Oh my word… How I have been blinded for years… In the image of God I was created, and in the image of God I create. He has given me the gift of creativity, of an artist’s hand, eye, mind. Art is me… It is interwoven in all that I do. It is who I am. I am my Father’s daughter, a co-heir with Christ, holy and set apart for His purposes — but His purpose in my life was painted on me within the womb. I am a creator modeled after the Creator. It is the most… beautiful… amazing… Awe-inspiring gift I could have asked for…
And yet… For years — YEARS — I have given this gift, piece by piece into the hands of the enemy. And he’s smart, he knows that if he can get his hands on this, he has me. If he can control my art, he can control me. For, you see, it is in everything that I do and am. It colors my visions of myself and God, and in turn colors every interaction I have. I am what I make. And if he can convince me that what I make is average, then I believe I am average. If he can convince me (which he very, very often does) that what I make is less average, then I believe that I am less than average. If he can convince me that no one really likes my art, but is patronizing me because they pity me, then I believe that no one really likes me but is patronizing me out of pity. I believe that everyone is lying to me. If he can make me hate my art, he can make me hate myself, because I am my art and my art is myself. Oh, I see, it is the most powerful tool he has in defeating me… And how close I came to handing it over completely!
Praise the Lord that He has shown me this!!! What a dangerous weapon to have in the hands of someone who hates me! The enemy could have defeated me with this had it not been for the loving hand of my Father! Oh my, I am amazed it has taken me so long to see what I have been doing.
In my art lies the key to my being. Days ago, God inspired me to begin a self-portrait, something I have often attempted, but never completed. He told me to keep pushing until the end, and even when I think it looks bad, to just continue until I finish…
I began, and literally within seconds I wanted to stop. It is a terribly nerve-wracking thing to make the first mark on a clean piece of paper. But I started. I drew my eye. Then came the nose… Again, I wanted to quit. (And when I say “wanted”, that is an understatement—my heart was screaming to stop.) Every moment that I spent drawing, self-deprecating thoughts flooded my mind: “Stupid, I hate myself so much, never going to be able to do this, I hate myself, I hate myself, I hate myself…” (Although, there were much more colorful words in the mix as well.) But I was determined to push through.
Finally, I completed my nose. But then came the other eye. I always begin with the right eye, then the nose, and, if I haven’t quit by then, I quit now. The left eye scares me. Something about the reversal of lines… But I pushed myself, and I drew it. My mind and soul were screaming at me to stop. I kept telling myself I could never do it. I kept hearing those words over and over that I can’t, I can’t, I can’t. But I did. I drew it. Pride filled my being, but it was quickly extinguished when I looked into my eyes.
I told myself to draw what I saw, not what I thought I saw. I was focused on accuracy. So as I looked into my own eyes, I saw what I had drawn… It was a sadness I have never seen before… It was despair… I have always believed I was joyful and happy, yet as I looked into my own eyes I saw pain like nothing I’d ever witnessed… I was perplexed, to say the least. But now I see!
The enemy has had his grips firmly on my art. I hate myself when I draw. I hate myself to my very core. I hate everything inside me, everything about me. I hate my entire being. Hate is not a strong enough word. But this is of the enemy. This is his signature. And the hate is not limited to my drawing, as he would so like to deceive me into believing. It permeates every part of me. I hate my art, but my art is me, and so I walk around always with the burning hatred for myself and all that I do…
I won’t do it anymore! I was created in the image of God, and in the image of God I create. I have seen! I will not do it anymore! Knowledge is power. Oh, I am praising the Lord for this sight I have received! In my art, He will refine me, and purify me, He will use me for His kingdom, I will create as I am purposed to create! I will bring glory to Him! I see now, if I surrender this, and offer it on the altar of the Lord, rather than the altar of the enemy, He will use it as it is meant to be used! Oh! What freedom comes in the light of the Lord!!! The lie that I must brood in order to create depth is not true, that I must be tortured and pained for true expression is not true! For the power to create does not come from within man, but from within God! It comes from seeing the Lord’s face and surrendering your hands and mind and eyes to Him.
I will no longer live in the darkness. I have been walking with my hands still in the shadows, refusing to let them be seen — but no longer! I will bring every part of me into the light of the One who made me, so that by His strength and power and inspiration I will make the things He desires and bring glory to Him! I will not be a tool of the wicked one, but of the HOLY ONE.
In the image of God I was created, and in the image of God I create. Oh, praise Him forever and ever and ever. Praise Him.