Art Hiatus Update (Part Seven): Thrown From The Mountain

Welp, I had every intention that my last blog post about giving up figuring out all this desert experience stuff would be the last and move on, but God disagreed with that. This wilderness experience has been confusing, painful, depressing, aggravating, and most of all, painful. I can’t tell you how painful this has been for me. (Did I mention it is painful?) TL;DR at bottom, but here’s what’s going on…

When I wrote the last blog post, I was throwing in the towel. I would like to say I was doing it as a moment of surrender but frankly it wasn’t. I was pissed that despite my best efforts since July 2018 to understand any of this, I was still not getting it, whatever the hell “it” is. I’ve been spinning my wheels and mentally exhausted from it all. I have put a tremendous amount of effort into this and have very little to show for it.

Two days after I made that last blog post, Simcha Natan sent out a newsletter. If you haven’t been following my posts much, she’s someone God has been using for a while during my desert experience. She’s written books and has had great insight into this desert process. She’s probably the closest person I “know” in terms of going through similar experiences, and I’ve quoted her many times in my posts.

Her newsletter talked about how April is the month for “pressing on towards the goal” and went on to add, “This can mean so many different things to us, it could be something as small as persevering with those new year resolutions which are starting to wane… Or it could mean pressing on in prayer for something you’ve been petitioning God for. It could mean stepping out into something new that you believe God is asking you to do!”

I added the bold text to the line I feel was targeted at me. There were a few other little tidbits in the newsletter directed at me but not enough to string them into this post.

I knew this chunk in her email was aimed at me, but I still flat out said, “No, I am DONE trying to figure out this cryptic crap” and promptly went on my way. (I am loosely paraphrasing.) I am seriously mentally fatigued and “pressing on” is the last thing on my mind. Also, I don’t want to keep petitioning to bring creating art back because I did that till I was blue in the face for the first four months of this art hiatus. When He’s ready He’s ready, I’m done begging.

Although I didn’t connect the dots at the time, I taught six different classes I would consider “I MUST have an adult beverage after class” horrible. Each one really wore me down. Collectively each one after the other amplified that feeling. I was beyond fried by the end of it.

Some classes I was babysitting more than teaching because of a few misbehaved kids. Other classes it was simply a case of having too many young kids in class, who at that age, are *very* squirrely and hard to manage and stay focused. I’ve never been great at squirrel herding the younger kids, so this on top of all the other classes destroyed me. I normally get one bad class every couple of months, but six in the span of eight days was too much.

NOTE: I enjoy teaching classes, so don’t take this post as a sign I’m done with that or hate it. Normally it’s so infrequent that I get a problem class I can just roll with it and move on. Having six in a row, however, was just draining.

After the sixth class I was trying to figure out what was going on. I’m good spotting patterns and immediately counted back to when my last blog post came out and Simcha’s newsletter. All these bad classes started THE day I read that newsletter and quipped, “I SAID good day, sir!” to God. I previously told God he would have to move mountains to get me to go forward. What I wasn’t expecting was being THROWN off the mountain.

These past (almost) nine months I’ve been following orders and teaching classes and not creating artwork, but there’s obviously a third thing that is in play and God clearly wants me to “push on” with whatever the hell it is I’m suppose to be pushing on about. Fumbling in the dark with zero direction or hints is why I’m aggravated in the first place. I’m tired of flailing. I’m tired of not getting “it” or sensing what “it” is.

A really good friend who knows everything I’m going through recently told me, “He is doing a work in you. I imagine when he is done it will be magnificent.” Right now I do not feel it. at. all. I’m now back to reading and studying and listening to audio books to help me through this. Speaking of audio books, in my next post I’ll tell you about when I broke down and cried after listening to one, so, fun times………..?

TL;DR: God did not approve of me calling it quits and wants me to “press on” despite the fact I’m in no mood to do it, but will do so because I prefer to have my classes go back to “normal” and not “insanely draining” as I mentioned above in this article you didn’t read.

As always, thanks for reading.
Todd

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