After years of denying my creative side and relegating my hobbies to 'useful' crafts, I have come to the uncomfortable and liberating conclusion that I am something like an artist.
I'm sure a number of my friends will read this and say 'duh' and I have had many 'duh' moments in the last 8 months.
Gosh, they are just so weird. They are so silly and creative and colorful. Yet I have always been drawn to them. The weirdness, the eccentric, the down to earth, barefoot potter types. I am like a magnet, drawn to them, but always feeling like an outsider.
What has changed?
Walking in our true identity in Christ is a helpful start. I've been a Christian for years, but I feel like I've only just begun walking in my true identity for the past couple years. It is a journey and a process, to be sure. To believe what the Lord says about you and actually live like you believe Him in all areas of your life. It doesn't happen over night.
It is a gradual shift sometimes and a drastic switch at others. Every step has brought me closer and closer to a new kind of freedom. The freedom to be me.
Knowing who I am in Christ makes me question myself less and just enjoy myself for who I am more.
Not that I am perfect, but that my imperfections and oddities point to a creative Creator who made me unique for a reason. No one else is like me, and so therefore, no one else will fully understand me like He does.
And that is okay. After 30 years, I feel okay with being misunderstood sometimes, because I know I am fully understood by One who loves me infinitely more than any other.
Even as I write that last line, it sounds like such a Christian cliche, but it is so much more beautiful a thing than that. To know you are truly loved for who you are is the most liberating and empowering thing of all time!
The funny thing is though, the more comfortable I have become in my own skin, with my own personality and style, the more I think other people have enjoyed me too. It is not just Christ who enjoys the real me, because the real me is more fun than the cautious, worried, calculating me.
And when I do things because I like them, then even when I get the odd stares in the grocery store or the sympathetic eyes from a random passerby, then I can just smile and know that it doesn't matter what they think. Not really. I like what I am doing and they don't have to understand it or join in. (Understand that I'm talking about benign little things, harmless to other people).
My life is full because I live it fully now. Or at least fuller. There is always room for improvement, but I like where I'm headed.
With these changes and realizations and admissions, that I am, in fact, creative and something of an artist....
See, I still struggle with flat out calling myself an artist.
Anyhow, it means that I do not have to qualify everything I do anymore. Not even to myself.
I like nose rings. I think they are cool. Why? I don't really know, but after 12-15 years of wanting one and feeling stupid for wanting one, I think I'm almost at the point where I'm going to get one.
Yep, maybe. But I like the way they look, and I think I might like it for me. There you have it. So I am wearing a 'practice' nose ring, and seeing if it annoys me. After two days of wearing it I still want one, and when I find the money, I might get me one.
The most freeing thing is that I no longer feel like I have to qualify and explain and defend myself to people, especially those who aren't even attacking me.
Like when people use to tell me I looked nice in a certain outfit. I would always downplay it. I would explain how old the outfit was or how I didn't like such and such about it.
I couldn't believe that they actually might like me, because I was not even comfortable with me. I was so afraid of being rejected, that I was always qualifying my existence.
To look back now I can see what a sickness it was. A lie that I had totally bought into.
The LIE: That I was not as good as other people. That I had very little to offer. That I was not truly creative, only a copy cat. That I was too much for people to handle. If I was too much one thing or another, they would reject me.
But now I am moving toward freedom, and that can be a little crazy sometimes. Freedom is a beautiful, crazy, messy thing, but it is so much more fun than the way I have been living for years.
What fears and lies are holding you back? Dare to believe what the Lord says about you! Truth can always defeat the lie, if we take it and eat it and wear it and believe it!