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Healing Creative Wounds

Healing Creative Wounds

I think it’s unfortunate how often we throw around phrases like “Sarah is so creative.” Or “Maddie doesn’t have an athletic bone in their body.”  These kinds of labeling situations, especially amongst the young, can create beliefs that define our perception of what we are capable of. One of my great creativity teachers, Julia Cameron, emphasizes how important it is for us to move through these preconceived ideas we have about our creativity if we’re going to actually be creative. 

If you are one of those people that were affected by negative reinforcement of your creativity throughout your life, I’m sorry. 

That shouldn’t have happened. 

Whether you can’t draw to save your life or can’t sing a note or couldn’t tell a sonnet from a haiku, it was unfair of whoever said it to make the general statement that you were not creative. Even if you believe it is true.

I think it’s so important that our faith creates a place for us to grapple with these damaging beliefs about ourselves and move through them. Connection researcher Brené Brown also talks extensively about the “creative wounds,” her interviewees often speak of which go on to affect them throughout their life.

All this to say that you don’t have to listen to all the voices from your past, even your own, when it comes to your creativity – or anything for that matter. You are not defined by the words that are said about you, but it doesn’t change the fact that they can hurt. I think that a huge part of the healing process is to accept both of those things and hold them both in your heart no matter how hard it might feel.

I was one of those kids that was just always the “creative one.” My life has been defined by music, theater, fashion design, graphic design, photography, all culminating in my career as a creative director. I’ve never met a creative endeavor I didn’t want to try my hand at. 

But subsequently I was also labeled the “not athletic one.” It was the whole cliché 9 yards – the last one picked for teams, lowest grades in gym class, and I think I cried through every one of the six soccer games I attempted.

It was only as an adult that I allowed myself to believe, even just a little bit that maybe being “not athletic“ was not a defining fact about me. Seven months after I had my second child I signed up for my first 5K. Obviously not a feat of massive athletic prowess, but definitely more than I had ever attempted before. I trained all summer, faithfully following my couch to 5K running plan. Even on the morning of the race I didn’t know if I could do it and the memory chokes me up even now – because I did do it. I did what I had always believed was not possible for me even if it was for other people. I proved to myself that “not athletic“ was not a static truth about myself.

So if your version of my story is about being the “not creative” one, take heart. You too can prove to yourself – because you’re the only one that matters in the situation since God already knows the truth – that your non-creativity is not a static truth about yourself. Just as I have a body that is healthy and created by God and therefore able to run despite my lack of natural inclination to do so, you have a complex and beautiful mind that is all your own able to undertake feats of creativity in the image and likeness of God your creator.

So that’s all mushy and well and good and stuff, but what do you actually do if you have always believed that you’re not creative and now want to try and move the needle? You’d be hard-pressed to find a “Couch to Watercolor Florals“ training program, right?

Well, you’d be surprised. If you really would like to test your specifically artistic use of creativity then there is a wealth of beginner materials available. The biggest obstacle people face is the simple fact that it is a struggle for many people to allow themselves to be beginners. You’re early art is going to be bad. Your middle art is probably going to be mostly bad. And yes, even when you reach the later stages of artistic creative expression there is going to be a lot of bad art. And so being OK with that is an integral part of the process. 

To get started, why not jump on Youtube and search for some tutorials? Maybe test out a membership teaching platform like Skillshare that will let you learn lots of different types of things from lots of different professionals? (If you use that link for Skillshare you will get two months of premium membership free to test it out!) Creative friends are also a great resource. See if they will let you join in or observe their creative juices at work to get yours flowing. And last but not least, there’s always the trusty library. Check out a book and learn about a new skill that interests you.

But you definitely don’t have to jump into an artistic creative pursuit if you’re looking to dip your toes into creativity for the first time in a long time, or maybe ever. Throughout this month I’ve shared lots of non-traditionally artistic creative activities you might enjoy – photography, cooking, music appreciation, tinkering, and landscaping. You can pick one of these or another that appeals to you and get your feet wet. A simple book from the library on any of these topics will greatly expand your horizons and give you lots of food for thought.

And also, if you feel that you are harboring a creative wound from childhood, I can’t emphasize enough how important it is that you admit that and also reject the lie that it has superimposed on your life. God wants to heal all our wounds, whether in this life or the next, and that includes our creative wounds. Admitting what you have been through, no matter how small and petty the story my seem, and vocally giving those wounds to God and rejecting the lies attached to them can be a powerful agent of change in your life.

PS. If you have friends that you think would benefit from the Revive Creativity resource package and the other content we are putting out this month, I encourage you to point them to this link: https://pinksaltriot.com/creativity/. There they can sign up and receive the packet right away in their inbox and follow along with the email for the rest of this month and beyond.

The Crossroads of Creativity + Faith

The Crossroads of Creativity + Faith

I have been so overwhelmed at the enthusiastic response to Revive Creativity so far! Thank you to all of you that have emailed me, sent me DMs, and otherwise let me know that this topic and resource are meaningful to you. 

Creativity is so powerful in part because it looks at problems and life and the status quo and says “This is not the only way.” And boy do we need that right now.

Creativity can lift us up out of the concrete situation we find ourselves in and be a conduit of light and possibility – just like our faith is. That’s part of why the combination of faith and creativity is so powerful and makes so much sense. The world needs our faith, and just as much it needs the eyes our faith gives us – the vision we can cultivate in ourselves and transmit to the world through our empowered use of creativity. 

Later today I’m going to share this quote on Instagram that I thought you might enjoy pondering from author and artist Julia Cameron: 

“Those who speak in spiritual terms routinely refer to God as creator but seldom see “creator” as the literal term for “artist”. I am suggesting you take the term “creator” quite literally. You are seeking to forge a creative alliance, artist-to-artist with the Great Creator. Accepting this concept can greatly expand your creative possibilities.”

Julia Cameron is one of my great teachers of creativity. I embarked on her “Artist Way” program of artistic discovery while I was studying art in Florence, Italy at the ripe age of 20. Though I have no idea of her personal religious beliefs or affiliations, she emphasized throughout the program how much a sense of a Creator, whether religious in nature or not, was essential to tapping into your own ability to create. We, of course, know this Creator to be God, and I find it interesting (though honest unsurprising) that even a book on secular artistic growth cannot grapple with creativity without Him.

He is creative energy. He is renewal and revival. He is force actively creating each of us each moment of every day. If we’re looking breakthrough creatively we’ve got the hook up – He’s the one we need to pay attention to. 

So here’s my challenge for you this week: look at your spiritual practices, your prayer life, religious reading, Bible study, attending church, and think of a way to bring something creative and new into at least one of them. 

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • If you listen to religious podcasts, worship music, or other faith based audio, trying doodling or coloring the mandala style coloring sheet from the package while you listen. 
  • If you like to pray in your own words, why not try writing out your prayers? You could even try your hand at a poem prayer, especially if you haven’t attempted poetry since your vaguely emo high school days. Other options include writing a dialogue between yourself and God, kind of like a play, or writing a hypothetical letter from God to yourself or someone else. 
  • When you go to church, try to dress with some creativity, putting thought into it prior to getting ready. This is not about vanity or being showy, but accepting how God created you and working with His creation, your body, to creative effect. 
  • Another beautiful way to pray is to watercolor or paint while you pray. The outcome can be abstract and doesn’t have to be Instagram worthy, but use the brush strokes as you pray. 
  • Experiment with movement, cooking, art, sculpture, music, or rhythm in conjunction with your spiritual life this week

There’s no right or wrong way to be more creative and God will rejoice in any efforts you give to him, no matter how cringe-worthy you might deem them. This is for you to grow with the One you love. I think everyone that’s married will tell you that laughter is recommended throughout the loving and growing process.

To sum this all up I have a simple little lock screen for you that you can use throughout this month to remind you of the goal of your creative endeavors. It features one of my favorite quotes on the intermingling of spirituality and creativity from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe:

 “A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.” 

You can download the lock screen right here.

That’s all for this week, but I will see you next week to chat about creativity and people that swear they aren’t creative. (Spoiler alert: I think they really are.)

With joy!

Jill


PS. If you have friends that you think would benefit from the Revive Creativity resource package and the other content we are putting out this month, I encourage you to point them to this link: https://pinksaltriot.com/creativity/. There they can sign up and receive the packet right away in their inbox and follow along with the emails for the rest of this month and beyond.

Introducing Monthly Revivals!

Introducing Monthly Revivals!

You’ve been on my mind lately. 

Yes, specifically you, and how I can do a better job of supporting you right where you are living the Christian life. 

But I have to admit, it hasn’t been simply out of the goodness of my heart, it’s been out of a call I’ve felt from the Holy Spirit to ultimately do less work, but more meaningful work. I want to do the things that matter and cut out the rest, as I’m sure you do too. 

And so I’ve spent the last two months getting down to the basics and figuring out why I even make jewelry in the first place. It’s not just to make pretty things. It’s about bringing our hopes and dreams in Christ into our everyday lived reality. It’s so easy to sit in the pew on Sunday and nod along thinking that we really need to try that prayer, or devotion, or way of reading the Bible. 

But how often does it happen? 

I don’t say that to be a downer, but it’s reality. It’s not because we are bad people, it’s because we are fallen people and we need lots and lots of reminders to keep moving in the right direction. So that is why I make jewelry: to create those over and over again reminders that can become a part of our Mondays and Tuesdays and Wednesdays and on to keep a part of our mind on what it was we hoped for when we sat in God‘s presence on Sunday.

I prayed a lot about how to put the sentiment into a short statement and what came was the simple statement “seeding revival in the everyday.” 

That’s my job. 

God is just dying to pour abundant spiritual gifts on those who keep showing up. He wants to teach us how to love Him and the other people in our lives better. He wants to fill us with the kind of fire that sustains us through anything life can throw our way. He wants to revive us. 

And so that means we need to both seek and make space for revival in our lives. 

And around the same time as I was having these philosophical realizations, I realized that my products naturally fell into several categories – spaces where we all could use some revival. When it was all said and done I landed on 18 specific revival categories that you can shop right here

The idea of the revival categories is that these pieces can minister to you and those you love when you are struggling with a certain aspect of a healthy faith life – courage, reverence, connection, trust and more. We will also soon roll out the functionality to create your own box in each category so that you can tailor make a bundle to fit where you find yourself or where you see someone else needing support.

That said, I am going to start using these revival categories to help drive our conversations each month so that we can really grow from our time together. I never want to be just another jewelry company in your Rolodex (which I know you probably don’t have, but you know what I mean). I want Pink Salt Riot – and reading everything we put out – to be an important piece in a constantly growing relationship with Christ.

So each month we will have a revival theme – something that we will be chatting about across our channels an actionable way.

This month of October is going to be our first month, and we will be focusing on reviving creativity. We’re going to talk about how to practice creativity if you wouldn’t ever call yourself creative, how creativity and spirituality are intertwined, how to make space in your life for creative practice, and ultimately how creativity can bring us closer to God. I’m pretty stoked, won’t lie.

At the beginning of each month we will also release a goodie stuffed package of freebies to you via email to subscribers that will come into play as we talk about the theme for the month and also help support you in your own growth throughout the month. 

I’m so excited to share the very first package with you today for creativity which you can sign up to receive right here:

I want to say this again – this month isn’t just for the people who are artists. Creativity is for everybody. Creativity is an expression of who we are in God. We are made in his image and likeness and part of that image is as Creator. So I want you to open your mind a little bit and come along for the ride even if you are a CPA with a closet full of gray suits. 

Creativity is for everybody.

If you’re an email subscriber (which you should be!) I’m going to be popping into your inbox every Tuesday morning this month with some reflections about creativity and further resources. You can also follow us on Facebook to catch my Facebook lives about creativity on Thursday afternoons throughout the month and follow us on Instagram to join the conversation about creativity. 

I’m so excited to go on this journey with you.

How to Be Brave With Your Identity

How to Be Brave With Your Identity

This post is part of our ongoing series about identity – what your identity is, where it comes from, and how to let God be the one that shapes it, really. We are creating lots of amazing content to share with you free, and we’d hate for you to miss any of it so drop your email below and we will send you new resources as they come out!

It was those perfect curls that got me. The minute I saw them my gut told me – oh, we do not like this woman. 

She was in her mid-20s, with the kind of big blonde perfect hair you see a lot of the time on Pinterest. She had to of been about a size 4 and my ankles hurt just looking at her high heels. The inner monologue in my mind was deafening and predictable.She’s so perfect. I don’t even want to listen to her. What could she possibly know about being like me. What kind of problems has this lady ever had?

As it turned out, lots. The story of her life was riveting. The obstacles she overcame were amazing. And in the midst of it all she shared about her deep struggles with anxiety, insecurity, and depression. On the stage, looking like that, admitting to the same dark secrets I carried around in my much less Pinterest-y package. 

Has that ever happened to you? Has there ever been a person that you thought surely had no problems, or at least not the kind of problems that you had, only to find out that you were totally wrong? I know this isn’t an isolated incident. In the age of Instagram we are constantly building people up in our minds, assuming that a life that photographs so well surely can’t be stained with the same kinds of issues staining up our own.

But that’s just not reality. Everybody’s life is full of stains – struggles, heart aches, battles that will never end this side of eternity.

I know that may sound bleak, but here’s where the opportunity is: the struggles and hardships in our lives me manifest in different ways, but the struggle itself is universal. We all deal with it in whatever packaging happens to apply to our specific case, but we deal with it nonetheless.

How does it make you feel when you hear someone you look up to share vulnerably about their struggles? 

Do you think differently of them? In a good way? Or is it a bad way? 

I would venture to bet that hearing someone you admire speak with vulnerability would lead to greater admiration, right? Why is that? Shouldn’t be the other way around?

I don’t think so. I think things are just as they should be, but despite experiencing it over and over we remain skeptical that that is the way it really is. Vulnerability leads to deeper connection, which leads to inspiration. We are inspired by people who share with us. We admire them before we know their struggles, but upon seeing their struggles laid bare the ways they have already inspired us becomes even more incredible.

No matter who you are, there is someone that looks up to you. There is someone who desires to be inspired by you. There is someone watching you. It might be a family member, a colleague, a student, or a mentee. Whoever it is, they desire to be inspired.

And whoever you are, wherever you are at in life, you can inspire them. 

One more time for the people in the back:

*Whoever you are, wherever you are at in life, YOU can inspire them.*

You can do that by being brave with your identity.

So what does it mean to be brave with your identity? 

It means to be:

1.) Aware of where you are at in your own identity (positive and negative)

*and*

2.) Actively seeking to bring that vision in line with God‘s vision for your identity. 

*and*

3.) Sharing your struggles in a real and appropriate way with people that you influence.

What does this look like practically?

Well, I’ve thought about that a lot.

I want you to think about a world full of moms, just like ours is, but in this world, moms are open about their struggles with identity in a healthy way with their daughters.

They say things like:

“I’m really struggling to embrace my true self-worth, but I need to. I go to God every day and ask Him to help bring my vision of myself in line with His vision of me.” 

Or 

“It’s really hard to see yourself the way God sees you. I still really struggle with that. But God really desires for us to see ourselves the same way he sees us and so I pray about that a lot. I want to be confident in who I am, because I am who God made me to be.”

And not just moms. Aunts. Siblings. Godmothers. Friends.

Just imagine that.

A generation of daughters raised up by women that struggle but don’t give up – who fight the negativity in their head and the culture with the truth of the Gospel.

A generation of mothers (biological and spiritual) that never back down from what might be the hardest everyday fight of their lives AND don’t pretend it’s a cake walk.

A society of women that refuse to accept the status quo – to dislike themselves or be numb and grasping at the thin air of vanity and one-ups-manship – and build their fortress on the only truth that will never crumble: Christ.

Excuse the informality, but holy crap. That’s a world I want to live in.

That’s the world I believe God wants for us too.

He loves us. That should mean so much to us, but I know how hard it is to let it sink in.

Do you desire a toxic headspace for someone you love?

NO! Never!

So why do we live like we’re alone in this? Like Christ loves us but our garbage mental state is our own mess to deal with?

No more, ladies. No more.

What being brave with your identity is NOT:

It’s not being brave with your identity to simply complain. 

It’s not being brave to be self-deprecating. 

It’s not brave to belittle yourself with the hope of fishing for a compliment. 

Those are the easy, slightly sleazy things to do. 

Being brave is owning the ground you stand on, no matter how undesirable it is, and yet living in hope that God will bring you into a future where you no longer live there. 

It’s brave to hope that you will heal. 

It’s brave to share the fact that you are open to healing before the healing has happened.

I think a lot of women think that their own internal struggles with their identity or just that – their own internal struggles. But God desires to turn even these internal, sometimes even silly seeming struggles into massive opportunities for him to move and for us to connect as a community of believers. 

It is a tremendous opportunity to come to him day after day in hope and trust that he will heal us. It is a tremendous opportunity to paint a hopeful future in our communities – talking together about what it is that we are seeking from the Father in our prayer. It gives us the chance to love each other as God loves us by affirming each other in our God-given identities – conversations we might not even realize need to be had without vulnerability and bravery on the part of those in our lives.

No matter who you are, and where are you were out in life, you can be brave today. You can choose to share with someone this journey that you are on – the dark place you are in and the beautiful road that you desire to walk down.

 I’ve met many women who simply hope to reach a place where they don’t care anymore. I think this is the total wrong approach. We live in a numbing culture – that’s what our culture tells us to do. 

Just numb it down. 

Our culture uses drugs, entertainment, alcohol and sex to numb, but we can be just as guilty of numbing as Christians when we don’t take our struggle to prayer and simply wish it would go away, or that our hearts could just shrink a little bit so we don’t feel it as much. It doesn’t hurt as much that way.

It’s so much braver to feel the pain. Acknowledge it, sit with it, and pray through it. Allow it to make us patient so that we intern can sit with others in pain. That’s when we grow. That’s where we let Christ love us.

This post is part of our ongoing series about identity – what your identity is, where it comes from, and how to let God be the one that shapes it, really. We are creating lots of amazing content to share with you free, and we’d hate for you to miss any of it so drop your email below and we will send you new resources as they come out!

We are asking you to commit today – commit to being brave with your struggles with identity and not giving up on them. We are asking you to commit to walking this journey WITH Christ and not just near Him. Let us know that you are committed in the comments.

Three Ways to Nurture Kind Curiosity Towards Yourself

Three Ways to Nurture Kind Curiosity Towards Yourself

This post is part of our ongoing series about identity – what your identity is, where it comes from, and how to let God be the one that shapes it, really. We are creating lots of amazing content to share with you free, and we’d hate for you to miss any of it so drop your email below and we will send you new resources as they come out!

The other day I was storming around our house like a bull in a china shop. Everything the kids did annoyed me. I had so many internal quips going it was hard to even keep up with the string of negativity in my head. I was frustrated with the whole world. 

Finally I stopped, right in the middle of the living room, and, out loud, asked What is wrong? Why am I feeling like this?”

Stopping to ask this gave me the space to breath – the distance from my own internal rumblings to gauge the situation and realize I was letting stress from another area of my life color my interactions with my family. It wasn’t the people around me I was frustrated with, I was frustrated at the anxiety I felt about a situation I couldn’t control. And this realization and quiet gave me the opportunity to pray briefly for God’s help in letting go of my anxiety. From there, the day was better.

Curiousity helps us ask the hard questions.

Asking ourselves “What’s wrong?” might seem like an obvious question, but how often do we skip the obvious questions when dealing with ourselves? It’s hard to grow personally without these answers, and yet we don’t seek them out. It’s also hard to grow deeper in our relationship with the Lord if we don’t even know what’s going on inside ourselves.

I have found that stopping to be curious about my own feelings has been a powerful tool in deepening my relationship with Christ, just like in the story above. When I am more clear on what I am feeling and why, I am better able to articulate to our Lord in prayer what it is that I am struggling with and what it is that I am seeking His help with. It’s not because He doesn’t know unless I tell Him, it’s because I don’t know unless I tell him. 

Without curiosity, I likely a.) wouldn’t have prayed at all in my agitated state or b.) prayed for everyone to leave me alone indefinitely, neither of which would have helped the situation. 

Here are three excellent ways to cultivate curiosity towards your own feelings – good and bad – and open new doors of connection with those around you and our Lord himself.

1. Stop and ask “What is going on here?” 

This is what I did in the living room that day, and I didn’t know the answer right away. But stopping to ask the question predisposed me to begin seeking an answer. I combed back over the day in my head, thinking of the things that of happened and how they had made me feel. Eventually I was able to pinpoint an event that had sent me off on my tirade. It was something small but it made me feel very anxious, and it sent me off on a path of frustration until I stopped the cycle by asking why.

2. Develop a writing habit. 

What this looks like in your own life is highly personal. Some people like to journal every morning, some every night, some irregularly whenever the fancy strikes them. But I think that it is deeply important to regularly translate words from our head through our hands in writing. Whether you write long hand or on a computer or laptop, the effort of putting words to the things swirling around your head can help you make connections and investigate your own feelings. You may want to treat journaling itself as a prayer, offering your thoughts to God as you think them and write them, or you may want to use journaling as an opportunity to get clear on what’s in your mind for yourself before taking some concentrated time with God to discuss what came up.

3. Talk to the people who know you best.

The people that love you the most typically are not the ones who are hardest on you, although I know there are exceptions. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably hardest on yourself. But, the people that know you and love you best may understand you more than you understand yourself sometimes. There have been many times when I haven’t been clear on the source of my own feelings when my husband has been able to help me gain clarity by pointing out patterns in my behavior that I am not even aware of myself. 

A loving outside perspective can be very valuable in recognizing the large broad stroke patterns we fall into, especially when they are played out over long periods of time that may be hard for us to observe all at once in ourselves. Having this conversation with someone that you love is also a wonderful opportunity to embrace vulnerability and choose hope and growth over comfort. 

The Gift of Self Awareness

Self-awareness, gained through curiousity, is an excellent tool in the fight against disordered self reliance. Disordered self reliance, unlike an appropriate amount of personal responsibility and desire to maintain oneself healthfully as a person, is based on the idea that we can save ourselves. This is just not the truth. 

Self awareness is valuable to combat this because when we truly become aware of our faults, feelings, and triggers our need for God becomes abundantly clear. These are the things that we hold humbly in our hands when we come to God in prayer, offering the worst of ourselves to him that loves our whole selves unconditionally. God wants us to give him our weakness because in doing so we truly surrender to him allowing his strength to shine through.

It can be a lovely thing to be weak. It is so countercultural, but embracing our weakness is one of the most beautiful paths to deeper relationship with God. For myself seeing my own brokenness with unclouded eyes has given me the opportunity to grow in freedom and love for God. Knowing my weakness allows me to feel free because the illusion that my strength should sustain me is gone. It is just clearly impossible. And that realization is a wonderful gift.

This post is part of our ongoing series about identity – what your identity is, where it comes from, and how to let God be the one that shapes it, really. We are creating lots of amazing content to share with you free, and we’d hate for you to miss any of it so drop your email below and we will send you new resources as they come out!


The Good Gardener: Conversations of Curiosity with God

The Good Gardener: Conversations of Curiosity with God

This post is part of our ongoing series about identity – what your identity is, where it comes from, and how to let God be the one that shapes it, really. We are creating lots of amazing content to share with you free, and we’d hate for you to miss any of it so drop your email below and we will send you new resources as they come out!

Over the last seven years of our marriage, my husband has become a true gardener. When we were engaged he made a new friend who began teaching him about flowers, trees, and planting gardens, and over the last seven years together my husband has grown more and more independent in his gardening ability. 

In front of our front porch there is a small brick patio with two chairs and a fire pit surrounded by a little semi circle brick wall and flower bed. 

This year the flower bed is perfect. 

My husband planned it meticulously mixing annuals and perennials, colors and heights to create a symphonic garden. The result is beautiful, the most lovely place in our yard to sit and read a book or watch our children draw on the driveway with chalk.

I like that despite the fact that English is such a prolific language we use the same word to talk about plants growing as we do to talk about people growing. I think that paralell can lead us to something valuable about how to think about our identity. 

Like I said, my husband arranged all the plants in that flower bed to work together in harmony – some are tall, some are short, some are just greenery and some are flowers. But they are all necessary to create the whole that executes his vision.

I believe that is the way it is with us as people too. We are each our own kind of plant – short or tall, flowering or evergreen. We are created to grow in a certain way into a certain kind.

And then of course in this analogy, the gardener is God. He plans us where he desires us to grow so that, in harmony with the other parts of the body of Christ, our fellow brothers and sisters, we may simultaneously bloom into a garden of the Gardeners design. 

It is specifically our differences that execute the vision.

So what does this have to do with our identity? Well, simply put, I think it means that we need to nurture the belief that we are indeed exactly the right kind of plant for exactly where we are planted. If we doubt where we are we are asking the wrong question. 

So often we doubt where we are and who we are, feeling out of place and either ill-suited for the mission or discouraged by the fact that our mission is not as large or flowery as someone else’s.

This is a struggle that we can invite Christ into. 

He is the good Gardener. He planted you with intention and intelligence. He crafted you into the kind of plant that you are, not by accident but by design. So when we doubt those very aspects of our placement is it not natural to seek the input of the one who put us there? 

When a child has a question, what do they do? They ask why. They seek the answer.

So why do we allow ourselves to be consumed with doubt and fretting when we could simply ask the one who planted us to help us see the logic of it all.

God will likely not send us a billboard with all the information spelled out for us. But I think it’s very likely that he will gently and consistently reveal the nature of our placement if we ask.

I think that this is an integral part of healing our identity – having these “Why” conversations with God from a place of curiosity and not anger. When we go to God while trusting his wisdom as the good gardener, our “Why?” becomes a hopeful question and not an accusation. The sub text is not “ What in the world were you thinking?“ but “Can you help me see what you were thinking?”

This subtle difference in approaching God opens the door of our heart to him in a powerful way. When we start from a place of trust, even when we don’t see the logic yet, we give God the freedom to speak to us in powerful ways because we are disposed to receiving it.

We also open ourselves to much greater peace and calm in the meantime, even if the answer hasn’t come yet. Operating from this place of right generosity with God soothes our very souls.

There is a place for you. And trusting in that, even when you can’t see it, is one of your most powerful tools to grow in relationship with the Creator, the Gardener, who made that place for you.

This post is part of our ongoing series about identity – what your identity is, where it comes from, and how to let God be the one that shapes it, really. We are creating lots of amazing content to share with you free, and we’d hate for you to miss any of it so drop your email below and we will send you new resources as they come out!