I suspect that you and I have some things in common. If my suspicions are correct, you have likely questioned from time to time if you are good enough for the opportunities that you have in front of you. You may even have considered why you have always seen things, felt things, processed differently than “everyone else.” If you have been harsh towards yourself you likely even called yourself weird, but let’s be honest, is there such a thing as normal? That sounds super boring anyway.

Have you ever waken up and wondered if you’re an alien in this world, a creature from another planet that no one understands? You are.

On occasion, and usually at the worst time, the voices of insecurity are so loud in your head and your heart that you wonder if you can even continue to go on. You must.

Have you ever questioned why you have to care so much? Why each piece you create, note you sing, word you hum, and story you edit has to be so personal. Why every word of criticism or correction shakes you to your core and makes you want to fight like hell or run away?

Even when you’re doing your best and most honest, meaningful work, you feel the sting of rejection because you’re different than the rest.

Wonder overwhelms you and leaves you suspicious of others motives. Do people love you for who you are or what you do for them? Do they love the person or the creations of an artist that makes them look better or feel important?

Welcome to the tension of being an artist the curse of being creative.

But God created you this way. Intentionally. He planned this. He knew what you would do, why He created you this way, and how He would use you and your gifts to further His kingdom, even when it looks like you are building other peoples dreams.

He Loves You. He not only accepts you for who you are, he purposefully made you this way, and He adores you. The designer of the universe designed you intentionally – with the faults and flaws, the fears and insecurity, the gifts and wonder, the imagination and creativity, the leadership and ability to be uniquely you. You are a master design!

You feel every emotion genuinely because He uses you to show his beauty to others. Your art matters to you because it’s a reflection of who you are just like you are a reflection of who He is.

You’re different. You’re unique. Great artists always have been, and it’s not because you have tattoos, dress different, or are “odd,” it’s because the uniqueness of your identity was given to you by a heavenly father that knew you needed to be different to share how He is different. He knew you would be the chocolate in a world filled with vanilla. He knew you would feel alone and lost, misunderstood and confused. He knew you would be filled with fear and overcome with passion and He did it anyway because He loves you more than you could imagine. He loves you so much He could not for one second allow you to be ordinary because that would be a waste of the fabulous gifts He has given you.

So today, embrace the artist that lives inside of you.

Walk confidently in the fact you are original and in the art that makes you uniquely you.

Be a creator not a duplicator.

Allow His image to shine through you.

Find your identity in Him, not in the things He allows you to create.

Tell your fear to beat it because the art you create, this person you are, space you are building and that has been carved out for you is not yours in the first place…it’s His and He created it for you in this season.

As artists, we too often get lost in these things; we allow our identity to be trapped and our fear to keep us from creating. The truth is we are at our best when we’re aware of all these feeling and emotions, and choose to use them to help us connect with people who can’t articulate how they feel!

When we do, we honor our Creator more than our creations and we allow Him to be our source…not the stuff that we create.

Today, my friend, be uniquely you. Actually, do that forever.

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