There is a question that I am often asked, “If you could do anything for God, without fail, what would you do?” I shy away from answering, beating around the bush, listing things I am already doing, yet my heart yearns for more. What is it that God put me here on this earth to do? I know that I am called to love Him and be loved by Him. But what is my task? How will I bring Him glory? The question comes and I cringe because I fear failure in the trying. I fear that my art is not needed nor wanted.
What if I do the work of uncovering and it turns out there isn’t anything within me worth offering? – Emily Freeman, A Million Little Ways: Uncover The Art You Were Made To Live.
[Tweet “I long to see myself as the artist I am in the light of who God created me to be.”]
Life gets busy, and I often don’t allow myself the quiet moments of solitude that I need in order to dig deeper. What am I passionate about? What are the things that make me come alive? What are the deepest desires and longings of my heart? These are questions that desperately need answering.
Uncovering desire is the practice of learning how to look farther beneath the surface than we may be used to doing. It may require time, space, and solitude to allow our souls to become quiet enough to settle into what is most true. Learning to look beneath the surface is an important step in uncovering the art we were born to make. – Emily Freeman, A Million Little Ways: Uncover The Art You Were Made To Live.
I must give myself permission to be passionate, to have desire, to long for things in the light of His presence. I haven’t been brave enough to name the deep longings in my heart. What are those things that come to my mind first, when I think of desire, where the passions of my heart are swayed? Often those first thoughts are the most vulnerable and raw. It’s difficult to express what makes me feel most alive, especially when those desires are met with negative emotions: You will never succeed. You aren’t good enough. Someone else has already done that. I have allowed the negative emotions tied to my most intimate passions and desires to sway me away from pursuing that which I most long for. I have believed a lie, that this art is not worth uncovering. So, I refuse to take a risk, choosing instead to remain stagnant in my pursuit of God’s best for me.
In order to be fully alive, I must first be willing to die.
I’ve watched dreams die, and the failure of those dreams to be resurrected have put a wedge in my heart. I have forgotten what it is like to go on a journey with God into possibilities that far outweigh my own reality. When did I allow my dreamer heart to die? Do I believe that God is fully capable of not just resurrecting lost dreams, but bringing back to life the dreamer in me, the one who reaches for the possibility despite the challenges?
In a very real way, anything we do on earth that brings true joy or delight or fulfillment was made possible by death, by Love’s sacrifice on a cross. Discovering what makes you come fully alive isn’t the goal in life, but it is the evidence of life. To be fully alive is impossible without the resurrection work of Christ. – Emily Freeman, A Million Little Ways: Uncover The Art You Were Made To Live.
We must be willing to look fear and disappointment in the face and lean towards that which makes us live fully alive. But perhaps like me, you don’t know what it is that makes you feel alive. In order to answer that question, we will have to spend some time next week looking back.
This is the third post in a series entitled Becoming Living Art. Each Monday I will share what God has revealed to my own heart while reading through Emily Freeman’s A Million Little Ways: Uncover The Art You Were Made To Live. I was not paid in any way for my thoughts or quotes. I would highly recommend you read the book. It’s really good.