Holy moly. It always surprises me when I come across a piece I haven't shared that I painted almost a year ago. Sometimes I wonder if I paint too much. Then I am like, "NAHHH!!! I can't paint enough!" Christ is so good that He is giving me all of these ideas! I am trying to catch up with HIM. He really has been working on me to paint words for Him for a long time.
But He needed to strengthen me.
Looking back, I would love to have not gone through my bad bouts of depression. (I know Jeff would prefer not to have dealt with those episodes!) But at the same time, I grew from those times, I am a much stronger woman, wife, mom, and Christian. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if we hadn't moved so many times. (I mean really; 5 states in 5 years was kind of nuts. Who does that but crazy people?) But if we hadn't, I wouldn't have so many amazing experiences, friends, points of view on different ways to live and worship Jesus. I wonder what would have happened if I had listened way back 20 years ago and made HIS art then, instead of scrapbooking, painting pictures of farmer's markets, and making all of those collaged cards (I even went to New York City thinking I could sell them). But if I hadn't tried all of those different things, I wouldn't appreciate what He is doing in me now. I wouldn't have that background of different styles and techniques that shapes my art now.
Lots and lots and lots of small things in a long series. Bringing me to do His work NOW. All in HIS time. What would have happened if one of those other things had broken me? What would have happened if they had been successful? Would I be where I am now?
Would He have strengthened me to this point?
Would I be ready to do HIS will?
Because I know now, my way doesn't work. My ideas aren't always the best. I can trust that He is using this world to shape me. I can trust that there is a lesson in everything--no matter how hard it is, no matter how much I don't want it, or think it will break me.
And more importantly: I know that the great is not me. The GREAT is JESUS. Him working in me. Him leading me to glorify Him. It is so easy in our culture to get caught up in how great we think we are. And that is not the point. That is not when or how or what is truly great.
The series of small things brought together leads us to a life with what is truly truly great. Faith in Christ.
I can only pray that He will use a whole string of more small stuff the rest of my life until I get to join Him in what will be the greatest of all.
How about you? Can you look at your series of small things? Are they leading you to the great? Is God strengthening you? Getting you ready for the great stuff? Are you in the great stuff now? Do you realize it? I hope so!