you just added color and wrote. I’m thinking I can probably do that too. Your page above is beautiful. Your blog post is beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing the “real” part of you. May God bless you in your walk with Him. May you reach people through Bible Journaling that you may have never met otherwise so that you and them both may be blessed. Big hugs. Thank you so much for this. I think I’m going to do a little blurb blog post of my own letting people know to come check out your post here and link to it here. Very heart touching and warming. I know I keep saying it, but really, thank you so much.
    :) Janis

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      Illustrated Faith 2 years ago

      Thank you so much Janis!!! Your words mean the world to me. You are right YOU CAN DO THIS!!! Even the words you see here are simply alphabet stickers and a stamp, it’s really something anyone can do!!! Add a little color, your prayer and call it a day! :) Thank you for sharing! xoxoxoxo

  4. Debby Schuh 2 years ago

    I love this! I say amen and agree with everything you said! It is my experience too!! Thank you for sharing your story!

  5. Heather Greenwood 2 years ago

    A BIG HUGE YES!!! This past year has been such an awesome journey and I’m so thankful for your inspiration and turning that lightbulb on in my mind to do it IN my Bible, not just my journal… thank you for helping me realize that my Bible could be my art journal and helping us grow in our faith the way God created us to.

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      Illustrated Faith 2 years ago

      xoxox thank you Heather!! I am so thankful for your friendship and it’s NEAT to see what GOD is doing in your life as well! xoxo

  6. Shereen 2 years ago

    Thank you, thank you! I’ve been a Christian for as far back as I can remember, but somewhere along the way I got lost. I hadn’t really gone to church for some years, never read my Bible, and completely forgot how to pray. Until this past summer when I began to find my way back. I’d been looking at ways to get back into Bible study and received a beautiful journaling Bible from my mom for Christmas. It’s so beautiful that I haven’t quite taken the plunge to do any illustrating, yet. I signed my daughter and myself up for your class in Indianapolis in March. We can’t wait! And hopefully I won’t be waiting until then to do a little illustrating of my own. I’d also like to thank Debby Shuch (sorry Debby if I spelled that wrong). Debby’s Bible was the first I saw and you are both an inspiration to me.

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      Illustrated Faith 2 years ago

      Shereen, you brought tears to my eyes, just beautiful thank you so much!!! I AM SO EXCITED you will be joining us in IL!!! <3 It's going to be an amazing time!!!!!

  7. Barb 2 years ago

    thanks so much for this

  8. Tai Bender 2 years ago

    YES!! ALL of this! I *heart* you and your heart!

  9. Carolyn 2 years ago

    beautifully said. It is nice to hear someone that I respect admitting to the same problem I was having. Sometimes I think it is only me. I am not a book reader but I am envious of those that find fulfillment in that. Finding a way that works for each of us is the key. Thank you.

  10. Tawni 2 years ago

    Y E S ! I relate SO much to this. Thank you for sharing!
    You are so gifted, and it’s evident that you’re responding to God’s unique call to YOU.
    Thank you for letting us follow along on your journey!

  11. Jane 2 years ago

    I pray that each of us will fall more deeply in love with Jesus every day! That is my prayer for me and my prayer or you! May we glorify Him in all we do.

  12. Vicki 2 years ago

    How have I not heard about this!?! I am SO EXCITED!!!

  13. Christine 2 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your story. I stumbled upon you a few weeks ago while searching for something artsy to do. As a former stamped and scrapbooker I wanted a project after being away from crafting for five years to look after my mom who was diagnosed with alzheimers. Watching my dear, devoted Christian mom suffer and die from such a horrific disease rocked my faith to the core at times. When she could no longer read her bible I took it as my own. I would run my fingers over all the verses she had underlined and wonder when she had underlined the verses and what she was thinking, learning about and feeling. Oh, there was so much more yet that I wanted to learn from her and her close relationship with her Lord and Savior. This illustrated journaling is a way for me to answer those questions for my children. The thing I was surprised to learn in the five pages I have done in my new bible is how much I am learning by spending time in God’s word. Wow!!!!

    I watched your latest video yesterday morning and bought the supplies in the afternoon. I have now painted in my bible and learned a new verse and promise from God that has been on my mind ever since. So….thank you.

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      Illustrated Faith 2 years ago

      Thank you for sharing Christine! I love this. Yes, one of the reasons I love this most is the legacy I am leaving to my two girls! xoxo

  14. GailB. 2 years ago

    Thank you Lord for giving a voice and validation to illustrated worship. I only want a way to be in deeper relationship with you. Thank you for Shana and sharing with a community of believers what you have put on her heart. While we thank you for your written word, I pray we may have your word written on our hearts.
    Thank you Shana for sharing your heart.

  15. Kimberlee 2 years ago

    Oh my heavens! I feel I am right in that place. Surrounded by Women (Christians) who seem to be so in tune with the Lord. And I just don’t know where to start. I’ve bought several books, devotionals and still I feel like I’m getting no where. I’m starting bible journaling and I pray God leads me and opens my eyes and heart and pours himself in! Shi exited! (And kinda obsessed with this blog) LOL

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      Illustrated Faith 2 years ago

      Kimberlee thank you so much for sharing! I hope that you find journaling in the bible connects you with him in a way you never dreamed possible!!! xox

  16. Donna Norris 2 years ago

    Your opening statement…took – the – words – right – out – of – my – mouth. You said what was in my heart.

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      Illustrated Faith 2 years ago

      xoxox that is what is so important about sharing (I am finding) so many women can relate. It’s hard to be honest and real but God calls us to do just that for reasons like this moment right here. xoxo

  17. Valerie Sjodin 2 years ago

    Shanna, Thank you for sharing your story behind Bible Art Journaling! You are blessing so many of us with your vision and gathering us together in the Bible Art Journaling group! I am loving Bible Art Journaling! Many blessings to you!

  18. ‘I wanted to crave my Bible’

    That is exactly how I feel. Bible journaling has definitely helped open up the Bible in a way I have never experienced before!

    Absolutely love your blog and seeing everyone’s beautiful art. Thank you so much for this community!

  19. Kelly Solomon 2 years ago

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your words here. You have an excellent way of expressing how so many of us feel. You have been such a blessing.

  20. patsy 2 years ago

    I have been praying and journaling a long time. But in 2006 I noticed that I could not remember what I prayed about, nor what verse in the Bible I had meditated on. So I started to embellish God’s word in my journal. That started a journey with God that led to places I never dreamed. It’s like I have a scrapbook of my dates with God that I can look through with Him! Then I found your IG posts and now I am painting on my bible, the one Bible that had a big margin. It’s hard to find one here in the Philippines but I bought one on the Doulos library boat because my old Bible was already so full of notes. It’s like God knew that one day I would want one and He had one ready for me! What I wanted in 2006 was to embed God’s Word in my heart, but He has showed me that if we give Him our time and our talent, He will do more than embed His Word. He will give us fruit! Whatever we give to Him, He will increase a hundredfold!!! God bless you! patsy

  21. Annie Thompson 2 years ago

    I read this and cried…I separated from my hubby in 2013, moved back to NY, stayed with my son and beautiful daughter-in-law who are Christian. Yes, I always knew God was there, but I did not have a relationship with him until I was in NY, I truly believe God was with me the entire time I was in NY. My husband stayed in contact with me the entire time I was in NY, maybe 2 weeks before Christmas 2013, my husband called me and asked me to come back to him, I was driving in rain and snow, I said yes, but would not be able to move back to Florida until spring arrived. I was originally from NY, but that specific winter was soooo cold, single digits for a month, yes, I wanted to move back to Florida, but under freezing conditions, 12 – 14 inches of snow, and ice, I needed to wait until some of the snow melted. May finally came, I packed a POD, and drove back to sunny Florida. My husband and I are doing very well, this June we will be married for 24 years. I have now found a little church in my area, where I feel the touch of God every Sunday…I am very blessed to have “My Father God” in my life, I really was just existing prior to coming back to God, I feel everyday grateful, blessed, loved unconditionally.

  22. Annie Thompson 2 years ago

    We are all children of God, he makes NO mistakes..when he planned each and everyone of us, he knew, we may stray away from him, but he is always waiting with open arms for our return.
    Bless you Shanna..may your journey be as beautiful as mine..
    Sending Hugs..❤️

  23. Shannon D 2 years ago

    Thank You! I have been feeling so much of this- and trying to find my way back and I stumbled across your “illustrating my faith changed my relationship with Jesus” PERFECT TIMING- aka divine intervention- thank you!!! I feel excited to pursue a journaling bible!

  24. Bailey 1 year ago

    Where can i find this bible in the picture?? I have been trying to find it for the longest time!

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