Just to give you all a heads up about these next few months - I (Cat) will be the sole blogger for our team. Unfortunately for you, you will hear all too much from me and very little from the others while we are here in Kona as our responsibilities have been switched around a little.... but I'll do my best to provide you with a variety of different posts as you are used to seeing from the four of us with our different styles. To kick off this week I am simply going to re-blog a post that I wrote on my personal blog at the end of last week that continues on with thoughts from our Identity week. It's a bit more personal so hopefully you enjoy getting a glimpse into me..
"Shaped with Precision"
I just want to expand a little more on the topic of Identity. As you saw in my last post we had a creative assignment to do – somehow create a work of art that reflects who we are and portrays our identity.
My finished product..
At the start of our week that task filled me with fear. I was going to have to visually produce something that others would see, that in some shape or form represented who I am. How do you even start to go about that!?
When you don’t even know how you would describe or portray your identity to yourself, it becomes a very challenging task to attempt to open up to others. Not to mention the fact that if I had to do the poster – I wanted to do it right. That’s probably the perfectionist part of me.. If I can’t do it right, then I don’t want to attempt it just in case I fail.
I found it a vulnerable task – to bring out into the open things that I thought about myself for others to see. I tend to keep those thoughts to myself so that I don’t even give others the opportunity to disagree with me. But God challenged me to do it anyway and do it well.
To my surprise I ended up enjoying it.
We had been given a bunch of old magazines to cut up along with some other art supplies and I started by browsing through a couple of them. I found it quite therapeutic actually – it was quite mindless, giving me the opportunity to think through a lot of the things that had been brought up in our classes.
Something that I found interesting though was that I tended to gravitate towards the words/phrases that were a little more on the ‘self-help’ side of things. Words that spoke of ‘improving yourself’ or ‘you could be better’. I had a more difficult time really picking out the words that were clearly positive and defining.
There’s something in the way that we are taught to view ourselves that speaks that we are not enough. It’s spread throughout all forms of media – the ‘you need to improve yourself to be accepted and loved’ signs. Clearly none of us measure up to the ideals and are unable to attain that perfection.
Being told over and over again that we have missed the mark and are not good enough is without fail going to change the words that we define ourselves as. I know that as I flipped through the magazines I would hesitate to cut out certain words because they didn’t ‘fit me’ because I’m not good enough. But I cut them out anyway.
When it came to actually choosing the words to place in the silhouette I had a pretty sweet evening with God. I had cut out far too many words to fit easily and as I was sorting through I felt prompted to choose only key words. Not all of the words that I included are my first choice. In fact, a lot of them I had a substitute for, but for some reason I ended up picking ones that felt ‘too good’ for who I feel that I am.
Later when I mentioned that to one of the girls she pointed out that in choosing the ones that I felt God leading me to pick I was accepting the words that God wanted to speak over my life and affirm in me. That put into words exactly how I had felt the evening went – it felt so good!
There’s something powerful about allowing God to speak out over your life the words that He chooses. He’s got good things to say and a majority of the time we discount what he says because we don’t believe that it really could be what we were created to be, choosing instead to listen to the rubbish that the rest of the world wants us to believe.
But I’ve decided that I choose to believe that I’m shaped with precision.