For years I’ve been running toward a monster with a beautiful face. Its lips whispered a future I could have only dreamed of. Every time I looked in its eyes, it showed me visions of happiness, success, and hope.
Somewhere along the journey, I’d lost hope. I began to be skeptical of chasing it, thinking that this would be just another rabbit that will lead me down another black hole of nothingness. Waste of time. Waste of life. Hope had become a liar. Hope had become another pretty monster.
Losing hope is the most devastating consequence of a misaligned life.
I still knew God. I still read my Bible daily and did all the things I had done for years. I knew God was there somewhere. What I couldn’t understand was why I no longer felt Him or felt much of anything for that matter. I’d grown numb. To everything.
Worship music used to bring me to tears almost every time I heard it. I am a part of two amazing churches that continually fill me with life-giving, life-changing instruction. But it didn’t matter. Everything had become ineffective—prayers, worship, relationships, messages.
But God’s silence has told me a lot in the past few weeks.
If I’m honest, it’s told me everything I needed to know. He had pushed me into a dark corner so that I could finally see the tiny light I’d been missing. I’ve missed so much in the chase. I’ve forgotten what it’s like to feel joy regularly and to not have any outside pressure pushing me to some version of myself that I don’t like. I will always err on the side of peace. I will never be fond of what hustling does to my mind and body. I can’t push myself anymore. I can’t create results.
There is no sowing and reaping in art. It’s sow, sow, sow. With no promise of ever having anything to reap. That’s what I’ve been believing. But perhaps, I’ve been wrong about that too. I’ve been sowing my words, my books, for nearly a decade now, and I’ve been expecting a reaping that isn’t a spiritual one. I’ve been hoping for what the world defines as success, when in fact, the world is wrong. Always is. All this time that I’ve been sowing, I’ve actually been reaping a character, instead.
“Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.” – Emerson
I haven’t always been proud of my character. I’m painfully aware of my flaws, but I’m starting to see that God has given me my experiences and trials to mold me into something worthy. Something more akin to holy.
I’ve been broken by my circumstances for far too long. Thank God for bringing beauty to brokenness and turning my trials into a testimony. I’m grateful He is restoring my hope. Now I can go forward knowing that my destiny awaits and be completely content with the fact that I don’t know what will come. My future no longer needs to look a certain way for me to be happy. I have shelter, food, family, and faith. My needs are met and so many of my wants too. There’s only reason to rejoice in the blessings. No more woefully passing the days, wishing that the one thing I’m without will come.
What if I started living life in complete recognition that God gave me the dream as a gift? He wrapped it with a little bit of talent, a ribbon of wisdom, and a bow of hope. Inside, laid more stories than I could ever live to tell. I should wear my gift like a prized jewel, around my neck, close to my heart. I should treat it like the most precious gift I’ve ever been given. I can’t bend it to my own will, and I certainly can’t make it something He never intended it to be. All I can do with it is enjoy it. I can share it with people, and I can reflect on it with utter joy.
No more monsters. No more chasing.
It’s only surrender and joy from here.
Because He who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:5-6).
The Faithful Creative is a blog, community, and magazine for believers who create. Our hope is to bring you encouraging and inspirational articles that enrich your life, art, and faith.