Purpose and Faith are such a great pair. I’ve been struggling with Purpose lately (okay, I’ve struggled with it my whole life), because I’m one of those people who has an interest in almost everything. I love to write, to paint, to sing, to letter, and to be a wife & mama. I’m interested in psychology, I enjoy working with children, editing and proof-reading give me a thrill, I’m comfortable in a cubicle, I’ve considered becoming a hairstylist, and sometimes I think I should have been a marine biologist. I’m pretty good at one or two things, too. This creative mind God gave me is so easily distracted by and in wonder of so many different things and ideas, and it gets kind of messy up in this head of mine; sometimes it’s hard to know what my purpose is in the moment.
When I opened up my Wow God notebook to the Purpose and Faith spread, I smiled, knowing those two stories in my own life, and how intertwined the stories have become. In all of the interests I mentioned above, I’ve felt pulled one way or another by the world, and I’ve felt pulled one way or another by the Lord. Sometimes, I’ll admit, it’s hard to tell the difference. (Prayer comes in handy in times like that.) But when God calls you to something, no matter how thrilling or scary it feels, no matter how practical or impractical it may seem, you do it. With zeal.
Can I just get really honest with you for a minute? I struggle with insecurities. I really, really do. I’m good at a lot of things, sure, but I’m not the best at anything. When I was accepted onto the Creative Team for Illustrated Faith, I thought they’d made an error! I’ve officially been on for about a month now, and every once in a while when I open my inbox, I still expect to see an email excusing me from the team! Sometimes I battle feelings of inadequacy when I scroll through Instagram and see so manybrilliant works of faith illustrated. I see examples of lettering techniques I couldn’t even dream of perfecting, and I see beautiful displays of artwork that reflect hearts for Christ. I see them, and I think, “Why do I even bother? What is my purpose, here, really? I should just post pictures of trees and mugs.”
My guess is that at one point or another, you’ve felt that too. Maybe not about illustrating your faith, but perhaps about the mom who seems to have it all together, the entrepreneur who has a story of success you strive for, or maybe it’s a fashion blogger whose job it is to travel the world and take pictures of pretty things. My guess is that there has been a moment when you looked at someone else’s work or at someone else’s life and you felt completely unqualified; you wanted to step out in faith, but you were paralyzed by fear because you didn’t know what you had to offer, anymore. Come on, it can’t just be me!
When I began illustrating my faith, it wasn’t with becoming a Creative Team member in mind. When I began illustrating my faith, it wasn’t to show the world my creativity. I began to illustrate my faith because it was a fun, creative, expressive way to worship, and when I began sharing my work it was because I had a message (via God and His Word). I have a purpose: I’m sharing what my heart has learned, not what my hands have created.
One of the things I’ve learned over the last however-many years, and especially over the last month, since I’ve had the blessing of being on this team: I AM ENOUGH. I HAVE BEEN CHOSEN. Maybe I have one purpose in this life, maybe I have twenty. Whatever my purpose is in this moment though, I’m going to step into it in faith, because I know God is on my side, and I know the Spirit will strengthen me, and will equip me.
As far as our illustrated faith is concerned, we don’t have to have technique (trust me, we really don’t). We don’t have to know the best pen to letter with or the best watercolors to work with. Knowledge is important, and helpful, of course; and if you’re like me, you love to learn, but that’s not what this journey is about, really. This journey is about our faith, illustrated. It’s about where our passions and purpose lead us, and it’s about what our faith in Christ does to our hearts and our lives, when we fully live in that faith. And I don’t know about you, but sometimes abundant faith makes for an abundantly messy illustration.
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Thanks, Heather, for sharing your heart. I am at a point in my life where I don’t really know what my purpose is any more. My son is grown now and living on his own. So I guess I am no longer a stay-at-home Mom. I am praying that God will show me what my purpose is for this next stage.
This problem has been on my heart for a long time. Thank you for these encouraging words!
I’m so glad you were encouraged, Réka!
Love your heart, love your words, love your pages!
Amy, you’re such an encouragement to me!!!
Tawni you are wonderful and we are so happy to have you as part of the team!!! xo
Thank you so much, Janel!!! xo
I love that you share your heart, what you write and the way you illustrate your faith! Thank you!
Thank you, Asa! I’m glad you’ve been encouraged by this post!! xo
I love your words and art Tawni! I can related to feeling pulled in different directions many times and having a lot of interests. I love your perspective of walking in the identity we have in Jesus (enough, chosen) and walking in faith where we are called in the season we’re in. This was such a good reminder, thank you for sharing your heart!!
I am just now reading this particular article and immediately began to cry. I am in this position right now and it seems to be a constant state for me. I can do so many things but I feel like I am not great or even good at half of them. It makes it very hard to know and understand my purpose. I have learned though that nothing I do can be compared to anyone else. God has a plan for me and maybe all of the dreams are meant to come to fruition or maybe only a few but if I stay focused on God and listen for His voice he will show me which direction to go in at the appointed time. Thank you so much for sharing!
Wow, Ayisha, thanks so much for sharing! I’m sorry I’m just now seeing your comment — I was away on vacation and hadn’t been checking notifications. It’s so reassuring and feels like great confirmation to find someone who can relate to something I’ve written, especially when I feel so vulnerable sharing my own heart in this way. So thanks again for your comment — it really means so much to me to know the post spoke to you!
Yay! You and I are kindred beautiful messes! <3
Aww, haha! Yay!! :)