Hello wonderful Illustrated Faith family! You are family you know. I think of you that way in my heart. We are joined together by Christ and by our desire to honor God with what we create. That makes us family in my book.
So…as family, it’s safe for me to share a bit of my heart journey, right?
Last year, I stepped out hugely with just one challenge. I chose a word, one little word. A word I asked the Lord to give me and He did. He gave me the word “COURAGE.”
As with most things I attempt, I pray, I study, I read, I research LOTS; I illustrate it, I plaster it everywhere in letters and pictures, and… I set my mind to follow through. Turns out “courage” just means doing things even when you are afraid. It means pushing through fear and telling “fear” that it has no power over you, because you are going to do it anyway. Well, I did lots and lots of things scared in 2015. I stepped out with my art on social media, I applied for the position on the Illustrated Faith Creative Team, I forgave, I loved boldly even when everything around me told me to be safe, and I started a website to share my creative heart.
Each time I exercised courage, I felt like I was putting my fragile heart on the line and fear’s ugly head roared up with it’s gnarling teeth and out tumbled all the what ifs. Fear said, “you can’t do this.” You know what, I told fear to sit back down. I told fear I was choosing COURAGE because God told me so and I love God more than myself, more than fear. I told fear I was moving forward. And each time I left fear tasting dust at my heals, God showed up.
Now, I am not going to lie, I did not always succeed in everything I put my heart on the line with but I learned. Quite frankly, my heart got broken a few times; but I learned God has a plan and I need to be obedient, even when I am scared. I learned I don’t need to trust myself, I need to trust God; and if He says go, I need to go. He’s got things for me to do, things He designed me to do and you know what, I don’t want to miss anything God’s got on the agenda.
Fast forward to this year and I think I am going to keep my little 2015 word, COURAGE. I still get scared but I am going to continue to choose courage and tell fear it’s not ever going to rule me again. I want to be fierce when God asks me to step out for Him.
But then I thought, maybe God has a new word, something to add, something for 2016. I asked Him and He whispered “PRAYER” in that still, calm voice.
Hmm… ok. “Well”…I said to Him, “Are you sure? Cause I like to pray and I have been a prayer warrior on and off for many years.” I tried to reason with Him. “Maybe I didn’t hear You, don’t you want me to do something different, something new.” “Prayer” kept resonating in my mind and soul. So I said, yes to this new little word, and I asked Him to show me how to walk out PRAYER.
The Lord took me to Isaiah 61. It’s a warrior script, a Jesus prophecy and one that He intends for all of us to learn, to proclaim, and to live. I don’t know about you but there is so much brokenness around me, so many messes. Sometimes I wish He would just put His fingers into the tangled web of dirty, oily threads in our lives and untangle them. And I drew, I made a garden of beautiful flowers out of the black oily lines.
I want Isaiah 61. I want the beautiful garden of flowers I painted next on these pages.
I want GOOD NEWS; I want the brokenhearted to be bound up in healing and love; I want liberty for the captives; chains broken; prison doors opened; I want comfort; and I want what is wrong to be made right; I want to see beauty rise from the ashes; I want to see praise and gladness instead of mourning; I want repair of the ruined cities; and I want the devastation that seems to move through the generations to stop. I want beauty to rise up and flourish, and the only One who can do all that is Jesus. And you know what, I can invite Him in.
I can pray.
I can lift up all the broken, messy places I see and I can ask Him to come. I can pray and speak truth in the place of lies. I can pray for light to flood the dark. I can ask for Him to work, to untangle the messes, to heal, and to make beauty.
Yes, Lord, I can pray.
What I see around me does not need to move me to fear, to a place of helplessness. I can be a warrior, because I know what it’s like to be scared and do it anyway. I am going to be fierce; and with His grace, I am going to lift the sword of the Spirit and pray His will, Isaiah 61, over all that He brings into my heart.
So my dear family, don’t be surprised if you see full out prayers in response to your Instagram posts. Don’t be surprised if you see posts bringing His light and truth into the screens of whoever desires to see. Cause I am determined to follow His call. The one little word.
So join me, be courageous, follow His lead, listen for that still small voice. I will be praying for you.
ESV Leather Journaling Bible | Clear Heavy Duty Avery Sheet Protectors | Ranger Mini blending tool | Liquitex Matte Gel Medium | Bella Blvd Illustrated Faith Bold Black Eyed Pea Letter stickers | Bella Blvd Illustrated Faith Whatever is Lovely Scrapbook papers and stickers | Bella Blvd Illustrated Faith Say it – Colorful stickers | Bella Blvd Illustrated Faith washi tapes | Bella Blvd Illustrated Faith Pen | Tags and Glassine Envelopes | Ranger Archival Black Ink Pad | Uni-ball Signo White Gel Pen | Assorted black Washi tapes and black cardstock | Watercolors | Small Letter Stamps | Bakers Twine