Conversations with God
The primary message behind my work as a whole is "Let go and Let God" because I know that the moment I try to take over what he was trying to paint through me, is the moment the piece is no longer working. However there are many other times when God embeds deeper messages into my work. He often uses my pieces to minister to me about my perspective or thought process, relationships with other people, and my relationship with him. Here are a few of the conversations we've had.
1st installment of the "Perspectives Series"
Perspective is everything! You see a maze. God sees a journey that He has the road map too. You see a road block. He sees a course correction. You see a dead end. He sees a door he slammed shut to stop you from further pain. You see a lost job. God sees an open door for entrepreneurship. You see an ex that broke your heart. God sees the vessel He used to help your standards and increase your wisdom. Yes, the enemy is the one causing all the issues, but he can't do what God does not allow. How much faster and more efficient could we get through the lessons God orchestrates if we took the time to see the lesson in the trial instead of remaining bent and bitter about it. Perspective is what saves your sanity and lately, mine has been a little rigid.
There is a duality between mazes and puzzle pieces. Mazes represent confusion. So often you run into one dead end after another. You do not know if you've been here before or if this is a new wall. It's easy to feel lost when you're trapped inside of a maze. Puzzles, on the other hand, give you a sense of direction. You know where you're going by the picture on the box. The colors, size and shape of the puzzle pieces help you know where to put it. It's much easier to see your progress when working on a puzzle than when you're in a maze.
Here I am feeling trapped. I had several ideas on how to become a successful creative and every plan kept getting blocked. I'd try something a new plan, a new tactic only to have that blocked as well. Sometimes I was going the wrong way, and was getting frustrated trying to figure out what to do next. Other times, God was intentionally blocking me as represented by the silver puzzle piece blocking the entrances to the road red ring symbol.
Part of the blockade to my success, was that God had not yet revealed his plans to me, represented by the flat color of the puzzle pieces. While He did have a set path way for me, I was clueless as to what that might be which further added to my frustration. So here I am in this piece, frustrated because I don't know where to go or what to do in regards to my creative career and I'm mad at God because I felt as though He wasn't helping me figure it out.
3rd installment of the "Perspectives Series"
This piece represents my perspective vs God's perspective on time. If there is one thing I often struggle with, its knowing when is the right time to move and when is the right time to sit still. More often than not I want to move when God really wants me to be patient and let Him finish preparing me for my journey or setting things up along the way. Here we have the duality between my clock and God's clock. My internal clock is set to 5:10. 5 is the number of Gods grace and favor. 10 is the number of completeness of order. So, it would appear that it is the perfect time for me to move and take on the world. This is usually where I look at God thinking, there is no better time to move. Everything seems like its coming together. The only issue is, on God's clock, my hands are pointed to 6:11. 6 is the number for man's weakness and 11 is the number for disorder and chaos. On the contrary, God's hands are pointed at 7:12. 7 is the number for the foundation of God's word, completeness and perfection. 12 is the number for power, authority and completeness. However, on my clock His hands are pointed to 6:11. So many times God has told me to move on things I didn't think it was time for, or didn't think I had enough expierence to do well. I've stalled because I felt inadequate or could not for the life of me understand how His plans were going to work out. Though no one is perfect, it is my constant goal to try and hit the target of God's timing, which is represented by the red and white color palette of the piece. This journey is a constant navigation of God's timing which is why it's important to keep your ear close to God to know when to move and when to sit still.
2017 was hands down the hardest year of my life because I was in a war for my sanity. In the midst of me beginning to walk into my purpose, God put me through one test after another and I felt like I was drowning. The enemy came after my mind with everything he had and I was pissed off at God because it felt like He had left me hanging. I expected immediate relief after I prayed and fell to my knees but still, I continued to be tormented. For 12 months straight I was as low as I could possibly get, and yet, despite it all, I refused to bail out on God. I won't lie and say I didn't give God several pieces of my mind, because I did. But at the heart of the torment, was the tests, and at the heart of the tests was purpose. This piece is my reflection of 2017 because I knew that inside all the chaos and the confusion, all the pain, and even how long I had to endure before God finally! reaffirmed me and gave me all my hope back and then some, inside it all was God strengthening me and molding me for my purpose.
I have never been shy about the fact that I grew up with a double dose of daddy issues. I've spent the last 5 years combing through my flaws, understanding not only where they come from & what triggers them, but also how the effect my day to day life and my view of men. What I had not realized was that all the trauma I had gone through with both my dads over the years directly "Tainted" my view of God. For a long time I couldn't view God as a father and didn't want to. I didn't want God to be associated with a word that had caused me so much pain. I couldn't (and still learning how to) receive love from God. It was hard for me to believe God when he would tell me I was special. All because of everything I had gone through with my dads. I have been on a 5 year deliverance journey from past pain, and as God continues to heal me, there will be less and less black all over my view of God and all his glory.
"Fire of God"
(This piece was painted over an old piece that was originally purple)
Me: *carving at the painting and starts to see the purple come through*
Me: oooo. I'm digging this purple! I should paint on more.
God: Uh. no ma'am. If you add more purple it'll change the dynamic of the painting and take it in a different direction.
Me: oh yeah. Thats a good point. My bad.
God: Always trying to be the back seat driver.
"Its not as simple as it seems"
God hit me with a major! reality check. My entire life I blamed my biological dad for all of my psychological issues. The more I began to understand just how truly damaged I was, the more I blamed him. I mean surely his using my life as a revolving door (or so I use to call it), not fighting for me or protecting me, not making me a priority, dismissing me, bailing out after an argument, not being the kind of dad I needed him to be...Surely all that warrants him being blamed for the plethora of issues I had right? Right??
God: Wrong. Let me give you my perspective. At the time, he wasn't ready or capable of being the kind of father you needed at the time. And for that I separated you two to spare you from the pain of that. He was not the only source of your rejection and abandonment, here is a list of everyone else who fueled that anger. Let me show you the generational curses that have plagued not only your life but his. You're pissed off because he silenced you. I called you to speak. Naturally that made the enemy want to silence your voice using the only other person who's opinions mattered as much as your mom's. Pay closer attention to how this relationship and this relationship went. Now do you see how they also contributed to silencing your voice. You think you struggle with your value because he wasn't there for you? I have called you to a greatness you can't even imagine. The enemy needed to break your belief in yourself so that you would not pursue the call on your life. You blame your father for it all, but in reality and spiritually, he was just the first one to cause the things you struggle with, but the enemy drove that thorn as deep as he could go with so many other relationships, friendships, and situations. And you know what the real kicker is?? I allowed it all to happen to you.
Me: Pause. You did what?
God: Yes. I let it all happen. Before you catch a fit, think about who you are now. Think about how much you now want to help others heal from their past. Think about the books you want to write, and the programs you want to start. Think about your natural instinct to encourage others when life (the enemy) tries to attack their value. Think about how mentally and spiritual strong you became. Queen of logistics, do you honestly think you would be who you are now, want to accomplish all you want to accomplish now, if you had not gone through all those hardships?
Me: No. Not at all actually. Wow this whole time I thought it was all my dad, but it really wasn't that simple was it?
God: No. And if we are being frank, I'll even show you how some of your actions contributed to yals broken relationship.
God: The bottom line is that all that happened to you wasn't really the fault of him or anyone else who's hurt you. Not saying that it diminishes what you've gone through. Or that any of it was okay. I just want to show you that your trauma and pain is much bigger than one or a group of people. Before you were born I had a vision of all I wanted you to accomplish. The moment you were born the blueprint of your purpose was made public for both sides to see. The trauma of your life is a direct result of the enemy trying to deter you from your purpose. But the joke is really on him because I used all he tried to do to break you, to build you in to the Warrior you're becoming.
(In 2017 there had been so much going on with me lately on a spiritual level. Naturally everyone had advice to give when it came to my frustration with my lack of peace and understanding)
Them: Pray more.
Me: I am. Its not working...
Them: Read the bible more. It'll help you....
Me: I am. Its not working!!
Them: Well spend more time in devotional. Get in Gods presence.
Me: I AM!!! ITS. NOT. WORKING.
At least thats how I felt and it literally imploded all over this piece. As I was painting, patiently trying different techniques, I kept running into one painters block after another until I finally lost it. I attacked it with my hands over and over. Scraping at it and mushing it until the gloves started to fall apart. Even then I knew God was guiding me through the wilderness but I just felt like I was alone and no one really understood what I was going through.
The meaning of this piece had to do with the process I went through to create it. I used a simple rolling technique. I took a roller and rolled paint of different colors onto the canvas. The longer I rolled the paint, the more it caked up on the roller until dried paint chips started to come back off on the canvas. As I was painting it, I thought about how much of the past people hold onto, myself included. If we could just learn to let go of the hurt, the grudges, the failures etc, and take a step back, we could see the beauty in all that we've gone through.
Beauty in the Past
Me: I'm okay. It's all good...I'm fine. It could be worse. Just focus on the silver lining. Find the light. I will just focus on the light. It's all good...I'm fine. I'm fine.
God: Mhmm. How about we get at how you're really feeling about all the chaos and confusion surrounding your mind.
God: *keeps pushing me and pushing me until I finally lost it and almost started to cry*
God: There it is. Now we are getting somewhere. Now that you're finally being honest about how all this is making you feel, come inside and talk to me about it.