Let God Begin A Work Of Art In You.

What time is it?!

SUMMERTIME!!!

Its finally here, graduations happened, everyone’s wearing shorts and getting (0r in my case attempting to get) tan. Pools are open, freckles are more visible and we all get to experience a little bit more rest than we have for the past nine months. And for me, summer is for (some) free-time!

One of my favorite parts about the summer is that I get to delve back into the hobbies I don’t have time for during the school year. Such as reading, sketching, learning new songs, writing etc… I try to do these things during the fall and spring semesters,  but its during the summer months that I have more time to focus on these hobbies and improve my skills in these areas. I think hobbies are a wonderful thing to have. I hope someday to have a career that involves my creative interests and talents, and whether that happens or not, I will still explore them and the length my talents and abilities can stretch.

For instance, recently I have been exploring some aspects of art and realized that, currently, my favorite medium to use is charcoal. I have always enjoyed using pencil because I admire the black, white and grey hues as opposed to the color. I love the effect and depth smudging and shading can add to a piece. Let me clarify one thing, I in no way, shape, or form consider myself an amazing artist; or writer for that matter. I just consider myself a person who has a eternally burning, passion for these things, so I do them because I just can’t, not. And what I have learned recently is that God has instilled in each of us passions, talents, and desires to use for his glory, and despite how alone we may feel, God knows us better than we know ourselves. He created us with the talents and passions we sometimes find so hard to express. God told the prophet Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1:5 that, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…” and in Psalm 139:13 David exclaims, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” God knew us before we were created and the most amazing part of it all, is before we were born He loved us in ways we cannot even begin to comprehend.

What I love most about drawing or sketching with charcoal, or any medium for that matter, is that you slowly build on each layer and create this beautiful depth and warmth to the picture. The shadows go on forever and you can build and build, layer upon layer as dark or light as you want. As deep and rich as you desire. And the picture will always seem to capture the viewer. You’ll find yourself lost in the shadows of these hues of black, white and grey. The art will overwhelm you and you’ll never be able to take in all that is on the canvass. And no matter the quality, that alone, is so beautiful to me.

Friends. This is a beautiful analogy of God’s love. He, the eternal artist, takes us as we are, blank canvasses. And once we hand over all the materials to Him, not some or the ones we don’t like, but literally all, He begins to sketch His love and mercy on us. His love is not one-dimetional. Its so deep and full. He is constantly building layer upon layer of love that we will never fully grasp. He adds highlights and shadows and just when we think we experienced it all He adds more and more to this masterpiece He’s creating with our broken yet surrendered lives.

And the most humbling and beautiful part is we don’t deserve it. We deserve death. The fact that we have salvation is so much more than enough. He not only saves us from the eternal damnation, but because He is such a good, good father, He chooses to love us and give us an abundant and enjoyable life. And an opportunity to serve and experience Him. We get to experience and know the God of the universe!!! God knows you better than you can ever know yourself, He has instilled dreams and desires in your life to serve Him. Never shy away from the passions He has gifted you with. Let Him continue to create a work of art in you, because he already sees us as so much more than we can ever be on our own. So pick up the pencil or paintbrush or guitar or basketball or script or computer or whatever is on your heart. Pick up what drives you, and don’t stop doing it. But maybe adjust your perspective on why you do it. Or rather “WHO,” you’re doing it for. God wants us to find joy and peace in him, rest in His love today and be encouraged that we will never comprehend it. Because if we did, what we would we do after that?

Fellow Adventurers,

Let God begin, continue and finish the work of art He started in you long before you were even formed in your mother’s womb. He loves us so much, and He is so SO GOOD!

 

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Thank You to the People Who Prayed For Me

Before I say anything else; GOD IS SO GOOD. And all glory goes to Him.

For anyone who reads my blog, you know I have not stayed consistent with my recent project; #52WeeksOfHappy. There’s a reason for that. I hope to explain in this post why these last few months have been some of the hardest times I have faced, but also how they have resulted in the greatest lessons I have learned, thus far. And after this will try to continue to blog about the joy and happiness of life. FAIR WARNING: This post will be a bit long and pretty personal, but it ends on a good note. I would be honored if you read all of it and if not, it’s all good.

Six months ago I never would have imagined I would have been where I am. And at that time I had a very particular idea of what direction life was heading in. I knew the people I wanted to be with, knew what I was working for and knew what success and happiness looked like; all those plans I had clearly imagined in my head. I was healthy, I was happy, and was so excited that everything was finally working out. But little did Kim know…

Long story short, pretty much the opposite of what I had expected, is what happened. Things fell apart, things were taken away, I lost my motivation for everything, I had absolutely no joy, or feeling whatsoever, and without going into detail, I quickly sank into one of the lowest depressions and darkest places I have ever been in. I was numb. I was completely broken and was at a place that no Christian should be: I felt hopeless. And had accepted the lie that I was not meant to be loved and would never experience it or what true happiness was. And what was worst of all, despite my pointing fingers and anger towards everyone that, “did me wrong,” including God, I knew what I supposed to do, but I was too stubborn to do it. So, I wallowed in my depression and made sure everyone who hurt me knew they did and why, so they would never hurt anyone else. (Which is a terribly stupid thing to do when you’re incredibly emotional, like I was.) And after doing all that; what I felt was my right to say and do, I was still alone and had made situations worse. It even resulted in me feeling like I lost some of my closest friends. All because I couldn’t accept life for what it was and move on.

One thing that has always been a struggle for me is that I constantly make the same mistakes and get in a cycle of being on fire for God, getting hurt or something not working out, and then I repent and try to be a good Christian again. And I never understood why everyone else was learning huge things and growing in the Lord, while I was still trying to stay consistent. So, when this low point in my life happened, I was so exhausted and was pretty much done trying. But, hallelujah and praise God that despite our falling away and stubbornness, He is beyond merciful, constantly pursuing us and desires a relationship with us.

Yes, you guessed it, this story does have a happy ending. When hard times come, I have this terrible habit of getting stubborn and prideful. And instead of running to God, I tend to run away from him, which never ends well. I finally got to a point where I truly had nothing left. And by nothing, I mean emotionally and spiritually. I had no energy to try to do things on my own anymore. Basically, I had a moment where, in the midst of my tears and self-pity, I cried out to my Savior and said I was done trying to do life on my own anymore and that I was all in. From now on, its me and Jesus. Forever and always. And I can’t pin-point exactly when it happened, but all I can say is, GOD IS SO GOOD. I am so full of His presence and have so much joy in Who and What He is, and I honestly cannot contain it! It wasn’t me that changed, but my whole perception of what I should be striving for did. I don’t try to be good or right anymore, I simply seek and desire to be closer to Him everyday. And being with Him is the best feeling and place I have ever been in.

This sounds like a salvation story, it also sounds like a, ‘full surrender,’ story, but to me, it’s more of an awareness story. I have been a Christian and saved since I was thirteen, but through this hard season I had just became so aware of what being God’s servant is. We all experience God in different ways. For me, I had always put Jesus in a box, sometimes without even realizing it. And just like my life, I had a perfect idea of what a good, impactful Christian was. But friends, there is so much more to God than two hours of worship and discussion on Sunday and an occasional Bible study throughout the week. He is the God of the universe. He spoke the world into existence. SPOKE IT PEOPLE! And don’t even get me started on His love and mercy and grace and faithfulness. Because I could go on for hours. All I’m trying to say is, we serve an AWESOME and AMAZING God. And what changed for me and what I became aware of, is what I just explained. That God is AMAZING and ALL-POWERFUL and loves us more than we will ever begin to understand. But the difference was, I finally looked at it as a truth not a sentence. I experienced all the facts I had known forever as now the truth that my identity is based in. My identity and my worth is in Christ alone. And oh my goodness, that gets me so excited and joyful! If that doesn’t make you wanna scream or dance or worship, WHAT WILL?!

Through all of my struggles and heartbreak, I always told myself that God was allowing things to be taken from me to prove and show that He is the only constant thing in my life. And as I was reading my devotional this morning I realized something. God never allowed me to be hurt. He simply allowed me to exercise my free-will and put my faith and identity in the things and people I wanted. Which are of this world, therefore they are flawed and conditional. So, of course they will fail me and disappoint me. God never had to prove to me that He was constant, He always was and will be. But I was looking for constance and security in inconstant things. I was yelling at God asking why He took this and that away, when I should’ve been yelling at myself, asking why I based my faith and identity in things of this world. Not everyone just asks God to take something away and are delivered. Everyone has a different story and different encounters with Christ. And none are worth more or less to God than others. We are all His masterpieces. My story just happens to be that I never truly asked God to deliver me of my depression and what had held me down. And when I finally did, humbly and bodly before Him, He did. He filled my joy unexplainable. It will always be a struggle, because I still have a sinful flesh, but now I know it is able to be dealt with and conquered. PRAISE GOD.

I say all that to make this statement:

THANK YOU.

I know there were many people who knew I was going through a rough time, some more than others. And I knew you prayed for me, and I cannot thank you enough for that. I know there were people who prayed for me and had no idea what I was going through, so thank you. To my family, friends, and the people who only know me as a name on a prayer list, thank you. Prayer is a powerful thing. And I can honestly say that everyone of you, whoever you are, helped me overcome what I did, through the strength and mercy of Jesus Christ. There’s a reason we are a body of Christ and not individual parts. We all need prayer and we all need brothers and sisters in Christ. Because it makes a difference, I know it did in my life.

There’s a quote by Grace Thornton that states,”Jesus isn’t the wallpaper for life, but life itself.” I love that so much and find so much truth in it. God isn’t a decoration or a part that makes me look better anymore. He is all that I am and all I want or need. And I’m so stoked to see what comes next.

In closing, I have no idea what life hold for future Kim, or even present Kim. My dreams haven’t changed, but my perception of what my dreams are, has. All I know is, as long as I am seeking God and continue to be all-in, He will give me the desires of my heart; the true desires He has instilled in me. And as long as I’m with Him, I will never be disappointed.

HE IS SO GOOD.