The Artistic Leap of Faith
Copyright©2008 by Sarah Rehfeldt
You don't have to see where you're going, you don't have to see your destination or everything you will pass along the way. You just have to see two or three feet ahead of you. Anne Lamott, Bird By Bird
To take that leap of faith, an artist needs to begin to think of herself as an artist. It’s the act of accepting the gift she’s been given. State it outright. Instead of answering, “I like to dabble in writing,” when people ask, tell them you’re both a mother and a writer. Then it’s no longer just a hobby. Acknowledgement of our creative gifts demonstrates acceptance, “opens us up,” and so allows the sacred pool of creativity to be freely tapped.
Ironically, it may be that the best way to fully accept that gift is to let go of it. Give it back to the Creator. Give in to it. Surrender to it. Actively consent to keeping the gift alive. Perhaps you can start by trying to increase the number of times per day that you sit to write. When you write, start by thanking God for blessing you with creative talent. Ask him for inspiration, wisdom, and guidance as you write. Tell him that you trust this creative impulse, and let him know of your desire to create something meaningful, with purpose. In this way you detach your self from the artwork and allow yourself instead to be the instrument through which the medium (Creativity) can flow. Let go of any hang-ups or concerns you may have about writing, such as the fear of being judged, insecurity, feelings of being “cluttered,” or feeling blocked by the need to make money or have a career. When we give these things up through Christ, we can fully embrace the gift we’ve been given.
This kind of prayerful language can have a very powerful effect. It can enhance our creativity. When we let go into God’s loving, guiding Spirit, he catches us. We may never know the purpose or where our artistic pursuits are headed, but God does! He’s had plans for us all along. He’s prepared for us and our future. He has our well-being in mind. Put away the worry and allow him to take it over.
I have an artistic friend, and I find it's fun and invigorating to intersect with other artists. Artists seem to channel the creativity among them—spiritually the creative energy becomes incorporated into each other—and it benefits both of us. Working alone, it can be difficult to encourage myself. I “fall” and forget how to self-assert, "I’m a writer! I’m an artist! I’m creative!" But when inspired by another artist, I can easily let go into that playful, loving, creative spirit that is God. I feel good about it. I know that my artistic spirit is a gift from God and that he will be there to guide me.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11"
An Artistic Leap of Faith requires a risk, but it is worth it. Let go, and expect to be delighted and surprised by what gifts you discover!
Sarah Rehfeldt is a writer, photographer, and artist from Washington State. Her hobbies include gardening. Her photography can be viewed here.