As summer winds down, I find I am easing into a slower season of life (for now, before we move to Germany in October).
Summer has been busy, to say the least. Between working two jobs, trying to maintain a social life, and having an extremely awful Pots flare up (click here if you have no idea what I am talking about), I didn’t have very much time, or energy, to write.
With less time to write I had more time to think, reflect, and process my thoughts internally. Which has been a somewhat welcome relief. I had to let my energy and creativity fill back up. A person can’t pour out to others very well if their own cup is empty – I was bone dry.
While my limited time and energy held me back from intensive writing, I did manage to find short bits of time to try new things. These were things that I could squeeze into my sparse amount of down time.
Without the time to express myself through my blog, I found a new type of freedom. I found the freedom to express myself without pressure, I allowed myself to outlet my thoughts and feelings differently. I wrote more poetry, I tried new ways of editing pictures, I even tried my hand at some video editing (which is a lot more challenging than I had anticipated).
Allowing myself to try new things gave me a new awareness for who God has created me to be. I am not black and white, I am complex and varying. Which, for a long time I did not grasp.
For a long time I felt an invisible and forcible constraint holding me in place, coercing me to be a specific way. I felt like I had to express myself in a very select way, a way that I thought people wanted; I had to be what people expected and liked.
I think that when I was younger I would have used the word creative to describe myself. Sadly, over the years I lost that way of viewing myself. That changed the way I interacted with the world, and how I expressed myself.
However, the over the past few months I have had a surprisingly large number of people use the word ‘creative’ or ‘thinks-outside-of-the-box’ to describe me. That not only caught me off guard, but also made me uncomfortable. I wanted to stop them and say, “Uh, sorry. I think you have the wrong girl here”.
The thing is though, that it wasn’t just one person. It was a range of people; from an old elementary school teacher I ran into, to people I just met this summer. The amount of times I heard that word creative in relation to myself, and just in general, over the past couple of months is strange.
It felt like God was trying to wake something within me.
The more I allowed myself to ponder myself as creative, the more I began to realize what a limiting view of myself I have had.
I began to think , “What if I started to actually think like a ‘creative’, or to even view myself as creative? How would that change what I do and how I interact with life? Would anything change?”.
Low and behold, things changed. Quite quickly I might add!
Within a few weeks I noticed a difference in how I viewed my writing, and what types of writing I could or couldn’t do. I interacted with it in new ways. I allowed myself to share things that might be different than what I was comfortable with. I experimented with style and vulnerability.
Growing to believe that I am creative, and learning to create the things that I desire to, has been an exuberantly satisfying and freeing lesson. Although, I am sure this will be a life-long lesson.
However, what I have learned so far is that I don’t have to be one thing or the other. I am complex, multi-faceted, and ever-changing. I don’t have to express my creativity in similar ways as others, or in ways that people “like’”. I can forge my own path; no matter if that be in blogging, poetry, editing, style, etc.
If I am doing things out of a place of serving God, then I don’t have to fear earthly judgment or rejection. I am free in Him to walk in who He has made me.
So, some encouragement to you, dear reader: embrace the beautiful mess of who you have been, who you are, and who you are becoming.
Below is something I wrote that I believe ties in with that encouragement. Something I feel I should share in the spirit of this post, in the spirit of creativity, and in the spirit of expressing myself in new ways. It’s an expression of what I have been learning and yearning for:
The way the sun leans down and whispers to the earth, softly embracing the grass, dancing with the leaves, and bathing the flowers in tender light. It all comes awake in a different way.
Jesus, lean down and whisper to my soul, bathe me in tender light, awaken me in a different way.
Just as beams of radiant sunlight reveal the beautiful complexities and differing hues within the wild grasses, so too may your radiant truth reveal who you have made me.