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Learning through Obstacles

As you pursue your passion, art or lifelong interest, do you have moments or days when you question what you are doing? Have you encountered obstacles that not only slowed you down, but made you interrogate the One who graciously gave you the gift and ability in the first place?

I had one of those times last night. Still recovering from a virus and cough, I pursued my art through it, which may not be the brightest of all my ideas. But I’m glad I did.  My determination and direction propel me like nothing else.  When I was a young teenager, my determination morphed into complete rebellion, but today, it has grown into a strong tower of tenacity.

As I finished up artistic time and left early last night, I encountered a series of obstacles—including a literal roadblock which sent me down dark back roads on an extended trip home. In addition, an infection raged through my right eye, sealing it almost all the way shut. I was frustrated. I was angry. But I was complete.

Thankfully, my husband guided me home safely over the phone (thank you Google Maps). As I slowly walked up to my villa doorstep with a strange, irate sense of confidence, I thought, “Nothing will hold me back. You already told me to do this, Lord. I’m going to keep doing it, even when I look like a hot mess and my husband thinks I’m crazy.”

This is a season where I am realizing when to push myself and when I need more rest. Before now, I could have rested more. He is showing me how to cut out activities and projects that don’t need to be on my plate.

The cool thing is: I don’t care what people think anymore. I care what He thinks, but I’m not afraid to make mistakes. I’d rather take a risk, offering all that I have to give, and get shot down later than to never risk at all.

What about you? What are you risking with your art, your life right now?

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11 thoughts on “Learning through Obstacles

  1. Well I’m at a crossroads. I’m trying to decide if I should work full time or part time. If I work part time at a few odd jobs I will have more time to work on my art. Your blog has encouraged me to focus on the things God has called me to do, and trust him with the rest. Thank you!

    • Totally understand that one, Brandi! It is a matter of prioritizing what is more important to you. Not anyone else. It is tough when we start talking marriage, kid, etc. so I’m not sure where you are at with all that but if it is just you, then the priorities can be more clear. I’m sure I will be at a crossroads again with this…it is a journey, not a destination. Thank you for reading, Brandi and I pray that God will direct you clearly.

  2. sammiebennett on said:

    Ah, Crystal Lou, I love this line especially, “I’m not afraid to make mistakes.” This is so challenging for a recovering perfectionist like myself. Learning how to fail gracefully. This is a process I’m in right now. Love you so very much!

    • Sweet! Yes, for me, the main focus has to be “fearless”. The perfectionism, the stress, the whatever it is usually stems from some type of fear. Once I found those spots in my life, it became easier…or should I say, I got more used to practicing it:) Love you dear!

  3. It’s great that you’re so determined. I think much of the time, happiness comes from making a decision and following through, even when you encounter challenges. After all, challenges come up in almost anything you do, but if you thought about what you want and decided to do it, that is the pursuit that will probably bring the most fulfillment.

    • Thanks, Jason. It is just in the makeup. You are right. It is a decision; a choice. Just like love and marriage. We choose that person for life. It’s not just about falling in love. I love your last sentence! So true.

  4. Crystal, I love your line, “You already told me to do this, Lord. I’m going to keep doing it…” That’s a good reminder to persevere. Often, I fail to act, or act half-heartedly, forgetting God’s calling and direction. The artist’s journey requires determination and tenacity. Thanks for the reminder!

    • No problem, Leslie! I am always so sure of myself when I first hear His voice and excited to receive direction. But later, when the action part is draining or just plain hard, it is easy to doubt. Nowadays, I have to remember to give myself permission to feel those feelings (doubt, anger, sadness) and then choose to channel it out somehow (through the art), so then I am not denying myself emotion but I am denying the lies which want to take hold of us…and keep us from action. Thanks for reading!

  5. Mike Black on said:

    Crystal, you are one tough cookie! Love ya.

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