Artshow-Me&wallofart2

If you had told me, a year and a half ago, that I would be displaying a wall filled with my own art at a local gallery, I would have laughed in disbelief.  Just like Sarah laughed at the thought of having a baby at the age of 90 (Gen. 18:  12-15).  At that time, I was still drooling over the mixed-media art in Somerset Studio magazines with a latte in hand at Barnes and Noble.  Imagining how lovely it would be to work alongside these creative women, but not even sure where to start.

Last week, though, as I worked with my beloved coach Amy to hang a year’s worth of work, I wasn’t laughing, I was reeling with excitement, doubt and fear.  What am I doing?  What if hardly anyone shows-up?  What if…I am rejected?  It seemed like a valid concern.  Hanging my art for all to see felt like airing my heart outside on the clothes line for passersby to inspect my undergarments.  Yikes!

When we finished hanging my pieces and the gallery owner asked if that was everything, I apologetically replied, “Yes, it’s not a whole lot.” and left the store with my heart pounding.  Really, what am I doing here?  I went home and prayed.  God, you have co-created with me throughout this whole process.  I know that you wouldn’t place a desire within my heart if you didn’t have a plan.  Please help me to turn the outcome of this event over to you.  Even where my skills are lacking, may your light shine for those around me.

With that, I moved throughout the rest of the week, trusting that no matter what the outcome, God would use my work to touch those around me.  That Friday evening, the evening of my art show, my mom and I showed-up at the gallery with our arms full of brown grocery bags filled with Izzy sodas, containers of pumpkin bread, and other treats for my anticipated guests.  I ignored the glances between the gallery workers.  Glances which I took to mean, “Just how many people is she expecting?”  “We’ll just have lots of leftovers to enjoy,” I whispered to my mom.

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Tin tubs were filled with ice and sodas, coffee perking, pottery plates and bowls filled with goodies, and a few finishing touches added.  And then, the magic began.  Our guitarist friend started strumming the strings of his guitar and my sweet friend Michelle walked through the door with her husband.  After sharing a hug and giving thanks for her support, she walked right over to one of my paintings, came back and whispered to me that she would like to buy it.  This one, Be Still, is the one that had touched her so deeply upon seeing it on my blog post several months before.  I had just decided to sell it that morning, as it meant so much to me, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to let it go.  But now.  Now, I experienced the joy of using a God-given gift to touch another soul.  A joy like no other.

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Throughout the evening, family and friends streamed through the doors.  Aunts.  Uncles.  Neighbors.  My Bible study girls and awesome encouragers.  Beautiful girlfriends.  The list goes on.  By the end of the evening, most of my original work sold and many friends left with prints and note cards lovingly wrapped in green tissue paper by the shop owner.

Artshow-Biblestudygirls

Surely God was present in this place.  And I thank Him for showing me the riches that come when we follow our heart.

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