for those who love beauty, seek truth, and live creatively within community
“Express myself?” I kept repeating in my mind as I walked home from the counselor’s office. It was my junior year of college and I sought guidance from the college counselor to help sort out issues that had been playing out in my head and heart. The only advice I left with that day was the encouragement to find outlets to voice my emotions. I had only ever been involved in sports. I didn’t know what “expressing myself” looked like.
It is now 2009 and I am still wrestling with that same question and restlessness. This year instead of making the same New Year’s Resolutions that I never seem to keep (punctuality, become a saver and not a spender, loose five pounds, etc.) I decided to make it simple. My New Year’s Resolution for 2009 was to find outlets to express myself. Am I keeping my resolution? Well, I have worked on expressing my true feelings and opinions even though it has made me vulnerable and exposed, I have fumbled my way through learning five or six chords on the guitar, and decided to start this blog with Erin. It is October and I still have a lot of “expressing” to do before the year draws to a close.
You see, I have been afraid to take these steps towards expression because I believe that I am not artsy, musical, and creative. I have chosen to not explore what talents God has given me or not even attempted to develop a talent because I was afraid that I would look stupid. And you know what? I probably will, but that’s okay.
I listened to a podcast a couple months back from one of my teachers at YWAM (Youth With A Mission) named Patrick Dodson. He commented that everyone is creative. For some it comes naturally and they can’t help but create, others have to work at finding their creativity and developing it, and the rest believe they aren’t creative at all and don’t even give themselves a chance to explore their talents. He later noted in another podcast, “God made us in his image and gave us the ability to make things. He also gave us this passion. This thing inside which allows us to use imagination and take dysfunction, pain, beauty, and craft and make something of that.”
In more recent years my appreciation for art has grown, but I have become a spectator or a fan. Yes, this art has given a voice to my own fears and thoughts that I sometimes can’t articulate. Yes, this art has inspired me, challenged me, and changed me. But now it is my turn to engage. It is my turn to be vulnerable and take the time to find an art that I enjoy and devote myself to practicing it.
Dodson said, “That creativity is the freedom that God gives you to delve into the soul.” This is what this blog is for. It is a safe place and a safe community to delve into our souls. It’s a sounding board to express our restlessness, ideas, fears, and joys. So bear with me while I take the risk to live out my New Year’s Resolution. I challenge you to do the same.