(Originally written 2012)
I am kind of a control freak. Yes, I know – I am sure that comes as a surprise to you. 😉 Well, believe it or not, it still surprises me from time to time! The tightness that I like to try to hold the reigns in my life is astounding to me at times. And when things don’t happen the way I envision them, it totally throws me off.
Today was a day that I talked, yelled, cried, prayed, and finally surrendered (again) to God. But this was a different way. Today I realized that I had to give up my vision of what the future looks like. I feel confident that God has a plan, but how that plays out, what it looks like, when, and the little details are things that I have come to accept (at least in this moment) that I don’t know. And probably won’t until they are happening. I have had so many paintings in my head – dreams of how things will look, the time frame, reasons about why those things are “right.” But today, for the first time, I surrendered those paintings. My gallery, if you will, is nothing but a white wall right now.
I don’t really like white walls.
I love color – splashes of bright designs. Patterns and warmth and designs and artsy stuff. White walls – well, they seem so plain and boring and lifeless to me. Clean, yes (well, they wouldn’t be in my house), but still still plain. So to offer up my future, my dreams to God as a white washed canvas is super scary to me. What if he leaves it that way?
Yet I know that he is the great artist. Look at this world – the nature, the people, the colors, the vibrant life that is all around us. Even in the brokenness that is overflowing all around us, he is there and breaking through in abundance. And if he applies all that color to the world around me, I have to believe he will apply that to me, my hopes, and my dreams.
One brush stroke at a time. That’s where this whole surrendering thing will remain hard. See, I am a person who loves to cast vision and dream. So when he makes a blue streak and then stops, I will start to jump to every possibility that could mean. I will imagine and dream, and then decide which of my scenarios is the most probable and which is the best according to me. Then I will start filling in the canvas myself. Then I’ll get angry because God is not having things play out the way I have painted them, and he will have to remind me again that he is the artist.
Don’t get me wrong – dreaming and hoping is ok. But it is important for us – especially people like me who take an idea and run with it – to make sure that these dreams and ideas are actually coming from God. And even more important for me to keep communicating with God and not get angry because he is not making my own picture come to fruition my way.
I am not The Artist.