Growing up, I was constantly drawing and painting, dancing and singing. Creativity has always been a part of who I am. My parents recognized that in me when I was young, so they sought ways for me to grow creatively. They always encouraged me to pursue what I loved and helped me develop my skills and passions. They signed me up for heaps of art classes, took me to art museums (which was my favorite place to be as a kid), and proudly displayed my art around the house.
As I grew older, I felt like it was expected that I would leave art and singing behind as hobbies. Pursuing academics was where I was supposed to find a secure future. It seemed like mathematics and sciences were suddenly the only things that mattered.
My creative brain no longer knew where I fit. I felt so trapped by expectations.
Coming from a western culture, there is sometimes a dichotomy in the privileges with which we grow up. On one hand, we are free to do what we want and pursue what we love, but contrarily, we are taught that the only interests worth pursuing are the things that will make money. So, as creative people, we are encouraged to keep our talents hidden, to see them as a fun fact, but no longer a life-long passion.
During my time in missions, I have seen so much more of God’s heart for the arts. I mean, when you think about it, God is so much more creative than any of us. He thought up the whole universe and spoke it into being. God, at His core, is creative because He is the Creator. More than that though, He has also given us the ability to create, and it is so much more powerful than we realize. Art and music transcend culture and language; they speak directly to people’s hearts. I have seen how songs can bring people together, even when they don’t understand the words. I have seen people break down in tears at seeing a piece of art that shows exactly how they feel.
I have seen creativity speak so much louder than words.
I love that I am creative. I love that painting brings me so much joy, and that singing brings healing to my heart. I know that these are not random fun facts about me; they are part of God’s calling and blessing on my life. I am able to reach people with what I love in the places that I love. I can sit next to a perfect stranger in an art museum and strike up a conversation about the piece in front of us. We suddenly have a bond that would not have happened without our mutual love of the art. I have discovered that my passions are a point of connection. When I realized that, the weight of expectation fell off. I have been created to be creative, so by surrendering my talents and passions to the Lord, I am able to see Him work through me in what I love.
Don’t underestimate the passions God has given you.
YWAM Newcastle Staff