Thursday, February 25, 2016

Effervesce : A Heart Plunged into the River

Creativity has always been my life’s passion.  It wasn’t until fairly recently that I became awakened to how central the desire to create was to my fulfillment as the person I was created to be.

   I was blessed to be the daughter of a beautiful, creative woman who encouraged me to try my hand at various creative endeavors. When I would embroider, doodle, paint, write poetry or play my guitar, I would feel focused, purposeful and accomplished. I struggled with depression and anxiety as a child, and still do. But when I am creating, I sense peace.

  This peace has followed me all of my life, the peace I know when I am colaboring with God, the One who created me to be creative. I now understand the reason for this, but it eluded me for  many years. I didn’t have a relationship with Jesus until I was twenty-five years old.  Up until then I had no category for the concept of being created for a purpose.  I thought that expressing creativity was just an enjoyable add-on to my life, but not something to which I could give all of my intention.

   I spent  a lot of time “trying to find my place in the Church body.” I didn’t understand that church should be a place that stewards and disciples artists. I had never really seen it done until I became friends with Linda, an artist who belongs to Morningstar Fellowship in Ft. Mill, SC.

   I attended a women’s conference with Linda,  sponsored by Morningstar, and the theme was creativity. I also read a book, called The Path by Laurie Beth Jones, which helped me form a personal mission statement. Here it is.  

To passionately worship Christ, my King
To be divinely inspired by Him
To skillfully create, and effectively communicate concepts
That will advance the Kingdom of God
In my own life, and the lives of others

  Many years later, I was introduced to a book called Unlocking The Heart of The Artist by Matt Tommey. In April 2012, I devoured it and could hardly believe that I had finally found someone with which I could relate on the subject of how to connect with God through worship and conceive something that I could give birth to and change the world.

These were powerful metaphors for me. During that time I was working as professional birth doula and birth educator. I understood that for conception required two individuals  coming together in an intimate way. I began to see how vital it was for me to come into God’s presence in worship and invite Him to place a dream or concept in my heart. I began to see it was my responsibility to fiercely protect and nurture these things until the appointed time that they should be birthed.

  The Holy Spirit led me to study of the word “heart” through the Psalms and Proverbs that same year. The word heart  means “The most interior organ, midst, mind, understanding, will, intellect, feelings, the center.”

One of the most important truths I discovered about my heart was this, from Proverbs 37:4

“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

   I began to meditate on this. I began to realize a desire, placed in my heart by the Holy Spirit. The desire is this.  I want my art to glorify Him and speak of Him to the eyes and ears and hearts of people in a way that penetrates barriers and establishes righteousness.
I want people to have an undeniable encounter of His Presence, Love and Power.

   I have continued to express this desire to God.  He has started with my own eyes, ears, and heart. When I create with Him, for Him, I feel fulfilled, satisfied, filled with wonder and expectation and totally dependent on Him to bring the miracle of anointed creativity to pass.

  I am learning to stay connected to Him, to listen for His voice and to keep my eyes and ears open for inspiration, colors, textures, sounds, messages, and revelations of His love.
   I see myself as a vessel, which must be filled with the Living Water before I can be poured out. There is a season for filling and a time for spilling. As artists, it is important to know what season we are in.

  I have  come to appreciate how vital community is to the creative person.
I prayed about how I might facilitate this in my own community and the Holy Spirit showed me a picture of a heart, submerged in water with fizzy, colorful bubbles all around, and I heard the word, “Effervesce.” I believe this is a prophetic picture of a heart that has been plunged into the Living Water and is releasing the very life of God. It is a picture of joy, exuberance, vitality and exhilaration. I believe it is our inheritance to be in community with other artists whose hearts long for their intended design, even if they’ve not yet realized it ! Effervescence is like a chemical reaction for which creative folks can serve as catalysts for powerful reactions in the spiritual realm.

  It is an exciting life when your heart’s desire is to fully know and experience the love of God and to have that same love fully expressed through your creativity ! When I attended the Gathering of the Artists in 2013, I remember a dear sister, Aleona Isakova,  
challenging all of us with this statement. “When you get to heaven, He will ask you, “What did you do with My dream?’ If God put fire to your heart, you can create it!”
Those words resonated with me like a gong! In fact, just about everything about that weekend was confirmation upon confirmation that I was exactly where God wanted me,  and that He had created, chosen and equipped me to find my highest joy as a fearless, free, creative woman. To God be the glory !

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