Find hope in Jesus! This May, I have committed to consecrate myself to Our Lady, and she has never failed to bring me closer to dear Jesus. He said: “I will lead you from pain into glory, and I will use your story to touch the lives of others, so do not be afraid, do not be ashamed, for I call you redeemed, loved, you are mine, and I am yours”. His words has brought me great joy, and comfort in knowing that I am never alone.
Aug 2019 has been one of the most challenging times I had encountered. Art school has a certain way of ‘thought’ that differs from usual teaching methods in schools I have attended. It challenges me to break out of my comfort zone, to explore, to experiment, make mistakes and learn yet there is a grading system for it. Only God can get me out of this school alive.
For I have been dead for a long time, and because the desire to please my lecturers seem to be what my heart is focused on, I couldn’t get out of it. This vicious cycle of wanting to be recognised, and seen through my work sought greater importance than learning. Striving hard, day and night only with my own effort that amounted to nothing, but losing my soul in the process.
Everyday seemed like a complete battlefield of yearning an approval or praise from others. I was in complete mess. The amount of effort, and time wasted on this endless pursuit, only God knows. Yet how kind Jesus is, I had to grow through a period of torment, darkness, and shame (which was utterly terrifying) for me to recognize my nothingness in Him.
He used darkness to reveal the light that I needed all this while, and it was Jesus who affirmed my identity. He established the truth, and foundation that nothing is more important than building a relationship with Him.
Nothing, not even my grades, my worth, or how I see Him precedes Jesus, Himself. Yet even as I knew, it was difficult to choose God because of the lies, and fears that I had grew so accustomed to. It was trying, but with prayer, community, and support from close friends, Jesus assured my worth in Him- that no one has the ability to take away my identity in Him.
For truly Jesus makes the impossible, possible and today, I witnessed a shift in my mindset in an experimentation with Dalgona Coffee, that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4: 13
In the process of making, I discovered the beauty of creating. For far too long I have hidden in fear, and believed the lie that whatever I do will never ‘amount’, and this led to fears and feelings of ‘rejection’, making it almost impossible to begin anything.
Yet as the days go by, I am slowly learning to surrender, and to let go of this lie. For choosing Jesus means actively letting go of certain ‘thoughts’ and ‘beliefs’ that are untrue. For in John 10:10, scripture says: ‘The thief comes only in order to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come in order that you might have life – life in all its fullness.’
How true this is!
‘For where your treasure is, there will be your heart also.’ – Matthew 6:21
For my heart to be courageous in the face of criticisms, and to stand in the truth of who God says I am, and not for what I do. Through this process, I have acknowledged my need for perfectionism, and that it is okay to make mistakes, for failure does not define who I am, and it is a natural part of growth. Strength however, lies in never giving up each time we fall.
For creatives out there, if you face similar struggles as I do, I encourage you to list down actionable truths (as I did) and choose to proclaim these over your life. May this assist you. Be blessed!
- Focus on making work that I care about
- Knowing my medium inside and out
- Stop seeking for external validation
- Leave pride at the door
- Embrace my need for solitude
- Accept change within myself, and my work
- Knowing when to move on
- Lose comparing self with another