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Stories From The Studio: Keep Going! by Gabrielle Dearman

One of the harder parts of working through life creatively, is having to push forward through the darker, or more challenging times. This is what our discussion focused on this week at our Artists Group. Whether the darker times are due to a loss, finding the way through the “unknowns” of life, or navigating through stress, sometimes we feel like God is not there like we want Him to be. Sometimes, it seems He isn’t speaking to us at all. At times like these, it can be hard to hold on to joy and peace.

We discussed the importance of continuing to press forward in our creativity and faith when these shadowy times are presented to us. We just have to hold on to the heart-knowledge that we don’t have to understand what is happening or understand what God is doing, we just have to know who He is — He is always good and always present!

A tension that we often face is feeling like we have to have it “all together,” no matter what the circumstances are. It is uncomfortable to admit that we are in a place of uncertainty and not being in the place we desire to be. Luci Shaw quoted C.S. Lewis in the chapter we were studying this week:

“In a letter, Lewis wrote: ‘All joy (as distinct from mere pleasure, still more amusement) emphasizes our pilgrim status; always reminds, beckons, awakens desire. Our best havings are wantings.'”

I have found that when I am in the middle of a challenging time, if I can get to the point where I am willing to engage creatively and paint, write, or take a few photos, sometimes that is the place where I recognize my connection with God, and, therefore, find the peace that I so desperately need. As Matt Tommey said near the end of our conversation on Monday night, “We need to be open to what we have seen and express that.” We can take any circumstance and experience and create from that place, whether it is under a blue, sunny sky kind of an experience, or a grey, rainy winter kind of an experience. Picture 7

So, when you have found yourself in less-than-desirable emotions and circumstances, I would encourage you to activate your creative expressions and let that be the catalyst for connection with the Lord, and helping to move you through the darker times.

“Stories from the Studio” is our weekly series by Gabrielle Dearman where she will be sharing about the happenings at River Oaks – The Worship Studio’s local creative community here in Asheville. Check it out each week as Gabrielle shares highlights from our local artist group meetings, community days, workshops, and all the other great things happening in our creative community.