It’s just under three and a half months since I stopped creating artwork and here’s an update on what’s going on. I’ll post a TL;DR at the bottom because if you know me, I’m incapable of writing a short version of pretty much anything because I like telling stories…
As stated previously, God was sending pretty strong signals that I needed to take a break from art. I focused too much on getting a following and selling my art and the horrible lack of results was burning me out. The first two weeks after I stopped in August were the worst. I was always on edge, wanting to make art but not being able to. I didn’t realize till the third week that when God told me to rest, he actually meant spiritual rest, not rest rest.
Once I realized this, I began reading books and blogs on the topic as well as the Bible. “Coincidentally”, when this was going on, our church started a five part series called “A & Q”, and every week felt like it was written specifically for me and what I was going through.
One part was called, “God has a plan (for you)” (watch/listen), and it really struck home. I won’t go into specifics, but I need to set up the next part of the story because it ties into this church service.
From 2005-2012, my church had an artist specific group called “C2.” We would meet once or twice a month and show our artwork, have critiques, fellowship, and all of that stuff. The church would also tap into our group to hold art exhibits at church that tied into whatever the Pastor was teaching. It was great for me because towards the last half of it’s existence I was a stay at home dad and didn’t have many opportunities to go out and do adult things.
Unfortunately, C2 dissolved as the church focused on other priorities and all the artists scattered back into the crowd. Our church has expanded to other locations since that time, and the person in charge of C2 left the location I attend about a year ago and is now at one of the newer churches. I don’t really have friends to hang out with, especially artist friends, so the loss of C2 hurt me from a fellowship standpoint as well as not having anyone to talk to who understood what I was going through as an artist.
So, back to the church service…
This particular week I was out in the lobby watching the live feed on the big screen. I had stomach issues for a couple of hours and needed to be near the restroom in case anything happened.
Part of the message taught us how we never see the full path but are given one step of it at a time. Of course throughout the whole service I’m thinking, “What the hell IS my path?” Towards the end, our Pastor said something like, “Ask God about what your next step should be” or something along those lines, I can’t remember the specific wording. In my head I’m thinking, “I HAVE been asking that for the entire service!”
In that exact moment, in spectacular “there is no mistake this was from God” fashion…
The person who I mentioned earlier walked by. She stopped to give me a hug and said, “We’re starting C2 up again, first meeting is in a month, I’ll email you.” and as fast as that she walked off, leaving me stunned. It took me several minutes to recover. The last person I expected to see at church came up and told me the last thing I would expect to hear, and I “coincidentally” happened to be out in the lobby at that exact moment she walked by to hear it.
So, now I know my next step is going to the C2 meeting (now called Mosaic), but as per usual, God dances around the question I’ve been asking for months now. Will this next step answer my art specific question, or is it simply a means to get me back into fellowship and among other artists again?
Funny how the one thing I want to know the most is the one thing I apparently am not ready to hear. There’s a lot more to this, so in my next article I will tell you what I’ve learned while on this hiatus.
Thanks for reading!
TL;DR: Todd needs spiritual rest. Church services written just for him. Finds out his next step is to attend an artist specific church group. Next article goes into more detail on what he’s figured out. He may or may not have wrestled an alligator, but you need to read the entire post to find out if it’s true or not.