Today’s post in our Take One Step Series here on the Art of Adventure blog is written by the beautiful Ruth Knowles. Every Monday through the end of the month you will get to hear from different women about their one small step. It is our hope that you will be encouraged to see your tiny, seemingly insignificant steps everyday as the backdrop for the miraculous, and the pathway of a beautiful adventure. Perhaps God isn’t waiting for us to take adrenaline-pumping, picture-worthy leaps of faith, but to simply put one foot in front of the other, with childlike expectation, everyday. Where is He inviting you to take one step, to break fear’s power, and let Him take care of the outcome?
This summer, my husband and I decided to be a part of a mission’s trip to Southeast Asia early next year. Initially, I was ecstatic! Over the past couple years, I had felt an awakening in my heart towards this country, and I was thrilled to actually be going.
For some odd reason, the financial aspect of the trip never registered until I saw those big, fat numbers listed on the informational handout at our first meeting. Panic swept over me, drowning all excitement with thoughts of uncertainty. How in the world were we going to come up with the trip costs for both of us?!
The following day, I sat on our back porch drinking an iced coffee with my journal spread open on the table. I half-heartedly prayed, not even sure if we were supposed to go on the trip anymore. I began scribbling down a pro-con list on a crisp page and quickly realized I was allowing fear to trump my decision in going. Ok, now I’m getting somewhere, but the trip still costs so much.
I casually asked God to give me ideas on how to make the trip financially possible. Instantly, He gave me an answer. Peace flooded my heart pushing all fear and doubt away.
I’ve never associated myself as the artistic-type. In my mind, they’re the ones that create masterpieces effortlessly and perfectly. Just a couple years ago, on a whim, I began allowing myself to paint and do hand-lettering, and it became an exhilarating rediscovery of who I am and what makes me come alive.
I am creative. It doesn’t look like everyone else, but it’s creativity nonetheless. At first, it was purely out of fun, but then I began designing greeting cards and watercolor paintings with Scriptures on them for family and friends. A few friends asked if I had an Etsy shop and if not, then I definitely should. The comment both flattered and terrified me. No way, I’m not that good. No one would buy anything.
But on that unusually-warm, fall afternoon, as I sat on the back porch, excitement and hope began filling my heart. God had revealed to me the game plan on raising money for our mission’s trip. Knowing it wasn’t just “my” idea–but His–brought a surge of relief. After much planning, designing, and painting, the Knowles Creative Co Shop officially opened on Etsy!
Yes, it was scary and risky. Putting my work out there for friends, family, and strangers to admire or critique was intimidating to say the least! In Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way, I love how she says, “Great Creator, I will take care of the quantity. You take care of the quality.” I try and remind myself daily that I’m responsible to use the gifts God has given me and not to worry about the rest, whatever may come of it.
He’s not asking for perfection, but for obedience. I’ll admit, it’s so easy to let the fear of failure or other’s expectations keep me from creating–or in taking that next step–but when I let go of those paralyzing fears and offer my talents to God like the wimpy fish and loaves, I must choose to believe that He will transform them into something miraculous.
Where is perfection gripping your heart and life? Imagine what it would like for you to take one step beyond the fear of failure or other people’s expectations, to make a mess if need be, and try that thing you sense God whispering to you about in your spirit?
Papa God, you are so loving and kind and good! Help me to walk in the freedom you lavish upon me and create with you again. Open my ears to your voice and give me the courage to obey you instead of hunkering down in my closet of fear. I trust you with the outcome as I take these steps of faith…
Be sure to catch up on the other posts in the Take One Step series here!