Walk Out on the Water
My thoughts would see-saw back and forth every eight weeks at the local juried art show hosted by our local art league:
“Here I go again. I have to go up to bat or I will never hit a home run. They ar not going to take my paintings. I keep putting out money and don’t get a return on my investment. I hate going back in the afternoon at the designated time to walk the hall of shame and see that all four of my entered paintings, yet again, have been “rejected” and “unchosen.” Again. And again.
Maybe I should go at the beginning of the hour to pick up my paintings. Will I feel less rejected? Because I had been going at the end of the hour to pick up and there were my paintings among only a few still unclaimed rejections. Mine were leaning against the wall like wilting flowers.”
So next time, I went at the beginning the hour to pick up my rejections. I can tell you, the pain was not lessened regardless of the timing.
My inner dialogue continued, “Why do I put myself through this?”
It was painful. The woman who works behind the desk would help me find my “rejects”, and said once, “Just keep trying. The artwork was so good this time. The juror had such a hard time deciding and we only have room for so many.”
And I admit, I asked My Man many times to go pick them up for me and call me with the rejection notice. It seemed to soften the blow a bit coming from the one who had stood by my side for more than 30 years. I always seemed to be busy on those particular days. Wayman was faithful to go, but I realized this was my responsibility to go up to bat. I had to put on my big girl underwear and go to see if they had a place to hang on the walls as watchmen.
Choosing to believe who God says you are is scary. Why do we feel so exposed? When I read about the Hall of Fame of the Faithful in Hebrews 11, I see men and women who risked everything to serve their Abba Father. I dreamt of serving Him in such a way. And yet, when He told me exactly what to do, it took years for me to believe Him.
Think back to a moment in a little fishermen’s boat in the Sea of Galilee. Peter, a disciple of Jesus, looked out on the water in the middle of the night. He and the other disciples saw something coming. It looked like a ghost. Then he recognized the face. Jesus, a man they had just seen feed thousands of people with just a few loaves of bread and a few fish, is walking on the water across the Sea of Galilee to come and find them.
Walking on the water.
He doesn’t believe it. He wants Jesus to prove it is Him. And then, Peter gets an invitation.
“Come,” Jesus said. So Peter gets out of the boat and begins to walk toward Jesus. Once Peter is out on the water, he gets distracted.
“But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” He said, “why did you doubt?” And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying “Truly you are the Son of God.”
Peter experienced something that I fought for so long, a battle of the mind. Who are you going to believe? What is the worst that will happen? Get out of the boat, and if you start to sink, Jesus will catch you.
The struggle is real. I certainly do not have all the answers. But I share with you my mind battles. I go back to the truth of who I am. I am a Child of God. I am made in the Creator God’s image. In His likeness. He creates, so I create. It is what I am meant to do. To be. To become. To process. To live every day. But I trust the dreams God placed in my heart to move to reality, and I believe in a new identity. Walking out on the water.
All the doubts and lies, they are like fiery arrows trying to find their way under my skin. When these darts find their way to where they were intended to be, they shut me down. They distract me. They get me off track. They are not new or creative. Some days they are there, some days they aren’t. And they are the same ones I struggled with from the very beginning.
There is no way I am an artist.
I don’t know what I am doing.
I have no formal training, so I am really not an artist.
The professional juror at the art show can see right through my amateur status. They just keep passing over me. Why do I even try to get into an art show? It is a wasted of money.
I will never be able to paint like her.
I can’t learn how to do art software programs to produce other art products to sell.
This is too much for me.
I am so afraid it is crippling.
I am painting and not hanging out with my friends.
This is so lonely.
What is the next step in growing my business?
How do I get customers beyond my friends?
What do I paint next?
I don’t know how to paint that.
I wish people would stop telling me what to paint!
Do they know I don’t really know what I am doing?
The comparisons and the lies. They grew like a wet psyllium.
But there is more to it. Peter has enough faith to step out of the boat. After he is ALREADY WALING ON WATER, he doubts. He seems to have a hard time. There is a real obstacle of the water sloshing around him, as well as the gripping fear. It doesn’t go away once he steps out of the boat. With each step he still had fear.
As with any life pathway, obstacles are going to show up. Some are expected and some are a surprise. Am I going to let fear stifle my dreams or passion when the hard places and hard times appear? Sometimes one wins with decisions made on the journey. And sometimes one loses with decisions made on the journey. But, really did I lose or did I just learn from my decisions? It all depends on the perspective I choose to believe. When I start to sink, I feel Jesus grad me, hold me tight, and tell me not to lose faith. I hear His whisper saying, “Take another step. I am with you.”
Read my book Small Beginnings: A Journey to the Impossible to hear the rest of the story.
If you know someone who needs inspiration, healing or would like to join us
on this journey with God please, share this blog with them. ~Sara