I don’t know how you’re doing right now, but if you’ve hit a wall and need some encouragement, I’m here to tell you, BY THE GRACE OF GOD, WE CAN DO THIS! By no means am I riding a wave of constant optimism. In the midst of COVID-19, I have felt all the emotions … anger, frustration, fear, joy, disappointment, peace, satisfaction, annoyance, and the list goes on!

If you’re like me, perhaps you have so many questions. Will everything be like this for ever? Is social distancing our new norm? When will I be able to visit my parents? Will we be able to have a family reunion again?

You might feel like everything is changing… and who likes change?! I’m certainly not an immediate fan of this c-word. I don’t go looking for change and in fact, I try to avoid it, if at all possible. Why change a good thing or change what isn’t broken?

But when I open God’s Word, I see that good can come from change. The Bible gives a glimmer of what change can mean for our lives and has inspired me to embrace change in the art I make.

I Samuel shows the Israelites settling into the Promised Land under new leadership. There is one common thread in the stories of Israel’s leaders… Naomi and Ruth, Gideon, Samuel, Saul, and David, to name a few, each of them experienced significant change and transformation in their life.

There was a point in which these individuals were called out of their everyday lives and asked to make a critical choiceto leave their life and follow God’s calling. What a difficult choice. How do you give up the familiar, the norm, the expected… your everyday life and embrace a change into something new and foreign? Gideon, Saul and David had no advance notice that their lives were going to be uprooted. They had no reason to believe that they would be doing anything different than tending to their family’s responsibilities. They were not the first in line for any “promotion,” in fact, they were the smallest and least of their family. Yet, God called them out and chose to transform their lives. 

When they arrived (to David’s house), Samuel saw Eliab (David’s brother) and thought, “Surely, the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. I Samuel 16:7

Is it unheard of that God would choose you, like he did David, and transform you for a mighty purpose? Perhaps this is crazy talk to you, but not to God. It’s natural to think someone else might be better suited than you. When we focus on external appearances, the grass is always greener elsewhere. However, the truth is, God has already chosen you … despite who you are and what you have to offer. 

Could this unprecedented pandemic and change to our everyday life be a signal for the start of something new? Being stripped of our everyday norm might be a way to bring us one step closer to surrendering to what God wants for your life. Don’t be afraid. Let God lead you into your future. While things are changing all around, God does not change, and He is good, faithful and trustworthy. His very first act was creating the most perfect world for us to inhabit with All.The.Things. Don’t you think He’s got more incredible ideas up His sleeve? Our God is a creative Maker. He created us for a purpose and has chosen you to be part of His work. Lean into your changing world and like Samuel, try responding with, “Here I am. Speak, for your servant is listening.”

He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a human being, that he should change his mind. I Samuel 15:29

let’s get creative

If you’re not quite convinced that change can bring about something good, take a minute and try this creative activity with me. Take a beautiful picture and change it up. Inspired by Alisa Burke’s Magazine Makeover, I took portraits from fashion magazines and began transforming them with pens and paints.

I traced over existing images, made new repeating patterns, added simple doodles, and layered text in bold, print and cursive lettering. I used gouache paints to add color to a black and white portrait and to “black out” areas of the portrait that I wanted to change. Keep in mind that if you don’t like something, a new coat of paint gives you a blank slate and lets you have a whole new look. I prefer to use gouache instead of acrylic paints, because they are incredibly vibrant with a bit more translucency. Using white and gold signo gel pens, I created striking outlines and contrasts for a truly transformed portrait. Take a leap and transform something today. Changes can bring about something beautiful and unforeseen if you let go and embrace the journey.

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