God's been calling me into some pretty scary places recently. I'm not talking dark alleyways or the edges of cliffs. He's also not calling me to stand in the middle of the freeway. No. I'm talking about the places I want to be. Those are the places he's been calling me to and I'm scared as heck.
When I think about what I want to be when I grow up (whenever that will be), I never really have a super clear vision of it. In my last post, I spoke about being a creative and loving anything along the lines of making something. My focus is photography but I'm not entirely sure that it's all I want to do. I don't want to be labeled as a photographer because I don't want to be stuck in a box. I also don't believe we're meant to just be one thing.
"A jack of all trades is a master of none." I've heard this phrase numerous times and it's always had a negative connotation, which has in turn given me the idea that I must do one thing and only that. But how exactly do you master one craft when you're interested in so much more? I mean, it's possible, for sure. Which I think is why people end up doing jobs they hate.
I believe we've all been there. The place that I've been in for the past however-many years. A place where dreamers go to be what they want to be and do what they want to do and yet, never leave to do just that. A cozy little place called I'm Not Good Enough. We foster negative thoughts and comments here - some from other people, but mostly from ourselves. Our activities include (but are not limited to): looking at others who are more successful than us, comparing our work to others and being our harshest critics, feeling sorry for ourselves and quitting. Doesn't it sound lovely? I've made a home there.
Extremely sudden change of topic, but I swear it ties in: I can't wait to be a mom. One of my greatest fears in life is not being able to have children of my own. I'm one of those people who cry when I pick up a kid and they lay their head on my shoulder or fall asleep. The desire is so real, guys. The closest I've been to being a mom is being a preschool teacher. Not the same, but that's as close as I've gotten so far.
I worked as a preschool teacher for a little over two years and I hated everything but the kids. It was a program meant to be a transitioning period between home life and Kindergarten, where we prepared them for the separation from their parents and kick-started the learning process. So yes, we got a lot of criers and lots of heavily-filled diapers. But seeing their progress made all of that absolutely worth it. And when they left us, it was tough. I still get sad thinking about certain kids and realizing how old they are now and how much they've probably grown.
While teaching there, I received a lot of gifts from parents. Whether it be from holidays, birthdays, when the kids left us, or when I put in my resignation. I cannot remember a single gift I was given and I'm sure I've thrown most of it away (unless it was a gift card, which I'm sure I used at some point). But the things that I've kept are the cards. Handmade and handwritten cards from the kids with pictures drawn in crayon or scribbles that make no sense at all. Backwards letters and all, I love those things and I cannot get rid of them.
Hopefully you see where I'm going with this. These kids aren't fine artists who have their work in museums or drawings worth a kajillion dollars. These cards are nothing of monetary value that I'm holding onto to sell later on. The stick figures don't resemble anyone in particular and oh gosh, their color choices are terrible. But I value them. Why? Because they thought of me and drew for me what they could. Just like how a mom would proudly put their kid's terrible art project up on the fridge. Just like how God looks down on us, his children, and finds joy in the work we do for him.
Can you imagine how heartbroken God is when we say we aren't "good enough"? We are his creation, being made perfect in time. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and he is our beholder. Remember that quote I mentioned earlier? Did you know that the quote doesn't end there? In fact, it's being used in almost the complete opposite way for which it was intended.
"A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one." - Somebody in the 14th Century
I may not know where I'm headed on this creative journey of mine, and I may not have just one focus. But all I know at this moment is that whatever it is I do, whatever I create with these hands, it will all be for God. And though it may look like stick figures and scribbles in this world that deems me worthless, he'll proudly display it on his fridge (I'm sure he's got some bomb food in there too).