Alright, time to fess up!
I’ve finally come to the conclusion of what my biggest fear is – that is other than heights. (I hear the fear of falling is naturally within us – not sure if thats true though). Any way, I had a conversation with God today.
No… I did not hear his voice in the heavens, and I did not see angels or white light descending upon me. It was more like me physically getting on my knees and simply praying to Him. As I said my words of prayer out loud in the living room and in that moment, in my heart – I realized my biggest fear.
And that fear is being rejected.
- for my beliefs.
- for my design work.
- by people – known and unknown.
You see, I grew up in a Christian house hold. By no means is my family perfect. No ones’ family is – and if you say it is, I know you’re lying – back to the story; My older brother, my younger sister and I would be forced to go to church every Sunday morning. Each Sunday morning would start off with mini arguments about hair, dresses, shoes… all the things that don’t really matter. Looking back, however, I see why my mom would fuss about the small things. Fortunately, by the time we reached about middle school, we’d made friends with other people in church. By then my mom no longer had to force us to attend.
We willfully went, and took part in ministries like the Choir, and dance group or my brother – rapping, and musical instruments. By then Church was an all day event. I remember going back to school the next morning and people would ask,
” What’d you do this weekend?”
Me: “Church”- And I’d be met with a blank stare. Or questions like what else?
Church was an all day event with maybe two to three hours in between for rest and food. Aside from choir, dance, and the grand service, there was Sunday school, youth group and meeting upon meetings upon meetings. I know I’m not doing it any justice with the way I’ve written it but I promise we’ve grown to have separation anxiety. Which leads up to my experience in college. So….
Fast forward to college and thats where everything changed. Did I mention that I’m Haitian? Well, I was born here in the states, but I refer to myself as a Haitian American because the culture, traditions and food are engrained in my experience. I remember running into only one black person in college during my sophomore-but-really-junior year in college. She (Morgan) took me to church with her and blam! Culture shock.
It was my first time attending a church bigger than the one I was familiar with at home and filled with so many – dare I say it…. white people. ( And NO I am not racist). It was my first time being exposed to people outside of my “normal community”, worshipping the same God that I serve. It was the first time I saw a white man on the pulpit – he was actually from South Africa. The music was loud and filled with contemporary songs, everyone had their hands up in the air, eye’s closed and heads looking up. In my heart I was longing for the old school hymns in Creole. My soon to be future room mate – let’s call her Morgan Time- told me I had to have an open mind. We went back to my Resident Assistant’s room (how we initially met) and she began to pour into me and share contemporary music that the church would play.
Later that year we formed 3G – 3 girls (Morgan, Another woman and I) and a Woman mentor. (Eventually it consisted with Morgan and I, along with the mentor. The other girl had scheduling conflicts.) These women continued to pour into me. We talked about the bible, we read books about the bible and most of all we talked about the situations and problems we faced. It was a space where I could be vulnerable about my life issues with women I trusted. It was my first time having women – other than blood related family – talk to me about Christ.
I think the next year they introduced me to Impact. I did an internship with Impact and that was my first time working with people in different levels and walks of their faith. At Impact we were paired with mentors – I still talk to mine today – and it was my first time using my creative skills to help with something bigger than myself.
We would have bible studies and we focused on Ephesians. I still remember the verse that stood out to me. Better yet my mentor purchased a bible and highlighted it for me.
Understanding what it meant to live life as a Christian was still relatively vague to me at that time. Fast forward all these years later and I feel like I’ve come full circle. It all makes sense now.
I knew I didn’t want to be, “the preaching Christian girl shoving Christ down peoples face”. No- no one has ever called me that, and thank goodness that’s not what I do. I just didn’t know how to go about sharing this Good News with other people – after all that’s what were are called to do.
What I’ve learned instead is that its about living life by exposing the very characteristics that Christ has. It’s to some how have people drawn to you, to me even. To pique their interests and have them see and think, “something is different and I can’t put my finger on it”.
The above verse became a prayer of mine because I
wanted no needed to understand Christ on a whole different level. All the while my heart would continue to feel tugged in curiosity to do more digging, more research, and ask more questions.
I have the strongest desire to use my love and appreciation of design and fine art to honor and glorify Christ. And for the longest time I kept on fighting this inner battle. I didn’t want to draw pictures that depicted my version of what Christ would look like. I didn’t want to draw what I believed the Garden of Eden to be envisioned as. I didn’t want to draw Adam and eve and the serpent. I didn’t want to hand letter scripture because it was all “too common in the world of Hand Lettering”. But I see now that I was thinking small.
Today my prayer wasn’t about me. It was for a family member and it made me realize what it is that I am supposed to be doing. I ought to love like Christ loves, serve like Christ serves, live like Christ lives. That means should I chose to create art work, I ought to do it as though for Christ, and should I offer design services – I ought to do it as though for Christ.
I ought to set my core values upon that and allow the rest to unfold. More and more I find myself drawn to the work of leadership in ministry. There are still many unanswered questions of what exactly that looks like but I am ok with that. I believe that right now, it looks more like living my life out as a ministry. Just as Romans 12:1 says,
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship.
As always thanks for reading my blog. I’m considering a switch up come January 2017.
The initial goal was to write for 365 days. I’m considering making a switch to once a week. If you’re enjoying my posts, and would like for me to continue writing please let me know by leaving a comment below. Feel free to let me know which post was your favorite, or what more you’d like for me to share or write about.