My “Doodling Devotional” year is rapidly coming to a close. It’s hard to believe I’ve been doodling almost daily for a year now. My last doodle that I will post on Facebook is September 25. After that I will begin to post the doodles I already did last year, when I started this journey, on my blog only. (I missed 15 days of doodling and will be making those up when need be, most of them are in October) Facebook friends who are not bored to tears with these may subscribe to this blog or just check it out once in a while. By mid-January I will have completed a full year of blogging and at that point, plan to stop doing the devotional blog. I will continue with The-Bird-Watcher.com blog as I begin to pursue a more focused set of goals for my work. It was interesting to read this mornings devotional about our goal as Christians from start to finish being “To Know Christ.” That is the whole reason I started this process–here were some of my promptings.
The end of August and the beginning of September last year a reality of life hit–death. The father of my children went into hospice and passed away on September 3. This capped off the loss of several friends and family in the last few years, the difficult decision to leave a denomination that I’d grown up in, raised my children in and spent the majority of my adult life in, the confrontation and exposure of my childhood and a major shift in life work–stepping out in faith and putting our families life-style at risk to become a full-time fine artist. Although Bruce and I were divorced for 22 years (I’m aging myself here but oh well) we’d spent 13 years together and raised four children together. Although my faith in God never wavered, Bruce’s death for some reason was the final blow that threw me into a tail spin of “what’s the point of it all?” and “when’s it my turn?”
Enter God–I had been sporadically attending a group called “The Responding,” for artists of all kinds, however, I was the only visual artist in the group made up of mostly musicians (I’m a musician as well but that is not my focus at this point in my life). The group would meet, worship through music, have a devotional and then we’d share with each other our responses to the last meeting we’d had or to a private devotional. The point was to get to know God through “responding” to Him in the art form we wanted to use. After months of attending, hearing beautiful yet many times not so perfect responses to God through music or poetry or a skit, I began to feel as though I was a slacker, after all, creating a piece of art takes time! One sleepless night as thoughts of pointlessness bombarded me from every direction, and concentration on any subject eluded me, an idea came to me–doodle responses to my devotionals–doodles don’t take long, right?! (Doodling would also loosen my style for illustrating children’s poetry books for my husband.) Most importantly, I wanted to understand God more fully, be more intimate with Him and learn to trust Him more with my life, my families lives and my career. I wanted to know, “What’s the point of it all?!”
Well, doodles and then verbal responses and posts can take long and doing them has taken me through many stages of thoughts and emotions like, “nobody wants to see this”, “people are going to think you’re weird”, “what about work–this is taking too long”, “I could lose friends over this”, “you’re too vulnerable doing this”, “what if I offend someone”, “what if it doesn’t make sense” . . . . to name a few. Through all of that I began to realize, this isn’t about anyone else, it is about me being obedient to God, responding in the way I felt called to respond and most importantly, getting to know Him. I am a changed person because of this experience. Here are a few of the things I’ve learned: Never trust logic; always trust God; Christ lives in me–not just figuratively; every experience in my life and every gift God gave me and the way He created me to look are all God’s plan for me and meant to bring me closer to Him–I just need to give it all back to Him as it comes; everything that brings confusion theologically, fear for the here and now and for the future or doubt of my salvation is from the enemy of my soul–Satan–and is of this world; God is the author and FINISHER, the beginning and the end which brings me back to today’s doodle–TO KNOW CHRIST–that’s the point and goal of my Christian life from beginning to end.
I can’t say I’ve got it all figured out now and that curve balls won’t come my way, but I can say this–I trust God much more than I ever have with my life, financial situation, family, friends and career and most definitely–I don’t doubt that my salvation is secure in Him. I’d challenge you to begin to respond–go deep with God–all you have to do is leave all preconceived ideas behind! He’ll blow your mind.