Here I am. I am taking another trembling step in this new adventure of faith. I’m “sharing it.” My tiny, humble, reluctant response to Shanna Noel, founder of Illustrated Faith. I just finished reading through her devotional “Created to Create,” and the whole way through I was rejoicing in my heart over her words. She goes through several thoughts about reckoning on the fact that we are beings that were created by the Creator, and, since we are made in His image, we have the potential to glorify Him in a creative way.
I could sense the Lord touching areas of deep-seated insecurity and deficit motivations that seek validation from more than just One. It was humbling, but all along I kept sensing this nudge from the Lord to keep exploring the idea of meditating on His Word and worshiping through the creative capacity He has given me in the form of illustrating my faith. He finally validated it through the story of Abraham in Genesis 12:1 and Hebrews 11:8 which says that Abraham was “urged on by faith” to obey God and follow Him, and “he went, although he did not know or trouble his mind about where he was to go” (Heb. 11:8, AMP). Being tentative by nature, it was a big deal for me to decide to jump out in faith and attempt to discover what God might have for me in this adventure.
I was continuing through the devotional excitedly, keeping this idea of God leading me in all of it in the back of my mind. Then I got to the “Share It” section. She quoted Mark 16:15 which says, “And He said to them, Go into all the world and preach and publish openly the good news (the Gospel) to every creature [of the whole human race]” (AMP). In my own little way I thought, ok perfect! I’m a missionary in Malawi, and I love sharing my faith with the people around me, so I can just continue growing in my creative capacity in the quiet of my own home. “Share it,” check!
But, I continued reading through the rest of the thoughts Shanna shared. It was about her own sharing experience. She expressed her own struggle, how she actually ended up sharing, and how she continues to today. She finished the section with the instruction: “Write down a couple ways you feel you are being called to share…”
I felt a giant, nauseating pit form in my stomach. I quickly went back to the original verse in Mark 16, “Go into all the world” – CHECK – #livinginafrica. “…And preach and publish openly the good news (the Gospel)…” What?! “Publish openly” what God is doing in this area of my life? My first thought was, thanks a lot, Shanna! (I’m only kidding, I am so grateful she didn’t leave this part out!) But, how could I deny it? There it was in black and white, and in Scripture no less.
My dilemma was great, but I had to seriously think through the significance of the placement of that section in the devotional. I had clearly sensed the Lord lead me to buy it, and I went back and read each of the previous sections of it. I came to the conclusion that I wholeheartedly agreed with every single other point she had made. So now I was faced with the decision to gloss over this more personal and uncomfortable part so I could stay in my comfort zone, or I could take a step of faith and agree with this exhortation, not only from a seasoned woman of faith, but from Scripture itself. (One reason I love the Amplified translation is for its breadth of explanation, but at that moment I wished I had been reading my King James Version!)
So, here I am. I am doing my humble best to “share it.” The “artwork” that will be shared here is very much like me, a work in progress, so please bear with me. I’ll be sharing some blog posts here and there, but it will probably mostly be on Instagram under @little.lisa.girl, which is the nickname my mom gave me as a child. I feel like a child in all of this, and I want to continue to learn like a child in all of this, so it seemed only fitting. My ultimate motivation in it is a final thought Shanna encapsulated beautifully: “Here is the other thing about sharing: all you need to do is share, and God will do the rest.” So I’m obeying this little nudge, uncomfortable and new as it may be, and trusting that it can be used (or not used) by God in whatever way He chooses.