“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (2 Corinthian 1:3-4)
I am not an artist or even remotely talented at anything creative. I SO wish I was because I THRIVE when creating exciting new ideas. To list a few: nonprofit coffee shop, event planning business, online thrift store, healthy food truck… Writing has come to be my accessible, go-to creative outlet. I enjoy writing poems, fiction, nonfiction, but my favorite things to write about are my feelings and ideas! (hello, enneagram 4!)
When I practice the art of writing, I resemble my Creator, author of the Holy Bible. Yes God is a writer; He’s written the world’s most famous book. I know I can never compare, but when I write I follow in the footsteps of the one who created me. I was led to this conclusion by what Lysa Terkeurst says in “It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way” in Chapter 5 called ‘Paintings and People’ where she paints for her 48th birthday. She says, “To create meant that I would look a little bit like my creator.” Of course Lysa’s painting trifles in comparison to God’s creation. That is not the point she is trying to make. It is the humbling action of creating, and HOW it is created. Created with compassion.
Lysa went on to say that “the enemy doesn’t leave this ‘not good enough’ script as a general whisper that passes through our thoughts. No he makes it personal.” When we listen to these lies we are constraining the compassion we need to share for ourselves (including what we create) and others.
I have come to find that this is one of the very reasons I hold back from writing. Every time I open a blank google doc I stare at the blinking cursor for far too long. I hold a debate in my head with a list of excuses why I should not write. These excuses start to sound plausible, because they align with the fact that I am not experienced enough. When I hear I am not experienced enough I start to think I am not good enough. Just like Lysa says, “We determine it’s an authentic assessment of mounting evidence that we fall so very short. We don’t even know this is all coming from the enemy, because the recognizable voice we hear saying it over and over is our own. I am not good enough.”
She goes on to say how this voice leaves us feeling disillusioned and causes us to quit. I know when I give in to that constraining voice inside my head is when I slam my laptop shut and say “I give up.”
I continued to read the chapter and I realized what I lack is this compassion. Compassion for my writing and people. I am guilty of holding people and my writing to an expectation that God doesn’t even have. Of course there are going to be imperfections! I am unfinished. How can I, an unfinished creation, expect any form of perfection for what I write? How can I expect that from other unfinished people?
“So, as unfinished creations of course everything we touch will have imperfections.”
I don’t need to have the perfectly written post every time. It is a process much like the life we live. “If God is patient with the process, why can’t I be?”
Lysa goes on to say how she forced herself to send a picture of the painting she’s created to 20 friends, and she slowly began to make peace with her painting’s imperfections. She shared her painting not for validation but rather confirmation that she could see the painting’s imperfections but not deem it worthless.
When I first started sharing my writing with my friends, I knew my writing had a plethora of imperfections. So when my friends offered their positive and corrective comments I was able to improve in how I brought out my thoughts and ideas. I slowly became more confident in this gift. I am not sure if my writing is helping any of those who read it but I know this outlet has helped me grow immensely as a writer. Like Lysa, I share for confirmation not validation.
A way to demonstrate compassion is letting others know nobody has it all together. So I’ve challenged myself to begin to share more honestly and to include more of the “real life moments” not just the filtered, perfect poses specifically taken for the ‘gram. One of my goals when I share my life through writing is that the reader (you!) will say “me too!”
Lysa says that “Just as breaking bread with another hungry human feeds our bodies with nourishment, breaking secrecy with another hurting human feeds our souls with compassion.”
This blog-every word of it-is written by an imperfect human so it deserves compassion just like the human reading this deserves compassion because we were all created with compassion!
Now if you haven’t read the Lysa’s new book go listen to Chapter 5 ‘Paintings and People’ from It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way by Lysa Terkeurst for FREE! Just go to the Proverbs 31 Ministries Podcast and find the Podcast entitled ‘Paintings and People’ or go to the link below. It’s so good! You won’t regret it!