God has really brought me on amazing journeys of other lands. Living for weeks without running water or electric. No real gas stations or grocery stores just the local roadside markets in Mizak, Haiti or the beautiful trade markets of Guatemala. So much of this happened while my creativity was unfolding. I don’t care that my income has dwindled to a fraction of what it was, my world has expanded with friends, experiences, countries and hopes that were not there before. Returning to these places with my “creative” eyes brings even richer perspective.
When I look back it seems I was living in a closet. Surviving in a place of sameness. Expecting more and settling for same. A friend has used the phrase “stuck in the mud” and after trying to walk the paths in Haiti after a rain… I knew that feeling well. Trying to find a little joy that might make another day worth it.
I can’t put a finger on exactly what changed or when but I know one biggie and as I was reading in Mark 8 , it spoke it so well in the Message verses 34-37 “Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he (Jesus) said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?”
I had been living a lie. I had become a shell of me. I would put on the happy face, the fancy clothes, makeup and try to fit in. As a kid I never fit in but I learned as an adult how to do it well. Follow the rest of them – they’re happy. Are they really? It didn’t matter, I was not. I found it harder and harder to stay in that closet.
I wonder how to really say this but I feel like God rescued me from self destruction. I spent several years shedding the layers and images that I had created all around me. I still have areas that need to be filed, reshaped and then buffed to a shiney glow before they reflect all the glory of God – kind of like this nice bus bumper! He’s driving though so I’ll do the best that I can.